[R-SIG-Mac] MacTeX 2020 and TeX Live Utility (No Longer Included)

Marc Schwartz m@rc_@chw@rtz @end|ng |rom me@com
Mon Apr 27 16:07:10 CEST 2020

Hi All,

Relevant for TeX users on macOS, as happens around this time of the year, MacTeX has been updated to use TeX Live 2020:


One major change this year, as a result of Apple's requirement to now use app notarization on Catalina, is that the TeX Live Utility (TLU), as a GUI interface for updating the TeX distribution contents, is no longer included in the MacTeX distribution.

If you install MacTeX 2020, you will find a file called "MISSING APPS.pdf" in the Applications/TeX folder, that describes this, and which also affects BibDesk and cocoAspell, albeit, I have not searched for info on the latter two apps.

Based upon some searching for TLU info, I found the following issue on Github:


which makes it clear that the TLU author has no confirmed plans to update the app to support notarization. This is apparently due to his essentially no longer using TeX himself, he is still running High Sierra (10.13), the cost of becoming an Apple developer in order to notarize the app and related philosophical considerations.

The TLU is otherwise available for manual download as a DMG file here:


however, the DMG has not been updated since January 24, with some pending, unreleased updates, as of this writing.

It is not clear if the TLU author may, at some point, be convinced to take the steps to notarize the app, perhaps with financial support from some party (e.g. TUG), or may just orphan the app, where somebody else may move it forward or perhaps develop something entirely new to replace it.

That all being said, there are CLI commands that can be used to maintain/update the TeX distribution. These are described here:


and where there are essentially two commands to use:

  tlmgr update --list

which will list the pending updates, and:

  tlmgr update --all

which will install the pending updates. You will likely need to run these as an Admin (e.g. using sudo).

Since the TLU supported scheduled update checks, you could feasibly run the CLI commands in a cron job, but would otherwise need to remember to run these periodically, if you wish.


Marc Schwartz

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