I am having a problem similar to that one and already posted there, with emacs, LuaLaTeX, and two PDF viewers (evince, zathura) on Ubuntu 18.04.

Problem: The forward/backward search has gotten really very fragile after my update from 17.04, every few LuaLaTeX compilations, my PDF viewer is either crashing while open, or not even opening after compilation. Pretty much the same behavior with Evince and Zathura.

I am using

  • packages from Ubuntu 18.04, particularly, texlive-base, texlive-luatex, literally, LuaTeX, Version 1.0.4 (TeX Live 2017/Debian)

  • except for Zathura (which I updated to the last stable 0.4.0 from their website, but that actually made no difference because to me it does not seem to be a viewer related thing, as the Ubuntu-packaged Evince crashes as well)

  • TiKZ, glossaries, biber, fixme, includeonly, however, the very same configuration has been working for me with Ubuntu 17.04. I posted some of my settings there.

Based on another question, I have been fiddling around with \include and \input and others of my latex settings (simplifying them, etc.), swapping there and back, including everything and commenting out stuff again. Even with boiling down my latex document to a single use of \input, using status=final (no more fixmes), exluding glossaries (to reduce crossreferencing) does not seem to change that behavior in any way.

My intermediate but unsatisfactory solution: The only thing that seems to be working for me at the moment is to delete the synctex.gz file and then I can work again for a little while.

Has anyone currently a similar problem?

More details

  • It might be a good idea if you specify exactly which LaTeX installation (version etc) you are using. Whether it is upsteam or from Ubuntu. That said, I also see a lot of Evince crashes with lualatex (using TeXLive 2017 frozen, on Ubuntu 16.04)
    – daleif
    Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 16:00
  • 1
    Sure, added some more details. Hope that helps.
    – mfg
    Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 16:53

1 Answer 1


A crashing pdf-viewer doesn't seem to be an issue with LaTeX.

But you are on Ubuntu and you are using Emacs.

Why don't you switch to pdf-tools for Emacs? It is a package on Melpa, the website is here: https://github.com/politza/pdf-tools . It almost replaces out of the box the most functions of a pdf-viewer. Maybe you need to install some packages more (poppler libraries e.g.) in Ubuntu.

Especially jumping to a certain page of the pdf (C-c C-v) works and if you click twice on a certain letter in the pdf, the cursor jumps exactly to this letter in the tex-file. Ok, the latter doesn't work with marginnotes and some other packages, but generally it does a good job.

pdf-tools as a viewer is ok, but printing from the pdf-buffer needs customisation. And unfortunately you can't easily get the size of the pdf. On the other hand it offers a lot of goodies for editing a pdf.

  • If you have a dual monitor setup, it is quite nice to have the PDF view in a separate window. I often use latexmk -pvc (aka running as a demon), I never have issues under pdflatex, only the few times I run this under lualatex.
    – daleif
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 13:02
  • No problem with multiple monitors: open another Emacs-window: C-x 5 2 RET. Open your pdf in that window.
    – Keks Dose
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 13:04
  • Well I still prefer something external, and there is still a bug somewhere (my guess is Evince is updating too fast, since lualatex is a bit slower than pdflatex). Does pdf-tools come with automatic refresh when the file is being compiled by a demon in the back ground?
    – daleif
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 13:18
  • @daleif Yes, there seems to be a bug, but however, at least pdf-tool may allow the OP to go back to work. And if and how often pdf-tools automatically refreshes the buffer, I don't know, sorry.
    – Keks Dose
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 13:21
  • Thanks, I am just trying it out. Haven't known pdf-tools but look nice. However, have already had quite some crashes with a message "edpfinfo server quit unexpectedly" in the minibuffer, also getting apport popups now. However, pdf-tools restart more smoothly.
    – mfg
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 16:45

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