Julian Gilbey | 4 Dec 14:34 2014

kpsewhich --help is unwieldy

I just typed kpsewhich --help and the output reached (on my
80-character width screen) 522 lines, which is unhelpful.

Could the list of recognised suffixes be made available through a
separate command such as kpsewhich --help-suffixes (with a note to
this effect at the end of the ordinary help)?  And maybe not list the
expanded paths, as they take up most of the screen space, and are
available through other easy-to-use documented means if required?

Best wishes,


stefano franchi | 22 Nov 00:17 2014

How to expand kpathsea list of file types?

Dear all,

I'd like to add biblatex style files (i.e. *.cbx and *.bbx) to the list of file types recognized to kpathsea. I looked at the texmf.cnf configuration file and found the following definitions for bibtex:

% BibTeX bibliographies and style files.  bibtex8 also uses these.
BIBINPUTS = .;$TEXMF/bibtex/bib//
BSTINPUTS = .;$TEXMF/bibtex/{bst,csf}//

So I thought adding similar definitions for Biblatex (in the system-wide tree, not the distribution texmf.cnf) would work:

% BibLaTeX citation (cbx) and reference (bbx) style files.
CBXINPUTS = .;$TEXMF/tex/latex/{cbx}//
BBXINPUTS = .;$TEXMF/tex/latex/{bbx}//

But it does not. What else do I need to do? Define/add  CBXINPUTS and BBBXINPUTS somewhere, perhaps?

Thanks for the help.


P. S. Why do I want to do this: I am working on adding biblatex support to LyX. We rely on kpsewhich to obtain lists of all the various kinds of  files LaTeX needs (cls, sty, bst, etc). The lists are then used at various points in the program (to populate widgets, to compile docs, and so on). I would like to simply extend the standard kpsewhich interface to biblatex files, if possible rather than working on an ad hoc solution.

Stefano Franchi

Kiran Kolwankar | 25 Oct 12:14 2014


I recently upgrade to ubuntu 14.04. While installing it
showed some error with tex-common but it continued
and completed the installation.

Today, while doing pdflatex I encountered the following error:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 (TeX Live 2013/Debian)
 restricted \write18 enabled.
---! /var/lib/texmf/web2c/pdftex/latex.fmt doesn't match pdftex.pool
(Fatal format file error; I'm stymied)

I searched on the net and did various things suggested on
different mailing list:

1) Running the code:

cd /etc/texmf
for a in `find . -name "*.pacnew"`; do
    sudo mv $(echo ${a/.pacnew/}) $(echo ${a/.pacnew/}).mybackup;
    sudo mv $a $(echo ${a/.pacnew/});
sudo fmtutil-sys --all

2) Renaming the file .texmf-var

3) Complete removal of texlive and reinstalling it (as somebody had
succeeded with it).

But nothing worked. Rather there were errors while reinstalling and that is what
I am reporting. I am attaching three files.

But if I run pdflatex now I get a different (following) error:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 (TeX Live 2013/Debian)
 restricted \write18 enabled.

kpathsea: Running mktexfmt pdflatex.fmt
I can't find the format file `pdflatex.fmt'!

What could be the problem? I need to use latex urgently.
Anyway, I'll keep searching the net to find out more though
I am not an expert in linux. Now I feel I unnecessarily hurried
and updated the linux.

I'll be nice if there is some solution to this.

Thanking you in advance,
Best regards,
Attachment (error_report): application/octet-stream, 1454 bytes
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Komarov, Oleg | 21 Oct 12:58 2014

Bug or clarification? "/undefined in uageLevel"


I am simply calling "epstopdf a.eps" and I get the following output:

Error: /undefined in uageLevel: Operand stack: Execution stack: %interp_exit .runexec2 --nostringval-- --nostringval-- --nostringval-- 2 %stopped_push --nostringval-- --nostringval-- --nostringval-- false 1 %stopped_push 1926 1 3 %oparray_pop 1925 1 3 %oparray_pop --nostringval-- 1909 1 3 %oparray_pop 1803 1 3 %oparray_pop --nostringval-- %errorexec_pop .runexec2 --nostringval-- --nostringval-- --nostringval-- 2 %stopped_push --nostringval-- Dictionary stack: --dict:1169/1684(ro)(G)-- --dict:0/20(G)-- --dict:81/200(L)-- Current allocation mode is local Last OS error: No such file or directory MiKTeX GPL Ghostscript 9.05: Unrecoverable error, exit code 1 epstopdf.exe: Invalid argument

I also posted on http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/208179/epstopdf-error-undefined-in-uagelevel.

I read that:
The case of "%%BoundingBox: (atend)" when input is not seekable (e.g., from a pipe) is not supported
is that what is happening? I am not sure I understand the meaning of input not seekable (tried to google but still don't get it since I am not using "cmd | cmd" as would be on Linux).

Can you please advise on how to solve this issue?

Thanks for your time

Oleg Komarov
Finance Group - Doctoral Programme Student

Imperial College Business School
Tanaka Building
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ

P please consider the environment - do you really need to print this email?
Attachment (a.eps): application/postscript, 62 KiB
Andrew Komornicki | 7 Oct 23:49 2014

Re: speed of kpsewhich to get value of TEXMFLOCAL


would it not be simpler to just define these variables in your
environment so that your makefile can pick them up at will.  You would
not have to invoke kpsewhich and incur the execution penalty.  Karl most
probably has the most insight into execution bottlenecks with his
routine. just a thought.


 Andrew Komornicki
 Department of Chemistry
 Stanford University

On 10/7/2014 1:01 AM, jfbu wrote:
> Hi,
> in a Makefile I am currently testing I have something like this
> TEXMF_LOCAL = $(shell kpsewhich -var-value TEXMFLOCAL)
> TEXMF_HOME  = $(shell kpsewhich -var-value TEXMFHOME)
> however evaluation of each variable is very slow, of the order
> of half a second on my mac os x mavericks with TL2014
> ======Makefile:
> # TEXMF_LOCAL = `kpsewhich -var-value TEXMFLOCAL`
> TEXMF_LOCAL = $(shell kpsewhich -var-value TEXMFLOCAL)
> TEXMF_HOME  = $(shell kpsewhich -var-value TEXMFHOME)
> all: testlocal testhome
> testlocal:
> 	 <at> echo $(TEXMF_LOCAL)
> testhome:
> 	 <at> echo $(TEXMF_HOME)
> ======running it
> $ time make
> /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local
> /Users/---/Library/texmf
> real	0m0.996s
> user	0m0.964s
> sys	0m0.026s
> What can I do to get TEXMFLOCAL ?
> It is not `shell` the culprit as for example
> one can test with $(shell ls -l Makefile) to
> get execution time without kpsewhich.
> I use it only for certain targets, and putting 
> TEXMF_LOCAL := ...
> at the top of the Makefile, as I was going to do,
> is currently excluded as it slows down all targets
> Jean-Francois

Herbert Voss | 2 Oct 20:35 2014

PSTricks and xdvipdfmx

Hello all,

the following works fine with tex->dvips-ps2pdf
but with xetex it fails, more or less no output.

\input pst-node

\rput(1,0){\rnode{A}{Stuff A}}%
\rput(0,1){\rnode{B}{Stuff b}}


If you comment the line with \ncline the two text boxes
appear. I suppose a problem with the underlying coordinate
system but I cannot see any problem in the xdvipdfmx.cfg
of PSTricks.

I run up-to-date TL 2014


Stephan Hennig | 1 Oct 18:06 2014

ligatures and explicit kerns


in the TeXbook, the answer to exercise 5.1 (the shelfful exercise)
contains a sentence

  Appendix H points out that ligatures are put into a hyphenated
  word that contains no “explicit kerns,” and an italic correction
  is an explicit kern.

I didn't find the place in appendix H the quote refers to, so pointers
would be appreciated.

Anyway, as I understand the quote, ligatures won't be inserted in words
that do contain explicit kerns.  That is, to suppress multiple ligatures
within a word, it should be enough to insert just /one/ italic
correction (between two of the ligature candidates).  Though, a test
turns out that this is not the case.


outputs the word with two separate letters f but the fi ligature
applied.  Could anybody please shed some light on the quote above?

Best regards,
Stephan Hennig

张民康 | 5 Sep 04:20 2014

Fwd: Wanting debug for the texdoctk

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: 张民康 <zoengmickong@...>
Date: 2014-09-05 10:09 GMT+08:00
Subject: Wanting debug for the texdoctk
To: tr@...

Mr. Thomas Ruedas.
  I have a problem when use with texdoctk which is installed from the
texlive2014.iso in Windows 7. It seems that the texdoctk.exe can't
read the document file path whose string include space,for which the
shell can't open a file correctly. Thus, I find out the problem in the
source file texdoctk.pl in which the 454th line
> system("$viewer $slcdoc");

The statement work well if modified as follow
> system("$viewer \"$slcdoc\"");.

  So I expect to modified the Perl file then convert to exe file which
easy for use in windows. However I don't know how convert it into exe
file. It seems awful to convert it  into Perl.
  Please tell me what should I do if want to use the modified texdoctk.exe.
Sincerely Yours

Denis Bitouzé | 23 Jun 11:41 2014

Bug with color \specials?


a bug with latest xetex:

  XeTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-0.99991 (preloaded format=xelatex 2014.6.19)

occurs, probably related to color \specials: in the following MWE (say
`test.tex') compiled with xelatex, the text after the tcolorbox
environment on page 2 is colored in white.

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

If compiled with:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
xelatex -no-pdf test
xdvipdfmx -c test.xdv
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

the text is colored as expected.

The trouble has been reported on:

  │ http://tex.stackexchange.com/q/186139/18401

Best regards.


Fischer, William M | 16 Jun 20:45 2014

epstopdf patch (% in filenames)

# $Id: epstopdf.pl 30419 2013-05-12 17:55:50Z karl $

epstopdf fails if there is a '%' character in the filename.  Patch and testfile attached.


Will Fischer

tel: 505-665-4149
fax: 505-665-3493

Group T-6, Theoretical Biology
MS K710, Drop Point 03041003U
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, NM 87545

Attachment (epstopdf.filename.patch): application/octet-stream, 418 bytes
Seth Gilchrist | 7 May 06:24 2014

epstopdf crashes with malloc error

I'm using epstopdf as part of LaTeX. The latex compilation fails on a epstopdf error that can be reproduced on the command line:

$ epstopdf --outfile=NeckFractues-eps-converted-to.pdf NeckFractues.eps 
gs: malloc.c:3524: _int_malloc: Assertion `(bck->bk->size & 0x4) == 0' failed.

The eps file can be downloaded  from

Please let me know if you need more information.

System Info:

$ epstopdf --version
epstopdf ($Id: epstopdf.pl 32701 2014-01-17 18:09:54Z karl $) 2.21

$ uname -a
Linux computer01 3.13.0-24-generic #47-Ubuntu SMP Fri May 2 23:30:00 UTC 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Release: 14.04
Codename: trusty

$ /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc.so.6 
GNU C Library (Ubuntu EGLIBC 2.19-0ubuntu6) stable release version 2.19, by Roland McGrath et al.
Compiled by GNU CC version 4.8.2.
Compiled on a Linux 3.13.9 system on 2014-04-12.
Available extensions:
crypt add-on version 2.1 by Michael Glad and others
GNU Libidn by Simon Josefsson
Native POSIX Threads Library by Ulrich Drepper et al