[tex-live] two config.ps, dvips reads the 'bad' one (for configured paper size)

jean-pierre moreau jpmoreau at gmail.com
Sun Mar 6 06:54:52 CET 2011

I installed texlive-2010 as root in /spare/opt//texlive/2010/,
in a linux slackware 13.1 64 bits system.
It had native tetex-3.0 tex/latex system, that I did not remove,
but completely different paths, and this is not the problem from
below program outputs.

At install-tl: paper size to letter.

Is Ok, in
which has first '@' block (determines default dvips paper size):
   @ letter 8.5in 11in
This is the most recent of the 2 config.ps files, having been
written at my 'install-tl' time.

However dvips default is A4 paper, as it is default in the other
config.ps file
which has first '@' block:
   @ a4 210mm 297mm

>From ($ info dvips), we can deduce it is dvips normal behaviour
that its 'proper' config.ps override the texlive (kpathsea?) one:

  3.4 Dvips configuration files

  This section describes in detail the Dvips-specific `config.*' device
  configuration files (called `*.cfg' on MS-DOS), which override the
  `texmf.cnf' configuration files generic to Kpathsea which Dvips also
  reads (*note Config files: (kpathsea)Config files.).

Somewhat confirming this problem is that kpsewhich and tlmgr
don't find the same config.ps:

  kpsewhich --format="dvips config" config.ps
    #> /spare/opt/texlive/2010/texmf/dvips/config/config.ps
  tlmgr dvips paper
    #> Current dvips paper size (from
/spare/opt/texlive/2010/texmf-config/dvips/config/config.ps): letter

I know I can use the dvips -t or -T options.
And I will probably symlink (or copy) one config.ps to the other.
And naturally, I am not *completely* sure this is not a problem
I have understanding something!

But I find this 'bug'(?) confusing, adding to the difficulty new users
have seeing that TeX drivers have the paper size (or other devices)

Jean-Pierre Moreau

More information about the tex-live mailing list