Re: TeX & LaTeX (can't find format file)

Subject: Re: TeX & LaTeX (can't find format file)
From: Roy Smith (
Date: Sun Feb 27 2000 - 15:33:16 MST

Dear Conrado,

I use it frequently and recall having the same problem.
I did manage to fix it and I've attached the notes that
I wrote up about it at the time.



Conrado W Seibel writes ...

> Is anyone using TeX and/or LaTeX on yellow dog linux champion server
> 1.1?
> If I try to run TeX it complains with:
> I can't find the format file 'tex.fmt'!
> LaTeX complains about not being able to find 'latex.fmt'
> Thanks in advance.
> Conrado
> ----
> Conrado Werner Seibel
> Acqualan Tecnologia & Ambiente S.A. Fone: (48) 333-0577
> Rua Lauro Linhares, 589 FAX: (48) 333-3745
> 88036-002 Florianópolis SC
1st Feb 2000

Attempt to install latest teTeX distribution (1.0.7) directly
from Thomas Esser's site. As per his install instructions
we begin with,

% mkdir /usr/local/temp
% cd /usr/local/temp
% mkdir binaries base doc fonts goodies

ftp> cd /pub/comp/tex/teTeX/current/distrib
ftp> bin
ftp> dir binaries
ftp> prompt
ftp> mget base doc fonts goodies binaries/powerpc-linux-libc61.tar.gz.tar.gz
ftp> quit

The choice of binary assumes that we have glibc2.1.1 (which I hope
we do).

To get this to install properly I also downloaded:


The install shell runs beautifully with the command:

% /bin/sh

The symbolic links to /usr/local/bin, /usr/local/man and
/usr/local/info were set up as part of the menu driven

To get kpsewhich to work and texmf.cnf to be found I had to:

  1. Remove all traces of prior teTeX installation attempts.
      These were parts of srpm packages.

  2. Set the environment variable:
      % setenv TEXMFCNF /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf/web2c
      for each user

  3. Edit /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf.

      The $SELFAUTO... feature doesn't seem to work. The paths
      are expanded incorrectly. The following paths were
      hardcoded here.

      TEXMFMAIN = /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf
      TEXMFCNF = /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf/web2c

      It's not clear if both changes are necessary.

  4. Remove /usr/local/temp. This is just to clean things

latex, xdvi and dvips work as expected. latex is faster than
any other implementation I've ever seen.


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