I have a latex document which uses the awesomebox package. On my old Widows system with MikTeX I could easyly install this package and use it with pdflatex.

Now im using Linux and want to install it too. I installed texlive via the debian repository.

A bit of searching located the awesomebox package in the texlive-xetex debian-package and I installed it.

But if I compile my document with pdflatex I get the following error:

 ! Package awesomebox Error: You are trying to use awesomebox
(awesomebox)                 with something else than xelatex or luatex .

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

What can I do to use the package with pdflatex? The use of windows or not pdlatex is not an option!

Minimal example:


\warningbox{Warn me of something}

  • Your code compiles fine for me using pdflatex on Ubuntu with the packaged texlive installation. Just do sudo apt install texlive-full on the command line and it should work. Not sure why it isn't working for you. Perhaps the fact that you got it from the texlive-xetex package is what's doing it.
    – JPi
    Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 16:26

1 Answer 1


The error message you quoted should happen when using old versions of awesomebox.sty with a TeX engine different from XeTeX and LuaTeX. This is indeed the case with the version of awesomebox in Debian stretch, but not with the version from Debian buster.

Start of awesomebox.sty in Debian stretch:


  You are trying to use awesomebox\MessageBreak
  with something else than xelatex or luatex
  Please abort now with <ctrl+d>

Start of awesomebox.sty in Debian buster:

% Try to just depend on fontawesome5 package
% https://ctan.org/pkg/fontawesome5

If you look at the upstream website, it seems that using fontawesome5 as opposed to fontawesome, is what allowed awesomebox.sty not to be limited to XeTeX and LuaTeX anymore. This can be somehow confirmed by comparing /usr/share/doc/texlive-doc/latex/awesomebox/README in stretch:

(...) This means all the magic of this package only exists if you previously installed FontAwesome on your system and made it available for use with XeTeX. Yes, this package requires you to use XeLaTeX too.

with /usr/share/doc/texlive-doc/latex/awesomebox/README.md in buster:

Awesome Boxes is all about drawing admonition blocks around text to inform or alert your readers about something particular. The specific aim of this package is to use FontAwesome 5 icons to ease the illustration of these blocks. (...)

(no mention of the TeX engine requirement anymore).

Conclusion: either you didn't try it in buster, or you have an old version of awesomebox.sty that shadows the one from buster. In the latter case:

  1. First run mktexlsr as root.

  2. Then, under your normal user account for LaTeX, run kpsewhich awesomebox.sty to identify the precise file LaTeX is using (you may also want to try kpsewhere awesomebox.sty to list all files with this name found in the various TEXMF trees).

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