error with lualatex but not with xelatex

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at
Thu Jul 27 07:17:04 CEST 2023

I suppose this is anecdotal rather than a useful bug report, but
I'll mention it anyway.

I'm in the process of updating my test files which I use to check
that my source installs on beyond linuxfromscratch work, and adding
more tests to check extra things.  As part of that I have an
ABOUT.tex file to describe the tests, it has had a lot of changes
in the last couple of months and is still very much work in

After looking at how lualatex was being used (e.g. for japanese
vertical text) I decided to move from my original use of xelatex for
ABOUT.tex to lualatex.  All seemed fine, but a few days ago I was
changing the details of how my script detects korean fonts (when I
started out years ago I thought there were none in texlive) and
something in that change apparently broke the build although it had
seemed ok at the time.  To clarify, 'ABOUT.tex' is just the
documetnation, a bash configure script determines which tests
should be able to run and the individual tests have their own tex

A bit later ABOUT.tex no-longer compiled.  I looked and determined
that the commit re korean fonts broke the build.  Saved what I was
trying to add to the file.  Looked at the last commit, all the parts
of the diff looked ok.  Reverted it, tried the parts, in the end it
 worked again.  Committed the restored version and started to worry
that I'm losing my mind.

Changed a test a few hours ago, made some trivial changes to
ABOUT.tex, suddenly it did not work.  Looking through the commits,
the first bad one was the korean changes from several days ago.  Two
parts look ok, the third part looks ok when applied (3 lines of end
context do not show the '}' on the next line.

Lots of head-scratching, then I tried using xelatex - worked fine.

I'm starting to think there is something which randomly errors (but
consistently errors on a given version of ABOUT.tex).

This is texlive-2023 with patches to update LuaTeX to 1.17.0,
and instructions in

I don't expect anyone to care about HOW I'm building it, but I
suppose that if anybody cares they might want to look at what is, or
is not, in the patch.

The results of using lualatex with the file in its current state end

19] [20] (./ABOUT.aux))
(see the transcript file for additional information)
 439 words of node memory still in use:
   3 hlist, 1 vlist, 1 rule, 3 glue, 3 kern, 1 glyph, 6 attribute, 51 glue_spec
, 6 attribute_list, 2 write nodes
   avail lists: 2:560,3:321,4:120,5:321,6:64,7:6760,8:2,9:274,10:7,11:397
! error:  (file ) (type 2): cannot find file ''
!  ==> Fatal error occurred, no output PDF file produced!

Unfortunately the file references six TTF or OTF fonts (one for
latin, greek, cyrillic and 5 for CJK text) and is over 1200 lines
long so I have no chance of providing a MWE (and making random
changes seems to cause the problem to disappear).

Lualatex itself seems to be working fine in my tests, so I'm just
mentioning this here in case it rings any bells with anyone.

I'll attach the source, log and aux files in a tarball in case
anyone is interested.  But I'll go back to xelatex.

    That just goes to show that you never know, although what
    it is we never know I suspect we'll never know. -- Snuff
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