Installing MacTeX in M1 Apple Macs

UPDATE – On April 1st 2021 MacTex released the 2021 version of the software. In this new version the code is universal and works well with both Intel and Apple silicon:

All binaries in MacTeX-2021 are universal, with code for both Arm and Intel processors. The same source code is used to compile both types of code, so Apple’s Arm and Intel machines are on exactly the same footing. 

I have been playing with a new M1 MacBook Air and I must admit it is quite an experience. It is a very responsive fast little machine with no fan! Great so far. I have been looking into using a lot of the software that enables my own work and that includes, among other things, LaTeX.

I had a look at the MacTeX pages about ARM and it was great to see that the view is that Rosetta 2 would have me covered… I am not ready to go native just yet… So after installing the software I was surprised to get some messages in my terminal telling me that pdflatex could not be found.

After playing with things for a bit I found that the location of the files ended up in a folder indicating the architecture of the machine. So if you are looking for things in your machine, please take look for things in the following path:

/usr/local/texlive/2020/bin/x86_64-darwin/

I have had to point some other software to this location and things seem to be working fine. I have not looked into the implication of other things such as the conversion of jupyter notebooks into LaTeX documents…. I will do and report back.

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