As I was trying to compile a document with LuaLaTex, which used to compile well before, lualatex finished on an error:

luaotfload | db : Font names database not found, generating new one.
luaotfload | db : This can take several minutes; please be patient.
luaotfload | db : Updating the font names database.
luaotfload | db : Blacklisting 8 files and directories.
luaotfload | db : Whitelisting 0 files.
luaotfload | db : Scanning TEXMF and OS fonts...
luaotfload | db : Scanned 2486 files, 890 new.
luaotfload | db : Scanning OS fonts...
luaotfload | db : Searching in static system directories...
! LuaTeX error ...texmf-dist/tex/luatex/luaotfload/luaotfload-database.lua:2383:
 stack overflow (too many arguments).
<to be read again> 
l.100 \fontencoding\encodingdefault\selectfont


From this thread Compilation error with LuaLaTeX (luaotfload- database.lua), though now it shouldn't be the same problem, I ran the following commands but still got exactly the same error:

$ luaotfload-tool --cache=purge
$ luaotfload-tool -u
luaotfload | db : Font names database not found, generating new one.
luaotfload | db : This can take several minutes; please be patient.
...texmf-dist/tex/luatex/luaotfload/luaotfload-database.lua:2383: stack overflow (too many arguments)

Also, I thought maybe there's still the same old buggy version on my distro, like in the thread, so I tried to:

$ sudo tlmgr restore luaotfload 31286[sudo] password for nico: 
(running on Debian, switching to user mode!)
cannot setup TLPDB in /home/nico/texmf at /usr/bin/tlmgr line 5336.

So, what can I do?

If this may be useful:

$ uname -a
Linux ometeotl 3.16.0-29-generic #39-Ubuntu SMP Tue Dec 16 20:54:13 UTC 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

$ lualatex --version
This is LuaTeX, Version beta-0.76.0-2013121407  (TeX Live 2013/dev/Debian) (rev 4627)

$ luaotfload-tool --version    
luaotfload-tool version "2.4-3"
revision "bd307a8fe8047d322317037c1a832720c236fb48"
database version "2.41"
Lua interpreter: stock; version "Lua 5.2"
Luatex SVN revision 4627
Luatex version 0.76.0
  • Perhaps this bug report is related: github.com/lualatex/luaotfload/issues/275 Jul 1, 2015 at 7:50
  • Well, Ulrike, your link led me back there. I tried this mv /etc/fonts/fonts.conf /etc/fonts/tmprm-fonts.conf and the error doesn't show up. It compiles fine but a font I wanted to use has been replaced by another one, so I don't know if the problem is exactly solved. It's a workaround that creates another problem - less annoying though.
    – zezollo
    Jul 1, 2015 at 8:47
  • Without and example and the log-file it is impossible to tell you something about your font problem. Beside this: your luatex and luaotfload-tool is rather old. Perhaps you should consider to install texlive 2015. Jul 1, 2015 at 9:10
  • Yes, well I don't know how the font problem is related to the first problem in this thread. Now I managed to use the font I want, but I don't know exactly why the previous way of doing it doesn't work anymore. But I guess this is an entirely different question (moreover it involves beamer).
    – zezollo
    Jul 1, 2015 at 9:15

1 Answer 1


So, as stated in the comments, this thread: luaotfload font names database creation crashes

led me to do this:

$ mv /etc/fonts/fonts.conf /etc/fonts/tmprm-fonts.conf

Then the compilation works to the end:

$ lualatex beamer_test.tex

After that, I renamed the file as it was before:

$ mv /etc/fonts/tmprm-fonts.conf /etc/fonts/fonts.conf

And any further compilation does work now. I just had to add a \fontspec{Ubuntu} in each new frame (this document uses beamer) in order to have this font used (although before, \setsansfont{Ubuntu} was enough, at the beginning of the document).

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