[XeTeX] Is a XeTeX specific path really needed (was: Experiences with XeTeX on Debian Sarge and Ubuntu Edgy Eft)

Ralf Stubner ralf.stubner at physik.uni-erlangen.de
Tue Oct 24 18:06:02 CEST 2006

Jonathan Kew <jonathan_kew at sil.org> writes:
> I think this indicates an incorrect TEXINPUTS.xelatex value in  
> texmf.cnf. I have seen some distributions that ship with a setting  
> such as
>    TEXINPUTS.xelatex = .;$TEXMF/tex/{latex,generic,}//
> predefined. (From memory, may not be precisely what you have.) This  
> is not a good search path; I recommend something like:
>    TEXINPUTS.xelatex = .;$TEXMF/tex/{xelatex,latex,generic,}//
> instead. 

Is this XeTeX specific search path really needed? Let's look at the
actual files installed in these directories:

* .ini files:


Like other .ini files, these should be placed in


* updates to LaTeX style files (currently url.sty and xkeyval.sty):

These should go somewhere below TEXMF/tex/latex/, so that other engines
together with the LaTeX format can profit from the updates.

* XeLaTeX specific style files (fontspec, euenc, xltxtra, xunicode,

These packages give an error message when not used with XeTeX as engine.
IMO this is better than a 'file not found' error when accidentally
running say pdflatex on a file meant for xelatex. Hence I think
TEXMF/tex/latex/ is better.

* Configuration files for various LaTeX packages (graphics, color, crop,
hyperref, geometry)

These files should be modified such that they can distinguish between
being loaded by XeTeX, pdfTeX, TeX, ... and incorporate the default
behaviour from the relevant packages. I think this is one of the things
that has to be done for getting XeTeX into TeX Live.



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