Reporting bugs in TeX and friends

This web page is about reporting bugs in the original, unmodified, TeX and Metafont programs and the Computer Modern fonts, companion software, and the Computers & Typesetting books, all of which are maintained by their author, Donald Knuth.

In addition, new reports for the next tune-up and a few notable non-bug reports are listed separately.

Contents: submitting reports - research first - candidate software - references.

Submitting reports for the 2029 TeX tune-up

There are two ways to submit reports, one public and one private:

  1. Send email to the public mailing list, tex-k@tug.org. This is preferred, since then many people have the opportunity to review the report, and can often reply more quickly than I can. The report is then also available in the public archives of the list.
  2. Send email to me, karl@freefriends.org, if you want your report (name, email, contents) to be private. It is fine to do this if you prefer; much better than not reporting the bug at all.

Research before sending

Before sending: please do a general web search on your report before you send it in, choosing the relevant search terms, etc., to the best of your ability. Often bugs have already been found and fixed, or deemed not a bug.

Second, if the web doesn't have anything, please check Don's errata files (also distributed in TeX Live at texmf-dist/source/generic/knuth/errata). Try searching (e.g., grep) for keywords; it may not be easy to make your way through the errata files, but do the best you can. Hundreds of detailed bugs have already been reported.

Also, it is helpful to include printed page number references when possible, since that is how Don wants to receive them. It is also helpful to include line number references in the source files (*.web or *book.tex). The ideal would be to include both.

In all cases, what's of interest is true bugs in the code, typos or other outright errors in the text, etc. Requests for enhancements, new features, better explanations, etc., are not going to be reviewed by Don. However, if a report is in the gray area between bug and feature, please go ahead and send it, and we will review it.

Some enhancements, including but not limited to increasing array sizes and other configuration issues, can be, and have been, made in TeX Live and other implementations. So please also check the relevant documentation.

Software for which to send reports

Of course, the most important programs for which bug reports are solicited are TeX and Metafont themselves, and the Computer Modern fonts. In general, the contents of the Computers & Typesetting hardcover series:

Most of the other WEB programs released as part of the Stanford TeX project are also fair game, namely these:

dvitype gftodvi gftopk gftype mf mft pltotf
pooltype tangle tex tftopl vftovp vptovf weave

The main exception is BibTeX; reports for that are best sent to the public BibTeX mailing list (biblio@tug.org). Oren Patashnik, the BibTeX author and still maintainer, will see them there. Again, if privacy is a concern, you can send them to me and I will forward. (There are no particular deadlines or projected tuneup release dates for BibTeX.)

The other exceptions are patgen.web, pktype.web and pktogf.web. Reports for them should also be sent to tex-k@tug.org or to me.

References and thanks

Don's previous tune-up reports were published in TUGboat, and other material is available:

Thanks to Barbara Beeton for giving us the great benefit of her experience in compiling all previous reports.


$Date: 2021/05/19 17:57:28 $;
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