[pdftex] [Support Request] Cross-compilation of pdftex

Paulo Ney de Souza desouza at math.berkeley.edu
Mon Oct 31 01:40:56 CET 2011

  But that should not be much of an impediment. Kaveh Bazarghan and 
Jonathan Kew have managed to compile XeTeX for the iPhone


and the work for the iPad and Android should be of similar magnitude.

The biggest impediment would be dealing with file system - which is very 
different, in the iOS case, and not as much so on Android.

It is easy to compile C for Android target, and that should be the 
preferred path here


I have used TeX in both WindowsCE and Sharp Zaurus which were way more 
difficult to deal with ... here at the pointers to those compilations:



The lack of a Android distribution is the sole reason why I pack 3 
devices to go these days, I would be really nice to see it included in 
TeXLive one day ... :)

Paulo Ney

On 10/30/2011 4:09 PM, john Culleton wrote:
> On Sat, 29 Oct 2011 23:45:04 +0200
> Kevin Jonas Young<youngkevinjonas at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> Hi support team of pdftex,
>> I tried contacting the pdftex developers with my question, however I
>> received no answer.
>> First of all, thank you infinitely for writing and maintaining such a
>> great piece of software, which pdftex is!
>> I hope I can provide my share of service to the TEX community with
>> what follows.
>> My wish is to cross compile pdftex against the Android-ARM target
>> (using NDK), because I can't stand the fact that for
>> tablets there exists simply no good typesetting software. I had a look
>> at your build system, but for a layman
>> it's easy to get confused.
>> Therefore I'd be thankful if some of you developers could provide me
>> with a rundown on your build system and its
>> complexity - for in order to compile pdftex with the Android SDK, I
>> need to replicate the steps of your build system
>> using the NDK build system (simplified makefiles).
>> Or do you have better suggestions?
>> Thanks a bunch!
>> Kevin
> TeX was not designed to work on, or produce output for, online devices
> like tablets.
> Operational pdftex creates dvi or pdf files only. Either format
> converts easily to Postscript. To get to operational pdftex for an OS
> not falling in the MSWIN, OS X Linux or BSD families a compiler may
> need to be written.
> The original programming for TeX was done in a special language
> invented by Donald Knuth. I don't know what it is written in now. I
> suspect C.
> Specialized online devices tend to use variants of the html language,
> such as moibus, kindle or ePub.
> Is it doable? of course. But the Great Wall of China was a doable
> project also. When your tablet will support pdf then pdftex (or Context
> etc.) will produce files for that device.

Paulo Ney de Souza
University of California, Berkeley

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