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Re: Cygwin: texi2dvi stumbles over texinfo.tex (was: failed checks for a

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: Cygwin: texi2dvi stumbles over texinfo.tex (was: failed checks for automake 1.9.6)
Date: Sat, 20 May 2006 15:48:22 -0500

(Sorry for the delayed reply.)

    | ---! /var/lib/texmf/web2c/etex.fmt was written by pdfetex
    | (Fatal format file error; I'm stymied)

I believe it's a Cygwin problem and/or TeX installation problem on the
particular machine.  In essence, texi2dvi is doing this:
  echo '\input texinfo @bye' >txiversion.tex
  tex txiversion.tex

The error message from TeX means that the binary ("tex", which was
hardwired) being run is trying to load a .fmt that was written by
something else ("etex").  It has nothing to do with the contents of the
file.  I'd expect "tex story" from the command line to fail in the same

Usually the solution would be to rebuild the .fmt file with the right
executable, and usually just removing the .fmt and then invoking the
binary should do that (it is able to make the .fmt automatically these
days, although I don't know if that happens with this Cygwin setup).

In this case, it is not clear to me why running "tex" is trying to read
etex.fmt (normally it would read "tex.fmt"); is Cygwin doing something
with links or shell scripts?

It is also not clear to me why PDF output works; I'd expect the same
error, since the same "tex" binary gets invoked.

I think you need to talk to whomever is responsible for the Cygwin TeX
support.  Meanwhile, I changed texi2dvi to use $TEX instead of
hardwiring "tex" in the version test.  I'm not sure if that will
actually get around this brokenness or not, but it seems desirable in
any case.  You can get it from Texinfo CVS on savannah.gnu.org if you
feel like trying it.

    To reproduce, you could do this, for example:

Not surprisingly, the failure doesn't reproduce for me (the test
succeeds), since my TeX installation actually functions :).

Hope this helps,

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