[XeTeX] fatal format file error; fmtutil infinite recursion

Peter Dyballa Peter_Dyballa at web.de
Fri Nov 2 00:49:24 CET 2012

Am 01.11.2012 um 19:56 schrieb Lars Huttar:

> When I run xetex, I get the error "Fatal format file error; I'm stymied"

This is obvious: the (/usr/local/texlive/20XY/texmf-var/web2c/xetex/)xetex.fmt file is not OK, does not match the xetex binary. The way to correct the problem is to rebuild the file.

> When I try to correct the problem using fmtutil, I get the error
> "Infinite recursion detected, giving up!."

When you're using "fmtutil" instead of "fmtutil-sys", which must be run with elevated privileges, i.e., with "sudo", you're going to build a private FMT file. This fails, presumingly because the configuration file for the FMT files is not OK. You can determine that file by invoking

	kpsewhich fmtutil.cnf

and check its contents. The command

	fmtutil --catcfg

should type the configuration file's contents as well. The FMT file can by found by running

	kpsewhich --engine=/ --all xetex.fmt 

The command

	tlmgr --help

should give you all details.

A common error I can imagine is that you installed a newer version of TeX and you are using a PATH setting that leads to the old binaries. Some configuration file might have been overwritten so that now the wrong FMT and CNF are used… You can use your system's trace utilities to determine which binaries and other (CNF) files are used to build the FMT file.

Reading on tex.stackexchange.com I can see that:

	fmtutil: /root/.texlive2007/texmf-var/web2c/pdftex/cont-en.fmt installed.

The FMT file created is saved in user root's private area and the user woh tries to typeset the TeX document is using some old FMT file in the system's TeX installation area.

OTOH: why are you using a five years old TeX?! Is CentOS really so far behind or is it just your set-up?

Create the FMT files by running as root fmtutil-sys!



How many Microsoft engineers does it take to screw in a light-bulb?
They just redefine "dark" as the new standard.

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