error with lualatex but not with xelatex

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at
Thu Jul 27 09:21:36 CEST 2023

Hi all,

this is a matter of Unicode shaping and you can see it also with
Devanagari fonts. All of them work with xelatex but not with lualatex
and there is no error message, just the output is wrong. I have not
tried with TL 2023.

Zdeněk Wagner

čt 27. 7. 2023 v 8:05 odesílatel N. Andrew Walsh
<n.andrew.walsh at> napsal:
> Hi Ken,
> I'm not sure how much help it would be (I'm definitely not an expert), but I seem to recall that the CJK packages are different for lualatex vs xelatex. Under xelatex I used the xeCJK package, but that doesn't seem to work under lualatex, so I had to switch to loading {luatexja-fontspec} in my preamble.
> I don't see any reference to either in your file, but maybe that helps?
> N. Andrew Walsh, PhD, Dr. phil.
> Komponist, Musikwissenschaftler | Composer, Musicologist
> er/ihn/ihm/sein | he/him/his
> Berlin
> On Thu, Jul 27, 2023 at 7:17 AM Ken Moffat via tex-live <tex-live at> wrote:
>> 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
>> progress.
>> 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
>> files.
>> 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
>> or
>> 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
>> with:
>> 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.
>> ĸen
>> --
>>     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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