I have noticed that when compiling or rather typesetting with XeLaTeX, I experience very different compilation times on different Operating Systems.

When I typeset on Windows, the compilation process seems to “hang” for a short while (around 10 seconds or so), especially after eu1lmr.fd, i. e. this is the last line in the console for this time and nothing seems to happen. Then the process goes back to “normal speed” where the lines are rushing up quickly.

On Mac OS, I can compile just fine and the lines are running up smoothly and there is no such “interruption” of the typesetting process.

I am using TeXworks on Windows 7 and TeXShop and TeXworks on Mac OS X 10.7. I have TeXLive 2011 on a Ubuntu 11.10 server with x86_64-darwin and win32 packages.

To me this phenomenon seems document-independent, this is why I am not providing a MWE.

Why does it occur, though?

Thank you in advance for any information you are able to provide.

  • 1
    XeTeX use system libraries to provide font handling functionality. So its performance shall be system dependent. Besides, generally all programs' performances are system dependent, the difference can be very small or noticeable depending on what you are working on. For example, Linux's GNU C Library's math functions are significantly slower than Windows and Mac. Anyway that is off-topic. The bottom line you shall not expect things work exactly the same on different platforms. Also, what do you mean darwin and win32 on Ubuntu? That makes no sense.
    – Yan Zhou
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 16:30
  • I thought that there would be OS-dependent differences but I didn’t expect them to be this big. And to the Ubuntu thing: I have a Ubuntu server running on which I installed the TeXLive distribution with the darwin, linux and win32 binaries and I compile via network access. Maybe I phrased it a little unclear in the post. Commented May 24, 2012 at 17:19
  • I was just curious. However I still don't understand, even you installed win32 binary, that binary won't run on a Ubuntu server unless I missed something. OS-depedent differences can be large if two binaries use different libraries at all (e.g., XeTeX), because they are not doing the same work after all
    – Yan Zhou
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 17:54
  • You’re right, the win32 binaries won’t run on the Ubuntu server. They are just laying there to be available in the whole network, although they are updated by the normal tlmgr under Ubuntu because it is installed as one distribution (see more here) Commented May 24, 2012 at 18:43
  • I know how to add non-native binaries to the TL distribution through tlmgr. But even you installed say darwin binary on the server, how do you use it without having a local copy on your Mac? Even with SSH it is still running on the server. So what is purpose to have Win32 and Mac binaries on a Linux server? Sorry about such questions. Don't feel obligated to answer my very non-sense questions.
    – Yan Zhou
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


I suspect it's a problem with the font cache XeTeX needs to locate the installed fonts; try running

fc-cache -fv

to rebuild it. On Macintosh systems, fontconfig isn't used, so this problem doesn't occur.

  • I suspected something font-related as well. I am going to try this, then. Commented May 24, 2012 at 17:20
  • I have just tested it and it does not give me any significant improvement. I actually took time and it sat at eu1lmr.fd for around 1m40s for a standard template document without any text besides the \maketitle. I get the following error, although fc-cache says it succeeded: c:/windows/fonts: caching, new cache contents: 905 fonts, 0 dirs `X:/2011/texmf-var/fonts/cache: cleaning cache directory` `Failed to exec utime` `: Permission denied` `fc-cache: succeeded` Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 10:15
  • 1
    @brian-ammon Sound's as if fc-cache didn't have enough privileges: This is exactly the error message I get when fc-cache doesn't have writing access to the cache directory. In this case, the cache can't be updated, of course, so the compiling time doesn't improve. Try running fc-cache as an administrator or altering the access permissions of the cache directory.
    – diabonas
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 14:39
  • That solved it, thanks. Now it stops for less than 0.5s after eu1lmr.fd. It didn’t work straightaway because I forgot that I had set my Samba share (where my TeX installation lives) to read only access. But with write access it works like a charm. Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 15:19

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