[pdftex] Incorrect "help" text in pdftex

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sun Feb 9 02:44:23 CET 2014

On 2014-02-08 at 17:38:37 -0500, Victor Ivrii wrote:

 >On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 2:55 AM, Byron Hawkins <byronh at uci.edu> wrote:
 >> Hi, thanks for the great program, I just found a problem with the
 >> "help" text. When I type "pdftex --help", it states the following:
 >>     -output-directory=DIR use existing DIR as the directory to
 >> write files in
 >> But in fact pdftex takes the "=" symbol to be part of the
 >> directory name.  So if I execute:
 >>     pdftex -output-directory=build/
 >> the program exits with an error that there is no such directory
 >> (it just says "I can't write on the file"). But if I run
 >>     pdftex -output-directory build/
 >> then it works. So the help text is wrong. The equals sign gets
 >> removed.  Probably the same for all the other "help" entries that
 >> indicate an equals sign. Thanks.

 > On MacOSX and RHEL everything is fine.  Probably the problem is
 > with Debian

It works here too, [pdfTeX 3.1415926-2.4-1.40.13 (TeX Live 2012)].

However, the output directory must exist.

are you absolutely sure that you didn't create the ./build directory
*after* you got the first error message?  Could you check again, just
to be sure?

I get a similar error message if the output directory doesn't exist,
regardless of the "=" sign.  But it mentions the name of the file
which can't be written.

The Debian port of TeX Live is maintained by Norbert Preining.
I don't know whether he's on this list, hence I added him to the CC.

...though I can't believe that he's the culprit.


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
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Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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