[tex-live] "I can't find the format file" problems

Jacob Head tex-live at jacob-head.com
Tue Feb 23 12:30:46 CET 2010

Dear everyone,

I am a user on a public NetBSD alpha system where the administrator has 
just installed a TeX Distribution. I believe it is tex-live 2009 based 
on the files it generates in my $HOME.

The difficulty I have is that attempting to run TeX generates the following:

$ tex test.tex
This is TeX, Version 3.1415926 (Web2C 2009)

kpathsea: Running mktexfmt tex.fmt
I can't find the format file `tex.fmt'!

I get a similar message when trying to run xetex on the same file (which 
simply says "Hello, World! \bye").

Running luatex produced more output on the screen. The full file should 
be attached and is available at 
<http://www.jacob-head.com/temp/luatex.txt>. I believe that LuaTeX is 
attempting to generate the relevant fmt file before failing with:

! Conflicting pattern ignored.
l.4453 }

! Emergency stop.
l.4453 }

!  ==> Fatal error occurred, no output PDF file produced!
Transcript written on luatex.log.
Error: `luatex -ini  -jobname=luatex -progname=luatex luatex.ini' failed

Running fmtutil --all or fmtutil --missing produces similar error 
messages (also attached and at 
<http://www.jacob-head.com/temp/fmtutil.txt>). Running fmtutil --byfmt 
tex (in an effort to avoid the luatex problems) produces no output.

For what it's worth, I also copied over a working xetex.fmt file and 
placed it in the revelant local directory. XeTeX then fails with:

(./test.tex [1]xdvipdfmx: not found
Error 32512 (driver return code) generating output;
file test.pdf may not be valid.

I appreciate that this may be a different problem.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could proceed from here?

Many thanks,

Best wishes,

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