I have a document that compiles fine under pdflatex. But when I use lualatex the compilation process ends without doing anything.

The log file has just these line:

This is LuaTeX, Version 1.10.0 (TeX Live 2019)  (format=lualatex 2019.6.18)  18 JUN 2019 09:03
 restricted system commands enabled.
LaTeX2e <2018-12-01>
Lua module: luaotfload-main 2019-05-18 2.97 luaotfload entry point
Lua module: luaotfload-init 2019-05-18 2.97 luaotfload submodule / initializatio
Lua module: lualibs 2019-05-18 2.65 ConTeXt Lua standard libraries.
Lua module: lualibs-extended 2019-05-18 2.65 ConTeXt Lua libraries -- extended c
Lua module: luaotfload-log 2019-05-18 2.97 luaotfload submodule / logging

This error appears even with this minimal document:


Hello world!

I am running TeXLive 2019 running in ubuntu 19.04. TexLive 2018 work ok.

The output in the terminal doesn't show any error:

This is LuaTeX, Version 1.10.0 (TeX Live 2019) 
 restricted system commands enabled.
LaTeX2e <2018-12-01>

Rebuilding the format didn't work.

But the plain TeX document


works fine.

Any idea where to start looking for clues?

EDIT This is my TeXLive 2019 installation profile.

selected_scheme scheme-full
TEXDIR /home/zunbeltz/texlive/2019
TEXMFLOCAL /home/zunbeltz/texlive/texmf-local
TEXMFSYSCONFIG /home/zunbeltz/texlive/2019/texmf-config
TEXMFSYSVAR /home/zunbeltz/texlive/2019/texmf-var
binary_x86_64-linux 1
instopt_adjustpath 0
instopt_adjustrepo 1
instopt_letter 0
instopt_portable 0
instopt_write18_restricted 1
tlpdbopt_autobackup 1
tlpdbopt_backupdir tlpkg/backups
tlpdbopt_create_formats 1
tlpdbopt_desktop_integration 0
tlpdbopt_file_assocs 0
tlpdbopt_generate_updmap 0
tlpdbopt_install_docfiles 1
tlpdbopt_install_srcfiles 1
tlpdbopt_post_cn /usr/local/share/man
tlpdbopt_w32_multi_user 0n /usr/local/share/man
tlpdbopt_w32_multi_user 0
  • 5
    If lualatex wouldn't work at all, don't you think people would have noticed? So it is something special with your system or your document. Show a minimal example. Jun 18, 2019 at 7:19
  • @UlrikeFischer You are right, sorry for my too cryptic question.
    – TeXtnik
    Jun 18, 2019 at 7:41
  • Does a plain tex example (hello \bye) compiles with luatex file? Jun 18, 2019 at 7:46
  • The plain TeX works fine indeed.
    – TeXtnik
    Jun 18, 2019 at 7:53
  • What happens if you add \input{luaotfload.sty} to the plain tex example? Jun 18, 2019 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


The problem was that TEXMFVAR was defined as the same as TEXMFSYSVAR in texlive.profile. Those two folders are owed by root, so luatex is not able to create necessary files while compiling.

The solution is to define TEXMFVAR to other folder; for example, $USR/.texlive/2019

  • Thank you for the reply but I don't get it entirely clear how to do what you suggest.
    – Aradnix
    Aug 6, 2019 at 15:22

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