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The Full MacTeX

The full MacTeX-2017 install package contains three pieces
TeX Live 2017: the full distribution with over 2 gigabytes of material.
GUI Applications: front ends, utilities, and a small amount of startup documentation.
Ghostscript 9.21

A Smaller Distribution, Basic TeX

TUG recommends the full MacTeX, even for beginners. It contains all files most users ever need. Beginners using it don't face the daunting task of searching for missing components and figuring out how to install them in the TeX distribution.

BasicTeX is a much smaller alternate TeX Distribution for users who do not want to download the full TeX Live, or have unreliable internet connections. BasicTeX is a subset of TeX Live of size 110 megabytes instead of 2 gigabytes. BasicTeX does not overwrite the full distribution; it is installed in /usr/local/texlive/2017basic.

BasicTeX only contains the TeX Live piece of the full distribution; it does not contain GUI programs or Ghostscript. To use TeX on the Mac, it suffices to install BasicTeX and a front end. To make life easier for users who want to use BasicTeX instead of the full TeX Live, we include links below to various pieces of MacTeX that can be added as needed.

BasicTeX was designed for easy download by users with limited download speed. The package is remarkably capable. It contains all of the standard tools needed to write TeX documents, including TeX, LaTeX, pdfTeX, MetaFont, dvips, MetaPost, and XeTeX. It contains AMSTeX, the Latin Modern Fonts, the TeX Live Manager to add and update packages from TeX Live, and the new SyncTeX.

[ approximately 72M - 07 June 2017 ]
The md5 sum is d2409c2e5ad1211cbfb0461b1f5a91c7

BasicTeX.pdf (about the BasicTeX distribution)
BasicTeX is also available via the torrent network.

GUI Programs and Documentation from MacTeX

The GUI section of MacTeX contains five front ends and utilities. These programs are often updated, so it is best to get them directly from their respective web pages. Here are links:
TeXShop, a front end: TeXShop
LaTeXiT, a package which typesets equations to be pasted into Keynote, etc.: LaTeXiT
TeX Live Utility, a program to update and maintain TeX Live: TeX Live Utility
BibDesk, a program to handle bibliographies: BibDesk
Excalibur Spell Checker, a spell checker which understands LaTeX: Excalibur
In addition, this package installs a very small amount of documentation, mainly to explain recent changes or help new users get started. This documentation is available separately as a zipped folder: MacTeX Documents 2017

Ghostscript 9.21 from MacTeX

Ghostscript is not required for pdfLaTeX or XeTeX, but is often useful for converting eps illustrations to other formats, or processing dvi files. This link gives the full install package:
[ approximately 22M - 04 June 2017 ]
The md5 sum is c7998d0345e2a5a17edf2a6d9aeaf291