MacTex is apparently 4+GB to install. It says on the Lyx downloads that MacTex is a necessary dependency.


Do we really need MacTex?

  • 3
    I can't imagine they'd tell you it was needed if it wasn't.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 25, 2022 at 18:01
  • Well is it necessary for all features of Lyx or just some features? that's another Q Oct 25, 2022 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


It depends on what you mean by the question:

Do we really need MacTeX specifically? - No, you do not need MacTex specifically. You could in theory use other LaTeX distributions or install LaTeX yourself. MacTeX is just an easy and convenient way to get a full LaTeX system running on your Mac.

Do we really need TeX at all? - Yes, you do need a working TeX system in order to produce documents. As soon as you want to render the document, print it, or similar, you will need TeX - and LyX alone won't suffice.

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