How to test pdflatex-dev

Phelype Oleinik phe.h.o1 at
Tue Mar 9 04:07:58 CET 2021

Hi Xu,

On Mon, Mar 8, 2021 at 11:46 PM Xu Wang <xuwang762 at> wrote:
> $ sudo /opt/texbin/tlmgr install latex-bin-dev
> [sudo] password for xuwang:
> tlmgr: package repository (verified)
> tlmgr install: package already present: latex-bin-dev

Good, this means it's installed.

> $ which -a pdflatex-dev
> /opt/texbin/pdflatex-dev
> $ file /opt/texbin/pdflatex-dev
> /opt/texbin/pdflatex-dev: symbolic link to pdftex
> However, I did not make the above symbolic link. Not sure where it's a
> result from.

That's normal.  Both executables 'pdflatex' and 'pdflatex-dev' are
symbolic links to the 'pdftex' executable.  The 'pdftex' executable
gets the name of the symlink and runs with that format preloaded, so


is equivalent to

    pdftex &pdflatex-dev

> Thus not a surprise:
> $ pdflatex-dev
> This is pdfTeX, Version 3.141592653-2.6-1.40.22 (TeX Live 2021)
> (preloaded format=pdflatex-dev)
>  restricted \write18 enabled.
> **^C
> $ pdflatex
> This is pdfTeX, Version 3.141592653-2.6-1.40.22 (TeX Live 2021)
> (preloaded format=pdflatex)
>  restricted \write18 enabled.

That's because you stopped TeX too early.  In short, the format ID is
printed when TeX opens the .log file for writing, and that happens
(roughly) when you give it a file to process, but just by calling


on the command line, you didn't give it a file, so the LaTeX version ID
doesn't show up (in hindsight, the command above is what I told you to
do, so sorry about the sloppy instructions).

You seem to have everything correctly installed, so you can try

    pdflatex-dev '\stop'

for a minimal LaTeX run (that prints the version ID), or run

    pdflatex-dev <some-file.tex>

to make LaTeX process that file.  Both should use the prerelease though.


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