Where I can find the source code of pdflatex.exe?

Edit 1

This is quoted from the link given by @TH.

pdfTeX is built on top of TeX, written by Donald Knuth cum suis (Liang and so), and eTeX, written by Peter Breitenlohner cum suis; part of the paragraph optimization is inspired by the work of Hermann Zapf.

Does it imply that the source code of pdflatex.exe will invoke TeX and eTeX ?


1 Answer 1


On CTAN. http://ctan.org/tex-archive/systems/pdftex/

Links to the source code repository can be found on tug.org.

To answer your follow up question, pdflatex does not invoke tex or etex. Rather, pdfTeX implements the ε-TeX extensions.

  • 1
    @TH. : thanks. By the way what is the difference between pdftex.exe and pdflatex.exe ? Please see my update also.
    – xport
    Mar 9, 2011 at 9:02
  • 2
    @xport pdflatex is a shortcut for pdftex -fmt=pdflatex. See pdftex -help. Mar 9, 2011 at 9:13
  • @Andrey: Oh, pdflatex.exe = pdftex.exe -fmt=pdflatex. Unbelievable.
    – xport
    Mar 9, 2011 at 9:27
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    @xport: There are four ways to choose a format: the (base) name of the binary (e.g., pdflatex), via &format (e.g., pdftex &pdflatex, via -fmt (e.g., pdftex -fmt pdflatex), and via the first line of the input file (e.g., %&pdflatex).
    – TH.
    Mar 9, 2011 at 9:32
  • @TH. : So the definition of pdflatex must exist first because it will be used by pdftex. It does not make sense actually. In my mental model, pdftex is more mature than pdflatex.
    – xport
    Mar 9, 2011 at 9:39

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