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

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Wed Feb 24 00:24:38 CET 2010

Hi Jacob,

    I am a user on a public NetBSD alpha system where the administrator has 

Thanks for the detailed report.  Unfortunately, I'm sorry, but you need
to find whoever is responsible for this netbsd port.  This area of .fmt
file creation is precisely one of those which varies most widely among
different versions of TeX (Live), and I can't guess as to wehere the
problem really lies.

I can only offer the generic advice to check your
environment variables, and unset anything TeX related.  It's easy for
old settings to cause failures.

If you just want to make a .fmt so you can actually use (la)tex, as
opposed to debugging these failures, running
tex -ini tex.ini
should create a tex.fmt, which you could then move to wherever it will
be found (I wouldn't want to guess, for your system).

In general, fmtutil.cnf gives the commands to create any given .fmt.

    (./test.tex [1]xdvipdfmx: not found

xdvipdfmx is an integral part of XeTeX, not an independent part of the
flow (as dvipdfmx is).  So if it's not in PATH, xetex has no chance of

Hope this helps somehow,

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