TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

LaTeX compiler on my Debian system works very slowly. For example, file including only a few lines of text compiles several minutes. All this time LaTeX does something, but what exactly it does is what I can't figure out. I think it is unnormal.

I have texlive installed on my computer:

$ tex --version  
TeX 3.1415926 (TeX Live 2009/Debian)  
kpathsea version 5.0.0  
Copyright 2009 D.E. Knuth.

$ cat easyfile.tex  
Here is some text.  

$ latex easyfile.tex 
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-1.40.10 (TeX Live 2009/Debian)
entering extended mode
LaTeX2e <2009/09/24>
Babel <v3.8l> and hyphenation patterns for   english,usenglishmax,dumylang,nohyphenation, bulgarian, ukrainian, russian, loaded.
Document Class: article 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class

Package babel Warning: No input encoding specified for Russian language on  input line 136.

)) (./easyfile.aux (/usr/share/texmf-texlive/tex/latex/cyrillic/t2acmr.fd))
[1] (./easyfile.aux) )
Output written on easyfile.dvi (1 page, 240 bytes).
Transcript written on easyfile.log.

Can somebody help me?

share|improve this question
Welcome to TeX.sx! It would be really helpful if you had a minimal working example (MWE), so either edit your question with the document (even if very basic! The more basic and still slow the better!). System specs and output from compiler will also be really helpful :) – Henrik Hansen Apr 21 '12 at 13:23
Try fc-cache -r. – Siyuan Ren Apr 21 '12 at 13:42
When using Russian for the first time it can happen that the compilation is longer, because the system must generate the metric files for the cyrillic fonts. This wouldn't happen in later compilation, unless a new font must be generated. – egreg Apr 21 '12 at 13:58
But it happens not only for the first time. – vehsakul Apr 21 '12 at 14:02
What happens when it runs without russian? – Henrik Hansen Apr 21 '12 at 14:06

From your comments it results that VARTEXFONTS points to a directory under /tmp, so the generated fonts will be removed by the system maintenance routine.

Try adding

export VARTEXFONTS ~/texlive/2011/texmf-var/fonts

to your .bashrc file. This will create the necessary font files in your home.

Consider also to install TeX Live 2011 http://tug.org/texlive as the Debian version of it is very outdated.

share|improve this answer
More explicit Debian instructions at this page. – Mike Renfro Apr 21 '12 at 18:53
The things are not so clear. As can be seen here [people.debian.org/~preining/TeX/TeX-on-Debian/ch2.html#s2.5] , default location for fonts cache is $HOME/.texmf-var/. This dir exists and isn't empty on my system. Even if tmp' subdir was used (and if the matter is in fonts cache) it would explain slow compilation only for the firts time the system starts up. This being not the case, this answer doesn't solve my problem. – vehsakul Apr 21 '12 at 20:20
@SergeyLukashev Sorry, but I don't think there are other explanations. What happens when you use pdflatex rather than latex? The .log file might be more informative. – egreg Apr 21 '12 at 20:27
@egreg Nothing is changed. There is .log file in the comments above. Anyway, thank you for your help. – vehsakul Apr 21 '12 at 20:40
@SergeyLukashev That's a .log from latex. What's the response from kpsewhich larm1200.tfm? – egreg Apr 21 '12 at 20:45

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.