I always used TeXShop in the Mac for the last 7 years but now I need to run the compilation remotely. If I run in the terminal (bash shell): XeLaTeX file.tex I get kpathsea: Running mktexfmt XeLaTeX.fmt I can't find the format fileXeLaTeX.fmt'!` - my guess it is some basic PATH information is missing. I tried man XeLaTeX but I get no manual entry for XeLaTeX. Is there a way I could just extract the settings TeXShop is using?

In this question I can't find the format file xelatex.fmt the answers are suggestion to re-install texlive but the op there said this did not solve the problem. And here since TeXShop works fine, re-installing does not seem a good idea.

The file exists here: /usr/local/texlive/2014/texmf-var/web2c/xetex/xelatex.fmt

I did sudo hash again as Sean Alfred suggested and this time, it worked. Now it compiles fine.

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    What does which xelatex give you? If you're giving an absolute path to TeXShop, perhaps this path doesn't match which output. Another idea is sudo texhash, but that's just a hunch… I don't really know what it does :) Sep 13, 2014 at 15:21
  • I'm not using TeXShop. With TeXShop everything works smooth. which xelatex gives /usr/bin/xelatex. The sudo hash did some updates but TeX, LaTeX, etc... all halt with the can't find the .fmt file Sep 13, 2014 at 15:31
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    And ls -al $(which xelatex)? Since TeXShop works, it's probably prudent to try and imitate it. It's only running shell commands, after all. Sep 13, 2014 at 15:33
  • /usr/texbin/xelatex -> xetex Sep 13, 2014 at 15:33
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    Same here. Perhaps you just need to reinstall TeX, but I'd wait a little bit here to see if anyone else has ideas. Out of curiosity, do you have multiple versions of MacTeX on the computer? Which is earliest? Sep 13, 2014 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


Try running

$ sudo texhash

As I understand it, this will search the installation for files and register them with kpathsea.

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