I am just starting to work with LaTeX for the first time, so I apologize if my question is trivial.

I recently got a first .tex document from my supervising tutor, with the request we compile it twice via pdflatex so that references will work.

After manually installing the TeX Live 2012 distribution, pdflatex fails to compile the document. From what I can understand, the problem is a some kind of missing font:

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, loaded.
Document Class: article 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
kpathsea: Running mktextfm ecrm1000
/usr/share/texmf/web2c/mktexnam: Could not map source abbreviation for ecrm1000.
/usr/share/texmf/web2c/mktexnam: Need to update ?
mktextfm: Running mf-nowin -progname=mf \mode:=ljfour; mag:=1; nonstopmode; input ecrm1000
This is METAFONT, Version 2.718281 (TeX Live 2009/Debian)

kpathsea: Running mktexmf ecrm1000
! I can't find file `ecrm1000'.
<*> ...ljfour; mag:=1; nonstopmode; input ecrm1000

Please type another input file name
! Emergency stop.
<*> ...ljfour; mag:=1; nonstopmode; input ecrm1000

Transcript written on mfput.log.
grep: ecrm1000.log: No such file or directory
mktextfm: `mf-nowin -progname=mf \mode:=ljfour; mag:=1; nonstopmode; input ecrm1000' failed to make ecrm1000.tfm.
kpathsea: Appending font creation commands to missfont.log.

! Font T1/cmr/m/n/10=ecrm1000 at 10.0pt not loadable: Metric (TFM) file not found.
<to be read again> 
l.100 \fontencoding\encodingdefault\selectfont

? x       
No pages of output.
Transcript written on sem-aus.log.

I am pretty sure I set up TeX Live correctly; I also included the distribution in my PATH variable so that the binaries should be found. What is going wrong? I am pretty clueless and thankful for any hints.

Update 1: I installed the TeX Live distribution into /usr/share/texlive/2012/i386-linux, and I see the path /usr/share/texmf-texlive/tex/latex/base/ appear instead - could this be a sign that the pdflatex command is looking in the wrong places? Again, since I have (yet) to learn what the files are used for, I don't know if this hunch makes any sense.

Update 2: I realized the pdflatex command invoked some TeX Live 2009 binary that was roaming around in my system. After removing those packages (hopefully without anything remaining), I will try again and see what happens.

Update 3: Through some weird bash caching mechanism, it was still invoking the old binary even though the PATH was set correctly. I removed all of the texlive packages from my package management system, and finally got it working.

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look on our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format.
    – jub0bs
    May 27, 2013 at 9:35
  • You probably need to install some additional packages which contains the fonts. Btw: TeXLive 2009 is very outdated. Consider to install a current texlive 2012 or 2013pretest (tug.org/texlive). May 27, 2013 at 9:36
  • 1
    @UlrikeFischer I already installed texlive2012! Your comment made me realize that the binary which was executed is somehow in some old texlive distribution that came preinstalled with my system. I'm removing them and trying again. Thank you.
    – MaxAxeHax
    May 27, 2013 at 9:41

1 Answer 1


A quick google search on ecrm1000 gives good results:


Both give the same solution: you need to install texlive-fonts-recommended using your package manager

  • 2
    He would need to if he only had his distribution's version of TeX Live installed on his system. But he also has TeX Live 2012, so the problem is making sure that TL2012 is used when running commands like latex and pdflatex (etc., etc.), and not the OS-installed version of TeX Live, which needs the texlive-latex-recommended.
    – jon
    May 27, 2013 at 16:15
  • 4
    for me installing texlive-fonts-recommended did it (which doesn't seem to be a dependency of texlive-latex-recommended
    – lewurm
    Nov 4, 2014 at 23:33
  • 1
    @lewurm Evidence that you should always install TeX from upstream :) Jan 5, 2015 at 16:44
  • 1
    This was just the tip I needed when I encountered the same error as the OP.
    – Placidia
    Jan 4, 2017 at 21:41
  • 3
    In my case (Fedora 26) the package was texlive-collection-fontsrecommended . Also recommended to install texlive-collection-latexrecommended
    – Nelson
    Aug 4, 2018 at 17:00

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