I have a clean install of texlive. While trying to compile any document which uses either the graphics, graphix, or the xcolor packages, I get errors that the compiler can't find the corresponding .def file.

pdftex.def - if I am using pdflatex
xetex.def - if I'm using xelatex

I have downloaded the graphics-def package from CTAN, and copied the .def files to /texmf-dist/tex/latex/graphics, but I had no luck. Maybe I don't know where the files are supposed to go.

The only thing that worked was putting the .def files in the same directory as my .tex program.

This is surely a path error. Where do I put the def files so that the packages can find them?
EDIT: I'm using Windows and TeXStudio. (Although I'm getting the same errors when I compile via command line)

  • I don't know if you're using e.g. Linux. At least with Ubuntu, you have to edit the /etc/environment file to add the path of TeXLive. Mine is /usr/local/texlive/2016/bin/x86_64-linux. It's strange, though, that you could compile a file, given what you've just said.
    – user101590
    Jul 28, 2016 at 5:47
  • @JBFWP286 I'm sorry, I forgot to mention the OS. I am using Windows 8. The strange thing is, I can compile the program when the .def file is in the same directory as myfile.tex. So I assume I'm unable to locate the general path where the .def file should exist. Jul 28, 2016 at 5:54
  • Thanks for your edit. Exactly, there are problems with your PATH. It seems you must have those files inside C:\some-path\texlive\2016\texmf-dist\tex\latex\graphics-def, as I don't really know the full path you installed TeXLive.
    – user101590
    Jul 28, 2016 at 5:55
  • @JBFWP286 As a matter of fact, I do have those files in ..\texlive\2015\texmf-dist\tex\latex\graphics-def Jul 28, 2016 at 5:57
  • See if you can include the path to your TeXLive (C:\texlive\2015) in your PATH environment variable. See itechtics.com/customize-windows-environment-variables to know how to do so. Then, try to compile again and see if that works.
    – user101590
    Jul 28, 2016 at 6:00

2 Answers 2


Here is just for the records.

Thanks @JosephWright for your help! It was painful.

Remember to download TeXLive from a verified site: http://tug.org/texlive/acquire-netinstall.html

Here's the ISO one: https://www.tug.org/texlive/acquire-iso.html

Hope that helps!!!


Graphics drivers were recently reorganised. For a manual installation, the contents of the graphics-def package has to be installed in(texmf root)/tex/latex/graphics-def/.

However the best solution is to use:

  • TeX Live Package Manager (tlmgr) for TeX Live,
  • TeX Live Utility for MacTeX,
  • MiKTeX Package Manager (mpm) for MiKTeX.
  • I tried to compile with XeLaTeX some (old) Japanese text which once worked just fine but not with the current installation. What exactly should I do with the MiKTeX Package Manager? I get a xetex.def not found with beamer.
    – Matsmath
    Aug 6, 2016 at 17:27
  • 1
    Ask MPM (both as admin abd as user) to install graphics-def.
    – Bernard
    Aug 6, 2016 at 17:42

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