I am trying to compile a document using fontawesome with XeLaTeX (see this template https://github.com/ReScience/ReScience-submission/tree/master/article). I have Texlive 2016 installed in Ubuntu (installed directly from Texlive's homepage - not Ubuntu repositories). Texlive's tlmgr claims fontawesome is installed. I seem to find evidence of it here:

$ kpsewhich fontawesome.map

To debug the problem, I am trying to compile the following MWE (test.tex):


using the command xelatex test.tex. Where it seems to reach the critical point, the log says:

kpathsea: Running mktextfm FontAwesome
/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/web2c/mktexnam: Could not map source abbreviation F for FontAwesome.
/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/web2c/mktexnam: Need to update /usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/fonts/map/fontname/special.map?
mktextfm: Running mf-nowin -progname=mf \mode:=ljfour; mag:=1; nonstopmode; input FontAwesome
This is METAFONT, Version 2.7182818 (TeX Live 2016) (preloaded base=mf)

kpathsea: Running mktexmf FontAwesome
! I can't find file `FontAwesome'.
<*> ...our; mag:=1; nonstopmode; input FontAwesome

Please type another input file name
! Emergency stop.
<*> ...our; mag:=1; nonstopmode; input FontAwesome

Transcript written on mfput.log.
grep: FontAwesome.log: Ingen sådan fil eller filkatalog
mktextfm: `mf-nowin -progname=mf \mode:=ljfour; mag:=1; nonstopmode; input FontAwesome' failed to make FontAwesome.tfm.
kpathsea: Appending font creation commands to missfont.log.

! fontspec error: "font-not-found"
! The font "FontAwesome" cannot be found.
! See the fontspec documentation for further information.
! For immediate help type H <return>.

I have run updmap-sys and mktexlsr, but that did not seem to help. updmap-sys said (among other things):

Files generated:
       15796 2017-05-10 16:22:38 builtin35.map
       21269 2017-05-10 16:22:38 download35.map
     1688569 2017-05-10 16:22:39 psfonts_pk.map
     1903381 2017-05-10 16:22:38 psfonts_t1.map
     1903376 2017-05-10 16:22:38 ps2pk.map
          14 2017-05-10 16:22:39 psfonts.map -> psfonts_t1.map
     1903383 2017-05-10 16:22:39 pdftex_dl14.map
     1901718 2017-05-10 16:22:39 pdftex_ndl14.map
          15 2017-05-10 16:22:39 pdftex.map -> pdftex_dl14.map
         319 2017-05-10 16:22:38 kanjix.map

Should there have been a xelatex folder as well? What can I do to fix this?

  • Did you add that map to the updmap.cfg file before running updmap-sys? May 10, 2017 at 14:06
  • No, I kind of assumed Texlive had taken care of all necessary set-up when I installed it. I see Map fontawesome.map in '/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/web2c/updmap.cfg'. Is that correct? May 10, 2017 at 14:09
  • That looks correct. If root owns you TeX distribution you need to use sudo updmap-sys. May 10, 2017 at 14:12
  • According to Texlive recommendations, I have installed Texlive under a dedicated system user, 'tlusr'. I ran it as sudo -u tlusr updmap-sys and it seemed to work. I am going to amend my question above with some output from it... May 10, 2017 at 14:24
  • 2
    xelatex doesn't need or use a map, it should use the real font. May 10, 2017 at 14:28

2 Answers 2


fontawesome loads the font by name: \newfontfamily{\FA}{FontAwesome}. The font (fontawesome.otf) is in the texmf-tree in fonts/opentype/public/fontawesome.

On windows this is fine. Linux-Systems the texmf-tree isn't searched by fontconfig and so the font is not found.

Possible solutions

1. Use a file name:


2. Copy the font to your system font folder.

3. Add the texmf trees to your fontconfig.


  • Trying your solution 1 still fails like before. On closer inspection, the is no 'fontawesome.otf' anywhere in my '/usr/local/texlive' tree. Where should that file have come from? May 10, 2017 at 15:27
  • 1
    Oh, there is in /usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/fontawesome/FontAwesome.otf. However, changing your example to \newfontfamily{\FA}{FontAwesome.otf} does not help. May 10, 2017 at 15:32
  • Sorry about the path. Normally it should work if you load it by file name. But I'm on windows so I can't test. Can you load it with \setmainfont{FontAwesome.otf}? May 10, 2017 at 15:49
  • Unfortunately not. Everything I try seems to go wrong from where it says kpathsea: Running mktextfm FontAwesome in the log. May 10, 2017 at 16:09
  • 1
    Ignore map-files. This is not your problem. The problem is why xelatex can't find and load the fontawesome.otf. Perhaps it is due to capitalization. It could matter on linux. Does \newfontfamily{\FA}{FontAwesome.otf} work? May 10, 2017 at 16:15

The FontAwesome documentation says you must use the fontspec package to use with xelatex\documentclass{article} \usepackage{fontspec} \usepackage{fontawesome} \begin{document} \faicon{500px} \end{document} should do it. Note: see the documentation for a full list of all the macros it defines.

PS: The fully updated full TeX Live 2016 already contains fontawesome so I don't understand why you had to install it.

  • I do not recall actually installing the package myself. I just mentioned that tlmgr says it is installed. May 10, 2017 at 15:52
  • Unfortunately, your example still gives the same error as quoted in my question... May 10, 2017 at 16:06
  • 1
    Did you try making a copy of the .otf in your system fonts folder, as suggested?
    – Bernard
    May 10, 2017 at 16:17
  • I had not got to that point yet, but it actually works! May 10, 2017 at 16:27
  • It also works without fontspec. May 10, 2017 at 16:28

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