Yesterday, i.e. a few days after announcement of the release of TeXLive 2019 I downloaded it and installed on my computer and a portable version on my pendrive. And uninstalled TeXLive 2017 version from my computer. Fortunately, I left TexLive 2018 version on my tablet. As an interface and editor I use TeXStudio. To my dismay, the TeX program with my book (at the moment 278 pages) which compiled smoothly using XeLaTeX from TeXLive 2017 and 2018 stopped being compiled using XeTeX from TeXLive 2019 installed on my computer as well as on the pendrive. The message I get from the both reads:

xdvipdfmx:fatal: Unable to find TFM file "cmssbx8". No output PDF file written. fwrite: Broken pipe xelatex.exe:

Anybody can help to identify a reason? Or anybody has experienced a similar problem?
As far as I know, there is no font like "cmssbx8" and it should be replaced by "cmssbx8.pfb" from sansmathfonts package. As I use a lot of different packages it is difficult to provide all the details of the tex program. For this reason I would like to mention the following packages related to fonts I use in my program:



Thank you in advance Zbigniew

  • For comparison with other 2019s and fonts we WILL need your core preamble and at least a few lines that most likely call that font form/size it should be possible in a copy of early part of your tex file to trim down to just a few lines of MWE by positioning an \end{document} to include the error so we can emulate your structure in TeXstudio also helps to confirm your platform (pendrive in win 10?) – user170109 May 5 at 19:33
  • Both platforms: Windows 10 – Zbigniew May 5 at 19:41
  • 1
    The error message is about a tfm, not a pfb. The tfm is normally created on the fly. Try to compile with pdflatex (not xelatex) \documentclass{article}\begin{document} \font\test=cmssbx8 \test abc \end{document}. Perhaps this triggers the creation of the tfm. – Ulrike Fischer May 5 at 21:12
  • Dear Ulrike, Many thanks for your help. Your short font test program compiled nicely by pdflatex from TeXLive 2019. After this compilation my book compiled smoothly by XeLaTeX from TeXLive 2019. In this way my problem has been solved very quickly. Thank you once again Zbigniew – Zbigniew May 5 at 21:35

The error message is about a tfm, not a pfb.

tfm are often created on the fly (when the font has been orginally made with metafont) but this can sometimes fail.

Try to compile with pdflatex (not xelatex)

\font\test=cmssbx8 \test abc 

This will hopefully trigger the creation of the tfm and then xelatex will be able to find it too.

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