How can I externalize TikZ in such a configuration? There is my MWE:


\documentclass[a4paper, 10pt]{article}
    \usepackage[left=30mm, right=10mm, top=15mm, bottom=25mm]{geometry}
    \usepackage[english, russian]{babel}
    \usepackage{amsmath, amssymb, mathrsfs, bm}
    \usepackage{indentfirst, graphicx}
    \usepackage[labelsep = period]{caption}



\setmathfont{XITS Math}



\tikzset{external/system call={lualatex -fmt=preamble.fmt \tikzexternalcheckshellescape -halt-on-error -interaction=batchmode -jobname "\image" "\texsource"}}


    lorem ipsum $x^2 + y^2 = 4$

        \draw (0, 0) -- (2, 2);

Command lines:

luatex -ini -jobname="preamble" "&lualatex" mylatexformat.ltx preamble.tex
lualatex --shell-escape -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode --fmt preamble --output-directory ./out "document".tex

Error message: document.log (excerpt):

\openout3 = picturrre.md5

\openout3 = document.auxlock
===== 'mode=convert with system call': Invoking 'lualatex -fmt=preamble.fmt -she
ll-escape -halt-on-error -interaction=batchmode -jobname "picturrre" "\def\tikze
xternalrealjob{document}\input{document}"' ========

\openout3 = document.auxlock

! Package tikz Error: Sorry, the system call 'lualatex -fmt=preamble.fmt -shell
-escape -halt-on-error -interaction=batchmode -jobname "picturrre" "\def\tikzex
ternalrealjob{document}\input{document}"' did NOT result in a usable output fil
e 'picturrre' (expected one of .pdf:.jpg:.jpeg:.png:). Please verify that you h
ave enabled system calls. For pdflatex, this is 'pdflatex -shell-escape'. Somet
imes it is also named 'write 18' or something like that. Or maybe the command s
imply failed? Error messages can be found in 'picturrre.log'. If you continue n
ow, I'll try to typeset the picture.

See the tikz package documentation for explanation.
Type  H <return>  for immediate help.

l.29    \end{tikzpicture}

This error message was generated by an \errmessage
command, so I can't give any explicit help.
Pretend that you're Hercule Poirot: Examine all clues,
and deduce the truth by order and method.

picturrre.log (full):

    This is LuaTeX, Version 1.0.4 (TeX Live 2017/Debian)  (format=preamble 2019.12.3)  3 DEC 2019 12:54
     system commands enabled.
    Lua module: luaotfload-main 2017/01/29 2.80001 OpenType layout system.
    Lua module: lualibs 2017-02-01 2.5 ConTeXt Lua standard libraries.
    Lua module: lualibs-extended 2017-02-01 2.5 ConTeXt Lua libraries -- extended collection.(using write cache: /home/cloun/.texlive2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic)(using read cache: /var/lib/texmf/luatex-cache/generic /home/cloun/.texlive2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic)
    luaotfload | conf : Root cache directory is /home/cloun/.texlive2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/names.
    luaotfload | init : Loading fontloader “fontloader-2017-02-11.lua” from kpse-resolved path “/usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/tex/luatex/luaotfload/fontloader-2017-02-11.lua”.
    Lua-only attribute luaotfload@state = 5
    Lua-only attribute luaotfload@noligature = 6
    Lua-only attribute luaotfload@syllabe = 7
    luaotfload | init : Context OpenType loader version “3.027”
    Inserting `luaotfload.node_processor' at position 1 in `pre_linebreak_filter'.
    Inserting `luaotfload.node_processor' at position 1 in `hpack_filter'.
    Inserting `luaotfload.define_font' at position 1 in `define_font'.
    Lua-only attribute luaotfload_color_attribute = 8
    luaotfload | conf : Root cache directory is /home/cloun/.texlive2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/names.
    Inserting `luaotfload.aux.set_sscale_dimens' at position 1 in `luaotfload.patch_font'.
    Inserting `luaotfload.aux.patch_cambria_domh' at position 2 in `luaotfload.patch_font'.
    Inserting `luaotfload.aux.fixup_fontdata' at position 1 in `luaotfload.patch_font_unsafe'.
    Inserting `luaotfload.aux.set_capheight' at position 3 in `luaotfload.patch_font'.
    Inserting `luaotfload.rewrite_fontname' at position 4 in `luaotfload.patch_font'.
    luaotfload | main : initialization completed in 0.094 seconds

    JOB NAME         : "picturrre"
    CUSTOMISED FORMAT: "preamble"
     article.cls    2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
      size10.clo    2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option)
    geometry.sty    2010/09/12 v5.6 Page Geometry
      keyval.sty    2014/10/28 v1.15 key=value parser (DPC)
       ifpdf.sty    2017/03/15 v3.2 Provides the ifpdf switch
      ifvtex.sty    2016/05/16 v1.6 Detect VTeX and its facilities (HO)
     ifxetex.sty    2010/09/12 v0.6 Provides ifxetex conditional
       babel.sty    2018/02/14 3.18 The Babel package
     english.ldf    2017/06/06 v3.3r English support from the babel system
     amsmath.sty    2017/09/02 v2.17a AMS math features
     amstext.sty    2000/06/29 v2.01 AMS text
      amsgen.sty    1999/11/30 v2.0 generic functions
      amsbsy.sty    1999/11/29 v1.2d Bold Symbols
      amsopn.sty    2016/03/08 v2.02 operator names
     amssymb.sty    2013/01/14 v3.01 AMS font symbols
    amsfonts.sty    2013/01/14 v3.01 Basic AMSFonts support
    mathrsfs.sty    1996/01/01 Math RSFS package v1.0 (jk)
          bm.sty    2017/01/16 v1.2c Bold Symbol Support (DPC/FMi)
    indentfirst.sty    1995/11/23 v1.03 Indent first paragraph (DPC)
    graphicx.sty    2017/06/01 v1.1a Enhanced LaTeX Graphics (DPC,SPQR)
    graphics.sty    2017/06/25 v1.2c Standard LaTeX Graphics (DPC,SPQR)
        trig.sty    2016/01/03 v1.10 sin cos tan (DPC)
    graphics.cfg    2016/06/04 v1.11 sample graphics configuration
      luatex.def    2018/01/08 v1.0l Graphics/color driver for luatex
     caption.sty    2016/02/21 v3.3-144 Customizing captions (AR)
    caption3.sty    2016/05/22 v1.7-166 caption3 kernel (AR)
    subcaption.sty    2016/05/22 v1.1-161 Sub-captions (AR)
        umsa.fd    2013/01/14 v3.01 AMS symbols A
        umsb.fd    2013/01/14 v3.01 AMS symbols B
       ursfs.fd    1998/03/24 rsfs font definition file (jk)

    ! Emergency stop.
    <*> ...\tikzexternalrealjob{document}\input{document}

    Here is how much of LuaTeX's memory you used:
     6 strings out of 490450
     100000,154059 words of node,token memory allocated
     469 words of node memory still in use:
       6 hlist, 2 vlist, 2 rule, 1 dir, 5 glue, 1 kern, 6 attribute, 49 glue_spec, 6
     attribute_list, 1 write nodes
       avail lists: 2:14,3:1,4:2,5:9,7:1,8:2
     7965 multiletter control sequences out of 65536+600000
     57 fonts using 4052259 bytes
     9i,0n,26p,0b,31s stack positions out of 5000i,500n,10000p,200000b,100000s
    !  ==> Fatal error occurred, no output PDF file produced!

Those error messages are not informative, I can't find what I miss, hope you can help.


1 Answer 1


I prepared my MWEs in order to illustrate the problem itself, but I would go deeper in the answer to be somewhat instructive.

At first, document.tex with a precompiled preamble is being compiled with --output-directory ./out, and this causes lualatex to divert its document-related rubbish into ./out directory, . being the project root.

It is phenomenological that one must use the \endofdump directive again when he calls external tikz syscall, an appropriate string turns to be

\tikzset{external/system call={lualatex --shell-escape --fmt preamble --halt-on-error --output-directory ./out -jobname "\image" "\endofdump\texsource"}}

However, if one specifies --output-directory ./out in that tikzset string again, compilation aborts with the following error:

! error:  (file picturrre.pdf) (pdf backend): cannot find image file 'picturrre.pdf'

It seems that brand new pdf with tikzpicture is expected to be at the project root, ., but it resides within ./out besides its .md5, .log and so on. Thus, there are two alternatives: one should either remove output dir from tikzset string, or write \tikzexternalize[prefix=out/].

The second variant causes tikz-externalized pdf image with its satellites to go to ./out/out dir, but they are expected at ./out, and the following error occurs:

! error:  (file out/picturrre.pdf) (pdf backend): cannot find image file 'out/picturrre.pdf'

So we try to remove --output-directory ./out from tikzset string while retaining tikz prefix to be out/. It causes tikz-externalized pdf image with its partners to go to ./out dir, where all other rubbish is located, but you still need ./out/out dir because .md5 files go there (their path is ./output-dir/externalize-prefix, but other files go just to ./externalize-prefix dir). The document compiles flawlessly.

However, if one uses gnuplot with tikz/pgf, .gnuplot and .table files will go to the project root because of --output-directory parameter being omitted from the tikzset string, hence it is not possible to divert gnuplot rubbish to ./out dir as well (but if one actually could, he would write

\pgfkeys{/pgf/plot/gnuplot call={cd out && gnuplot}}

after \begin{document} to force gnuplot to search for .gnuplot files automatically).

  • Ah, so for the original issue, the tl;dr is: use "\endofdump\texsource" in the system call, instead of just "\texsource". And the output directory was just an unrelated complication. Nice job figuring it out! Dec 3, 2019 at 15:26

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