[OS X TeX] Why does TeXShop want to re-build pdflatex format (and fail)

jfbu jfbu at free.fr
Fri Dec 8 10:18:28 CET 2017


I downloaded TeXShop 3.92, and I had this issue:

TeXShop reports it tried to build a the pdflatex format
and failed: it fails to find pdflatex.ini

Although I don't know the root cause, I know the
triggering circumstances: it is because I have my
TeXLive configured with an extra


repertory alongside the


and the texbin (from my  /Library/TeX/Distributions/TeXLive-2017.texdist)

was pointing to the darwingmacports.

When I reset this symlink to target the default
x86_64-darwinlegacy all is fine with TeXShop.

It seems there is something hardcoded in TeXShop 3.92
which makes it believe that format needs to be rebuild
when the texbin points to


Error console:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.18 (TeX Live 2017/MacPorts 2017_1) (preloaded format=pdflatex)
  restricted \write18 enabled.

kpathsea: Running mktexfmt pdflatex.fmt
mktexfmt: mktexfmt is using the following fmtutil.cnf files (in precedence order):
mktexfmt:   /usr/local/texlive/2017/texmf-dist/web2c/fmtutil.cnf
mktexfmt: mktexfmt is using the following fmtutil.cnf file for writing changes:
mktexfmt:   /Users/JOHNDOE/Library/texlive/2017/texmf-config/web2c/fmtutil.cnf
mktexfmt [INFO]: writing formats under /Users/JOHNDOE/Library/texlive/2017/texmf-var/web2c
mktexfmt [INFO]: --- remaking pdflatex with pdftex
mktexfmt: running `pdftex -ini   -jobname=pdflatex -progname=pdflatex -translate-file=cp227.tcx *pdflatex.ini' ...
warning: Could not open char translation file `cp227.tcx'.
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.18 (TeX Live 2017/MacPorts 2017_1) (INITEX)
  restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode
! I can't find file `pdflatex.ini'.
<*> *pdflatex.ini
(Press Enter to retry, or Control-D to exit)
Please type another input file name:
! Emergency stop.
<*> *pdflatex.ini
No pages of output.
Transcript written on pdflatex.log.
mktexfmt [ERROR]: running `pdftex -ini   -jobname=pdflatex -progname=pdflatex -translate-file=cp227.tcx *pdflatex.ini >&2 </dev/null' return status 1
mktexfmt [ERROR]: return error due to options --strict
mktexfmt [INFO]: Disabled formats: 2
mktexfmt [INFO]: Not selected formats: 20
mktexfmt [INFO]: Failed to build: 1 (pdftex/pdflatex)
mktexfmt [INFO]: Total formats: 23
mktexfmt [INFO]: exiting with status 1
I can't find the format file `pdflatex.fmt'!

Additional info:

I see in the preferences

kpsetool -w -n latex tex

and if I try manually

$ kpsetool -w -n latex tex pdflatex.ini

it appears ok.

Notice also that the above seems to try to create the
format in my $HOME, if it had succeeded it could have
caused problem when I later update TeXLive and the formats
are recreated system-wise.



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