kpathsea SELFAUTOLOC is wrong

Vladimir Lomov lomov.vl at
Sat Sep 19 01:48:28 CEST 2020

** Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at> [2020-09-19 01:32:31 +0200]:

> On 2020-09-18 at 14:31:42 -0700, Ben Smith wrote:

>> Hi, I installed texlive 2020 last week on my thinkpad x1 yoga (gen 4)
>> last week, running arch linux. I used the download script from
>> It successfully installed, but is not working. kpathsea seems
>> to be looking for files in the wrong place, and can't find texmf.cnf
>> or latex.fmt or anything. After some digging around I found that
>> SELFAUTOLOC is set to /usr/bin, but my whole texlive is installed in
>> /usr/local/texlive. (I get this by running kpsewhich
>> -var-value=SELFAUTOLOC)

> SELFAUTOLOC is never set to /usr/bin.

It is, this is "automatic" variable:
$ /usr/bin/kpsewhich -var-value=SELFAUTOLOC

I have both TeX Live distribution from TUG and texlive* (distribution)
packages installed.

> Please check your environment variables. Remove all TeX related variables
> from the environment and try again.

> Does Arch Linux really set SELFAUTOLOC to /usr/bin in the environment?
> That would be crazy.  What is the output of


> ?

Here I have nothing and I doubt it is Archlinux to blame, I suspect that Ben
installed both TeX Live into /usr/local/texlive and (standard) Archlinux
texlive* packages but don't change the PATH variable (but that doesn't explain
why Ben got '/usr/local/texlive' on 'kpsewhich -var-value=SELFAUTOLOC').

> Regards,
>   Reinhard

WBR, Vladimir Lomov

Life exists for no known purpose.
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