Take the 2-minute tour ×
TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I just installed TeX Live on Ubuntu 10.04 using the install-tl-unx.tar.gz package. However, when I tested the installation I noticed that it cannot compile to DVI but it can compile to PDF.

My document for testing the installation is simply as follows:

This is a document

which I compile using latex test.tex. This results in the compiled file test.dvi, however it cannot be opened and is only 240 bytes.

The contents of the compilation log is below. Any ideas on what is causing this problem and how I can fix it?

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.3-1.40.12 (TeX Live 2011)
(format=latex 2012.3.8)  8 MAR 2012 18:43 entering extended mode 
restricted \write18 enabled.  %&-line parsing enabled.
**test.tex (./test.tex LaTeX2e <2011/06/27> Babel <v3.8m> and hyphenation patterns for english, dumylang, nohyphenation, ge
rman-x-2011-07-01, ngerman-x-2011-07-01, afrikaans, ancientgreek,
ibycus, arabi c, armenian, basque, bulgarian, catalan, pinyin, coptic,
croatian, czech, danis h, dutch, ukenglish, usenglishmax, esperanto,
estonian, ethiopic, farsi, finnis h, french, galician, german,
ngerman, swissgerman, monogreek, greek, hungarian,  icelandic,
assamese, bengali, gujarati, hindi, kannada, malayalam, marathi, or
iya, panjabi, tamil, telugu, indonesian, interlingua, irish, italian,
kurmanji,  lao, latin, latvian, lithuanian, mongolian, mongolianlmc,
bokmal, nynorsk, pol ish, portuguese, romanian, russian, sanskrit,
serbian, serbianc, slovak, sloven ian, spanish, swedish, turkish,
turkmen, ukrainian, uppersorbian, welsh, loaded .
Document Class: article 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
(/usr/local/texlive/2011/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo File:
size10.clo 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option) )
\c@part=\count79 \c@section=\count80 \c@subsection=\count81
\c@subsubsection=\count82 \c@paragraph=\count83
\c@subparagraph=\count84 \c@figure=\count85 \c@table=\count86
\abovecaptionskip=\skip41 \belowcaptionskip=\skip42
\bibindent=\dimen102 ) No file test.aux. \openout1 = `test.aux'.

LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OML/cmm/m/it on input line
2. LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 2. LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for T1/cmr/m/n on input line 2. LaTeX Font Info:   
... okay on input line 2. LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for
OT1/cmr/m/n on input line 2. LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input
line 2. LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMS/cmsy/m/n on
input line 2. LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 2. LaTeX Font
Info:    Checking defaults for OMX/cmex/m/n on input line 2. LaTeX
Font Info:    ... okay on input line 2. LaTeX Font Info:    Checking
defaults for U/cmr/m/n on input line 2. LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay
on input line 2. [1

] (./test.aux) )  Here is how much of TeX's memory you used:  198
strings out of 493630  2112 string characters out of 3143368  49273
words of memory out of 3000000  3591 multiletter control sequences out
of 15000+200000  3640 words of font info for 14 fonts, out of 3000000
for 9000  831 hyphenation exceptions out of 8191  23i,4n,17p,151b,107s
stack positions out of 5000i,500n,10000p,200000b,50000s

Output written on test.dvi (1 page, 240 bytes).
share|improve this question
You should compile with pdflatex test.tex or xelatex test.tex in order to obtain PDF as output. Alternatively, latex test.tex, followed by dvips test.dvi, followed by ps2pdf test.ps would yield test.pdf. –  Werner Mar 8 '12 at 17:58
@Werner ... or latex followed by dvipdfm(x). However, I think perhaps the OP just haven't tried a viewer that can actually view a DVI file. Josh: In which viewer did you try to open the DVI? –  Torbjørn T. Mar 8 '12 at 18:04
I tried Evince which supports the dvi file format –  Josh Mar 8 '12 at 18:09
See askubuntu.com/questions/18387/how-to-view-dvi-files-with-evince, perhaps Evince can't find the necessary libraries. –  Torbjørn T. Mar 8 '12 at 18:12
@torbjon-t: Seems like you are right. I am able to open the dvi with xdvi without problems. The issue lies with Evince. Thanks :-) –  Josh Mar 8 '12 at 18:17
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 9 down vote accepted

There is no error, the output is correct. Perhaps your desktop environment does not know how to open the file.

You need a program that can open DVI files, such as Evince or xdvi (the latter should have been installed with TeX Live). Once the program is installed, you can either invoke it from command line (say, xdvi my-file.dvi) or set up your file manager to open DVI files with this program (if this had not been already done automatically).

It is most likely, however, that you don't need DVI altogether and should use PDF instead. See What is the practical difference between latex and pdflatex? for the reasoning.

share|improve this answer
I used Evince to open the dvi file, which did not work. Also, I agree that I should use PDF instead, but the fact that DVI is not working is making me suspect that there is something broken with my installation. Perhaps it is dvi-specific, but I do not want to find out the hard way the night before a paper is due. –  Josh Mar 8 '12 at 18:13
@Josh -- (building on this point), you may want to try to open the file from the command line using xdg-open, which uses "your" preferred application to open that filetype (if you haven't made any changes to your preferences, it should be xdvi). –  jon Mar 8 '12 at 18:16
The problem was with Evince, the outputted dvi file was fine. –  Josh Mar 8 '12 at 18:19
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.