I have simple document (don't think about the meaning of Chinese characters, they are there only for testing purpose):

\documentclass[UTF8,a4paper, 11pt]{ctexart}

If I compile it on my Linux machine, with a fresh complete installation of the TEX Live 2013, using:

pdflatex --shell-escape --synctex=1 document.tex

and both simhei.ttf and simsun.ttc are in the same folder like document.tex, then everything is fine and I get a nice PDF file.

However, if any of simhei.ttf and simsun.ttc are missing in this folder, then I am getting error message. Either

!pdfTeX error: pdflatex (file simsun.ttc): cannot open TrueType font file for reading


!pdfTeX error: pdflatex (file simhei.ttf): cannot open TrueType font file for reading

After 4 hours of testing and googling I still cannot figure out where to put these two files to avoid necessity to copy these into document root when I need work with Chinese characters again...

So far I have tested (with no luck):


(Additional fc-cache -fv performed of course.)

The result of fc-list :lang=zh-cn is:

FangSong,仿宋:style=Regular,Normal,obyčejné,Standard,Κανονικά,Normaali,Normál,Normale,Stand    aard,Normalny,Обычный,Normálne,Navadno,Arrunta
Efont Fixed Wide:style=Italic
Efont Biwidth:style=Bold Italic

Any help will be highly appreciated!

  • Welcome to TeX.SX! A tip: If you indent lines by 4 spaces, they'll be marked as a code sample. You can also highlight the code and click the "code" button (with "{}" on it).
    – Adam Liter
    Mar 31, 2014 at 16:26
  • 1
    Something like /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/fonts/truetype/public/chinese should work but you need to run mktexlsr /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local. Never install files by hand into /usr/local/texlive/YYYY as that tree should be reserved for the TeX installation itself.
    – cfr
    Mar 31, 2014 at 22:09
  • 2
    Are you sure you are using pdflatex when it works? I don't quite see how that could but I'm certainly no expert on CJK fonts.
    – cfr
    Mar 31, 2014 at 22:24
  • Does Manual font installation help?
    – Speravir
    Apr 1, 2014 at 0:16

1 Answer 1


Cfr is correct, it was sudo mktexlsr /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local what I was looking for. Thank you!

  • Can you add the precise location where you put the two font files?
    – egreg
    Apr 1, 2014 at 11:12
  • 1
    (Almost) exactly followed Cfr's advise: fonts saved into /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/fonts/truetype and then executed sudo mktexlsr (Path in command is not needed.)
    – Michal Gow
    Apr 6, 2014 at 10:18

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