pdflatex on TL2020 complains about not finding l3backend-pdfmode.def

David Carlisle d.p.carlisle at gmail.com
Mon Sep 28 22:19:52 CEST 2020

the backed file is now l3backend-pdfmode.def (or l3backend-luatex.def) the
pdfmode.def file is no longer used.
If it is being referenced then either your formats didn't get remade
fmtutil-sys --all
should remake them
or you have a local format that is masking the ones made by the system
check with
kpsewhich --engine=pdftex --all pdflatex.fmt
that you don't have an old local pdflatex format in your input path

On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 at 21:10, AC <achirvasub at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have two machines running vanilla-installed TL, migrated[0] from 2019 on
> both.
> I have compiled with pdflatex on both just fine.
> After a recent upgrade, running 'pdflatex' (i.e. the command pdflatex
> <tex-file> in a linux terminal) on one of them (henceforth BAD) results in
> the error that l3backend-pdfmode.def cannot be found.
> On the other one (henceforth GOOD) everything works fine, even though
> l3backend-pdfmode.def is not present there either.
> On both machines I have l3backend-pdfmode.def in
> <path-to-texlive>/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/l3backend/
> but GOOD runs without issues without that file in the analogous 2020
> folder, whereas on BAD I have to copy that file to
> <path-to-texlive>/2020/texmf-dist/tex/latex/l3backend/
> to fix the problem.
> ---
> References:
> [0] https://tug.org/texlive/upgrade.html
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