[tex-live] freeze of binaries and possible format file problem

Nelson H. F. Beebe beebe at math.utah.edu
Thu Sep 24 02:59:39 CEST 2009

Yesterday, I did a tlmgr update of our TeXLive 2009 tree, and this
morning, discovered this problem on some architectures:

	% latex
	This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-1.40.10 (TeX Live 2009)
	 restricted \write18 enabled.
	(Fatal format file error; I'm stymied)

The Sun Solaris SPARC and SGI IRIX versions work fine, but I see the
error on GNU/Linux (AMD64, SPARC, IA-32, IA-64), and Solaris AMD64.
System call traces verify that the identical latex.fmt file is being
loaded in each case.

On a private GNU/Linux AMD64 system, I ran fmtutil to generate
personal copies of all *.fmt files, and once made, latex runs without

The puzzling thing is that all systems report version
3.1415926-1.40.10, so the memory dumps in the .fmt files should be

Can anyone else verify similar behavior?  We certainly don't want to
burn DVDs with inconsistent .fmt files.

I then made an experiment: I reran "fmtutil-sys --all" to regenerate
all of the *.fmt files, and retried my experiment.  The results are

Next, I regenerated latex.fmt on Solaris AMD64: latex then works on
that system, but latex on Solaris SPARC is now broken.

In our older default TeX 3.1415 (C version installation, I
keep the *.fmt files in platform-dependent directories, so as to allow
different versions of TeX on each architecture.  However, with TeX
Live being built from common source code, such distinctions should be


- Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254                  -
- University of Utah                    FAX: +1 801 581 4148                  -
- Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB    Internet e-mail: beebe at math.utah.edu  -
- 155 S 1400 E RM 233                       beebe at acm.org  beebe at computer.org -
- Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, USA    URL: http://www.math.utah.edu/~beebe/ -

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