[OS X TeX] A Fix for the Corrupt Font Cache Bug (1)

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Mon Apr 6 17:29:59 CEST 2009


The ``corrupt font cache bug'' on OS X has been traced by Melissa  
O'Neill to a bug in pdftex, present in that program since 2004. The  
incorrect code is also used in other programs, notably dvips, luatex,  
and metapost.

Following the initial discovery, intense debugging by Melissa O'Neill,  
Thanh The Han, and Jin-Hwan Cho, with the help of Jonathan Kew and  
Karl Berry, let to the discovery of related problems in a number of  
TeX fonts and one utility in TeX Live.

It turns out that tlmgr (and hence TeX Live Utility) do not update TeX  
binaries in TeX Live 2008. Consequently you cannot fix the bug by  
updating your TeX  Live distribution with TeX Live Utility. We have  
created a small install package which will update pdftex and dvips in  
TeX Live 2008. The install package is available at


This package will only update TeX Live 2008, but the page also  
provides the pdftex and dvips binaries for users who want to try  
upgrading other TeX-Live-2008-based distributions on their own. For  
example, BasicTeX-2008 can certainly be fixed with these binaries.

This announcement is followed by a second and third message.  The  
second  gives an overview of the bug, and the third gives details of  
the debugging which produced this fix. I urge everyone to read at  
least the second message, because it answers several important  
questions, namely:

Q1) Why did a bug in pdftex affect Mac OS X but no other computer  

Q2) Why might I still encounter the bug after installing the fix?

Q3) Why doesn't the install package fix luatex and metapost?

Q4) Why doesn't the install package fix broken fonts?

Q5) Why doesn't tlmgr upgrade binaries?

Q6) Why is it important to install TeX Live 2009 when it is released?

Dick Koch (an admiring observer of the debugging team)}

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