I am simply trying to insert pictures into the document; all I get is:

Error: Cannot convert file

No information for converting png format files to eps. Define a converter in the preferences.

And as god is my witness I have tried. I attempted modyfying 'Tools -> Preferences -> File Handling -> Converters' but I am confused as of what exactly is expected. Is there any special requirements for images in Lyx?

The environment is Arch of version bleeding edge and Lyx 2.3.1.

Full error output:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/share/lyx/scripts/convertDefault.py", line 38, in <module>
    output = output.decode()
AttributeError: 'str' object has no attribute 'decode'
Systemcall.cpp (294): Systemcall: 'python -tt "/usr/share/lyx/scripts/convertDefault.py" png "/tmp/lyx_tmpdir.uwjpEexWrZGG/lyx_tmpbuf0/0_home_sebastian_Temp_Felis_silvestris_silvestris_small_gradual_decrease_of_quality.png" eps "/tmp/lyx_tmpdir.uwjpEexWrZGG/lyx_tmpbuf0/0_home_sebastian_Temp_Felis_silvestris_silvestris_small_gradual_decrease_of_quality.eps"' finished with exit code 1
Error: Cannot convert file
No information for converting png format files to eps.
Define a converter in the preferences.
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.19 (TeX Live 2018/Arch Linux) (preloaded format=latex)
 restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode
LaTeX2e <2018-04-01> patch level 5

Systemcall.cpp (294): Systemcall: 'latex "assignment1.tex"' finished with exit code 1

Any help much appreciated, I don't want to go back to LO only because of this.

  • Sure that you need convert png to eps files? Unlike long time ago, actually is not necessary in most cases. You can produce a PDF output directly with pdflatex using png, jpg and pdf images without any conversion, whereas eps images cannot be used with that compiler (they are converted first to pdf images).
    – Fran
    Oct 5, 2018 at 19:21
  • I don't think I have to, nor should I, nor I want to. The above error is produced when I try to 'View DVI' of a document with a picture in it. I don't insist on converting it to EPS, Lyx does. I do not know how to prevent the conversion taking place or how to do it any other way :/
    – muthuh
    Oct 5, 2018 at 20:59
  • 1
    That is the key point. When you ask for a DVI, you force to LyX (to LaTeX) to use only eps images, but why the hell you want the output in the old (and mostly unknown) DVI format ? With "View [PDF(pdflatex)] you will use the PNG directly without problems and the ouput is the well-know PDF format that anyone can open without problems.
    – Fran
    Oct 5, 2018 at 22:06
  • 'View DVI' is the only available option. Glad we are able to come up with some 'key points' means we are getting somewhere.
    – muthuh
    Oct 6, 2018 at 14:57
  • Thank you @Fran you have helped me to solve this. It turns out Lyx were unable to detect the pdf viewer I had installed. After installation of such (mupdf) the option to 'View PDF (pdflatex)' this and other options became present and I am able to render resulting pdf file via 'View' menu. Thanks again man I was banging my head against the wall here. Guess that's what happens when you don't understand the tools too well yet you still trying to use them.
    – muthuh
    Oct 6, 2018 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


Do not use 'DVI' format with documents containing images. Make sure appropriate pdf viewer is present and use 'View PDF(...)' option to render the resulting pdf's.


I had to install texlive-extra-utils and texlive-pstricks to get pdflatex to work.

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