I am trying to understand how fonts work with (plain) LuaTeX.

I use the standard ConTeXt suite, and I made a luatex-plain format using the file luatex-plain.tex from the distribution:

luatex --ini luatex-plain.tex

If I define this file (foo.tex)

\test NZQRC

It compiles okay with

luatex --fmt=luatex-plain.fmt foo.tex

The same also works with TrueType fonts.

But if I use the msbm10 font ("blackboard"), I get:

!LuaTeX error (file msbm10): Font msbm10 at 72 not found
 ==> Fatal error occurred, no output PDF file produced!

If I add the \starttext ... \stoptext and compile it using context instead of luatex, it works all right.

So, at this point I am quite puzzled. How can I use the msbm10 font in plain LuaTeX?

Edit: The problem was that I was using luatex from a ConTeXt installation. With luatex from TeXlive, it works all right. Thanks.

1 Answer 1


Note: you are not using "plain", but something that is related to ConTeXt. luatex-plain.tex is only in the ConTeXt distribution, and it surely has a very special way of dealing with fonts. If you really want plain TeX, then use plain TeX. Just call

luatex foo.tex

and you are fine. Even with the msbm10 font.

If this answer is not what you are looking for, please write what you want to achieve.

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