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This is related to fontspec (xelatex) finding fonts by name, installed or in TEXMFHOME

When installing an OpenType font in TEXMFHOME (~/texmf) I see the following behaviour with fontspec of TeXLive 2013 on Debian Linux :

Both xelatex and lualatex see the font when it's in
~/texmf/fonts/opentype/emmentaler/emmentaler-16.otf
but not when it's in
~/texmf/fonts/opentype/lilyglyphs/emmentaler/emmentaler-16.otf.

Is that expected behaviour? I recall it should be
~/texmf/fonts/opentype/SUPPLIER/FONTFAMILY/FONT.otf.


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    That's certainly unexpected. Subfolders shouldn't matter. Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 8:19
  • Hm. I checked more closely and found out that it seems to be related to symlinks. The emmentaler/ dir is actually a symlink to the directory containing the font files (if it's relevant: on another partition). When this symlink is in opentype/ both xe- and lua-latex find the font but when this symlink is in a subdirectory of opentype both don't find the font.
    – uli_1973
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 9:02
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    Oh this has just been discussed on the lualatex list last month: "Unfortunately, Kpathsea's subdirectory searching has an irremediable deficiency: If a directory D being searched for subdirectories contains plain files and symbolic links to other directories, but no true subdirectories, D will be considered a leaf directory, i.e., the symbolic links will not be followed. You can work around this problem by creating an empty dummy subdirectory in D. Then D will no longer be a leaf, and the symlinks will be followed." Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 9:35
  • OK, thanks for the clarification. Then the question is: is ~/texmf/fonts/opentype/FONTFAMILY/FONT.otf an acceptable path for personal font files or should the SUPPLIER level be part of the path? (Both ways would work, but I have to decide what to write in the installation instructions.)
    – uli_1973
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 11:02
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    What people do in their local texmf tree is their own decision. If they have many fonts there some order is useful, but not necessary. So for most users a "somewhere below ~/texmf/fonts/opentype/ is quite enough. For the insecure users which ask for precise instruction and fret over small differences I would mention an example path like in the main texmf tree with SUPPLIER. Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 11:11

1 Answer 1

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This has just been discussed on the lualatex list last month:

Unfortunately, Kpathsea's subdirectory searching has an irremediable deficiency: If a directory D being searched for subdirectories contains plain files and symbolic links to other directories, but no true subdirectories, D will be considered a leaf directory, i.e., the symbolic links will not be followed. You can work around this problem by creating an empty dummy subdirectory in D. Then D will no longer be a leaf, and the symlinks will be followed.

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