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I have been trying to start using xelatex.

My configuration:

Debian: testing
Texlive: 2013.20140408-1 

Taking the minimal example from

unicode-math and amsmath environments viz

\setmathfont{XITS Math}


    α = \beta^2_i + β^2_i


and running xelatex on it I get:

kpathsea:make_tex: Invalid fontname `XITS Math/ICU', contains ' '

! fontspec error: "font-not-found"
! The font "XITS Math" cannot be found.
! See the fontspec documentation for further information.
! For immediate help type H <return>.

l.4 \setmathfont{XITS Math}


With some help from comp.text.tex, I tried replacing the: \setmathfont{XITS Math} with



None of this worked until I tried: \setmathfont{xits-math.otf}

Can you point me someplace where I can study how to specify xetex fonts under debian?

I was pointed to: texdocs which is evidently needed for linux users. However, the file which I am supposed to copy to /etc:

/var/lib/texmf/fonts/conf/texlive-fontconfig.conf does not exist on my system.

So, in addition to figuring out how to handle xetex fonts in debian, my more general question is:

Would you recommend that I dump Debian's texlive and move to a CTAN download?

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When you say texlive wich package have you installed? texlive-full or another one? texlive-full have all the package, doc, fonts, and so you can found on debian distrib – Romain Picot Jun 5 '14 at 7:28
Welcome to TeX.SX! Your TeX Live seems to be 2013, so there's no compelling reason to use the “vanilla” one (although I'd prefer to). Did you try something like fc-list | sed '/:.*$/s///' that should print on the terminal the list of available fonts? – egreg Jun 5 '14 at 7:39
Welcome to TeX.SX! – Andrew Swann Jun 5 '14 at 7:41
@RomainPicot I dont have texlive-full just texlive. If using full is recommended I'll do that. I was just avoiding considering that anyway I'll need to go for the CTAN one. – Rusi Jun 5 '14 at 9:28
@egreg: Yes I know (somewhat) about fc-list. My question was more of the nature of the where/what/how of matching (xe)tex's notions of fonts to the system's notion(s) – Rusi Jun 5 '14 at 9:31

I'm currently on Debian (testing), where I installed a full TeX Live with

apt-get install texlive-full

From what I can get, it seems that only some fonts are made visible to the system with an entry in /etc/fonts/conf.d

The relevant entries are


and, indeed, if I try

\setmainfont{Latin Modern Roman}


\setmainfont{TeX Gyre Termes}

I get what's expected, because these fonts have been made known to the OS. Unfortunately, probably due to time limitation on the maintainer of TeX Live/Debian (our heroic Norbert Preining), only some font families are registered in /etc/fonts/conf.d

If you install a full vanilla TeX Live from TUG, then the method of adding the provided configuration file to /etc/conf.d should allow you to call all fonts by name. Fonts not made known to the OS must be called by file name, I'm afraid.

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