[OS X TeX] Error: I can't write on file '(name)'

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Thu Mar 22 18:35:26 CET 2007

Le 22 mars 07 à 17:20, Alain Schremmer a écrit :

> (1)  I tried to install nano. After I downloaded it, I got the  
> usual incomprehensible (for me) stuff on the terminal, the short of  
> it is that it can't install nano.

No need to install anything, it's already there, part of OS X:

theo0mc234:~ brunovoisin$ which pico
theo0mc234:~ brunovoisin$ which nano
theo0mc234:~ brunovoisin$ cd /usr/bin
theo0mc234:/usr/bin brunovoisin$ ls -l
total 287592
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root  wheel    116752 Mar 21  2005 nano
lrwxr-xr-x    1 root  wheel         4 Aug 24  2006 pico -> nano

Sorry, I should have been more specific.

> (4) As per Dyballa's terminal-free approach, I opened texmf.cnf  
> with SubEthaEdit.
> However, there is no openout, openin, etc in texmf.cnf

That's normal if you're speaking of gwTeX and opened /usr/local/gwTeX/ 
texmf.cnf: this texmf.cnf contains only changes to the standard setup  
defined deeper in the gwTeX tree, in /usr/local/gwTeX/texmf/web2c/ 
texmf.cnf taken verbatim from TeXLive.

gwTeX uses this standard setup, adding to it the modifications  
specified in /usr/local/gwTeX/texmf.cnf. Because gwTeX doesn't modify  
openout_any and openin_any by default, it's normal there is no  
mention of these variables inside /usr/local/gwTeX/texmf.cnf.

Meaning that you need to *add* to /usr/local/gwTeX/texmf.cnf the  
following line:

openout_any = r

Actually, given your original log file contains a "dot" file:

>    )/usr/local/teTex/bin/powerpc-apple-darwin-current/pdflatex: Not
>    writing to ../ChapterEdit/049.aux
>    (openout_any = p)
>    !I can't write on file ../ChapterEdit/049.aux'.
>    \@include ..\immediate \openout\@partaux#1.aux
>    \immediate \write \@partauÂ…
>    l.34 \include{../ChaptersEDIT/\jobname}

and given the comments inside usr/local/gwTeX/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf  
regarding "dot" files:

> % Allow TeX \openin, \openout, or \input on filenames starting with  
> `.'
> % (e.g., .rhosts) or outside the current tree (e.g., /etc/passwd)?
> % a (any)        : any file can be opened.
> % r (restricted) : disallow opening "dotfiles".
> % p (paranoid)   : as 'r' and disallow going to parent directories,  
> and
> %                  restrict absolute paths to be under $TEXMFOUTPUT.
> openout_any = p
> openin_any = a

I think it's actually "a" that you need to use, instead of "r",  

openout_any = a

Or did I misunderstand something in Jonathan's original explanation?

> I hate to be such a nuisance but I am now completely at sea.

Actually it's rather me who's at sea: I just purchased the DVDs of  
season 2 of The Outer Limits last weekend, and watched this episode  
in which planet Mars is covered with a sea of sand inside which  
hostile marine creatures are hiding like sharks, unsuspected, waiting  
to make their lunch of astronauts foolish enough to wander on this  
sand. Watching this was like a trip to childhood (when I first saw  
this episode), almost bringing tears to my eyes...

Now, maybe I should look at some books on granular matter, to see if  
a sea of sand could flow in the way that it was supposed to flow in  
that episode ;-)

Bruno Voisin
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