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 :) – Sean Allred Sep 13 '14 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 – Sergio Parreiras Sep 13 '14 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. – Sean Allred Sep 13 '14 at 15:33
  • /usr/texbin/xelatex -> xetex – Sergio Parreiras Sep 13 '14 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? – Sean Allred Sep 13 '14 at 15:35

Try running

$ sudo texhash

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

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