circular dependency when building LaTeX?

Thiago Jung Bauermann bauermann at
Wed Jun 23 23:37:34 CEST 2021

Hi Phelype,

Em quarta-feira, 23 de junho de 2021, às 10:40:16 -03, Phelype Oleinik 
> Hi Thiago,
> On Wed, Jun 23, 2021 at 10:30 AM Thiago Jung Bauermann via tex-live
> <tex-live at> wrote:
> > When trying to build texlive-latex-base, it complains that “! LaTeX
> > requires expl3”. I then add texlive-latex-l3kernel as a build
> > dependency, but that just makes the Guix build system go crazy because
> > (at least on Guix), texlive-latex-l3kernel uses LaTeX to run
> > `source/latex/l3kernel/ l3.ins`.
> Usually |.ins| files should be run with plain TeX, so |tex| or |pdftex|.
> In fact, LaTeX has its own |format.ins|, which would be a LaTeX->LaTeX
> circular dependency, so you need plain for that.

Ah, that’s great to know. I think this information puts me in the right 
path. Thank you for your help.

One thing that threw me off is that in the Guix packaging, all .fmt files are 
in texlive-latex-base so one needs that package even to run plain TeX. :-/

I’ll see if I can distribute the .fmt files in a better way so that I can 
run pdftex or luatex on l3.ins.


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