TeX and the derived programs
luatex have four interaction modes:
- batch mode
- nonstop mode
- scroll mode
- errorstop mode
This is in order of increasing user interaction.
In batch mode nothing is printed on the terminal, errors are scrolled as if
<return> is hit at every error; missing files that TeX tries to input or request from keyboard input (
\read on a not open input stream) cause the job to abort.
In nonstop mode the diagnostic message will appear on the terminal, but there is no possibility of user interaction just like in batch mode.
In scroll mode, TeX will stop only for missing files to input or if keyboard input is necessary.
In errorstop mode, TeX will stop at each error, asking for user intervention.
The four modes can be set in the document using the control sequences
\batchmode \nonstopmode \scrollmode \errorstopmode
wherever one deems this useful. They will change the default interaction mode from the moment TeX will process them; note that interaction mode changes are always global. The default interaction mode is "errorstop", unless declared differently on the command line with the option
tex stands for any typesetting engine known to the system (it could be
pdflatex, for instance, or
xetex or whatever).
Engines with e-TeX extensions (
luatex) can access to the current interaction mode by looking at the internal integer register
that holds the values 0, 1, 2, 3 corresponding respectively to batch, nonstop, scroll or errorstop. One can even change the current interaction mode by saying
thus making it possible to change temporarily the mode and reverting back to the previous one:
<some code where we want not to stop for errors>
(for an application see this answer)
Other useful command line options
-jobname=string sets the name of the job independently of the file on which the engine is run on
-halt-on-error stops the run at the first error (independently on the interaction mode)
-file-line-error changes the format of error messages to show not only the line number, but also the file TeX is currently reading the input from
-shell-escape enables the possibility of running system commands from within TeX
-no-shell-escape disables the above
luatex) produces no PDF output, so it can be useful for syntax checking
There are other options, but are somewhat esoteric or aimed mainly to format building.