Approximately a year ago I created a beamer presentation using TeXLive 2009 on Ubuntu and XeLaTeX (since I wanted to use system fonts). Meanwhile I upgraded to TeXLive 2011. Yesterday I tried to run XeLaTeX on the presentation and several errors occurred. I narrowed to first one to be connected with simple lists (!?). Namely, the following MWE compiles successfully:


\begin{frame} \frametitle{First Slide}
This is a list:
%\item First item in a list
%\item First item in a list

Uncomment the commented lines (i.e.add a list) and no pdf file is produced. The last lines in the log file report the following error:

Error 256 (driver return code) generating output;
file test.pdf may not be valid.

I tried Googling this error message bout found nothing. However, I tried compiling the same file on another machine with Linux Mint and TeXlive 2009 and it compiles just fine! It seems that something is changed in TeXLive 2011 (bug!?) that broke Beamer+XeLaTeX and such problems are far beyond my capabilities. Maybe some of you could provide help.

P.S.: There where also other problems like not finding TFM or cfg files which didn't occur previosly with TeXLive 2009.

EDIT: This is the file list produced by \listfiles:

 *File List*
beamer.cls    2011/09/12 development version 3.12 A class for typesetting pre
sentations (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbasercs.sty    2011/09/21 (rcs-revision 42a2c9debdc3)
beamerbasemodes.sty    2010/05/01 (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbasedecode.sty    2010/05/01 (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
ifpdf.sty    2011/01/30 v2.3 Provides the ifpdf switch (HO)
beamerbaseoptions.sty    2010/04/27 (rcs-revision 982469101dd6)
keyval.sty    1999/03/16 v1.13 key=value parser (DPC)

geometry.sty    2010/09/12 v5.6 Page Geometry
ifvtex.sty    2010/03/01 v1.5 Switches for detecting VTeX and its modes (HO)
ifxetex.sty    2010/09/12 v0.6 Provides ifxetex conditional
size11.clo    2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option)
pgfcore.sty    2010/04/11 v2.10 (rcs-revision 1.7)
graphicx.sty    1999/02/16 v1.0f Enhanced LaTeX Graphics (DPC,SPQR)
graphics.sty    2009/02/05 v1.0o Standard LaTeX Graphics (DPC,SPQR)
trig.sty    1999/03/16 v1.09 sin cos tan (DPC)
graphics.cfg    2010/04/23 v1.9 graphics configuration of TeX Live
xetex.def    2009/11/22 v0.94 LaTeX color/graphics driver for XeTeX (RRM/JK)

pgfsys.sty    2010/06/30 v2.10 (rcs-revision 1.37)
pgfrcs.sty    2010/10/25 v2.10 (rcs-revision 1.24)
everyshi.sty    2001/05/15 v3.00 EveryShipout Package (MS)
pgfsyssoftpath.code.tex    2008/07/18  (rcs-revision 1.7)
pgfsysprotocol.code.tex    2006/10/16  (rcs-revision 1.4)
xcolor.sty    2007/01/21 v2.11 LaTeX color extensions (UK)
color.cfg    2007/01/18 v1.5 color configuration of teTeX/TeXLive
xxcolor.sty    2003/10/24 ver 0.1
hyperref.sty    2011/10/01 v6.82j Hypertext links for LaTeX
hobsub-hyperref.sty    2011/04/23 v1.4 Bundle oberdiek, subset hyperref (HO)
hobsub-generic.sty    2011/04/23 v1.4 Bundle oberdiek, subset generic (HO)
hobsub.sty    2011/04/23 v1.4 Subsetting bundle oberdiek (HO)
infwarerr.sty    2010/04/08 v1.3 Providing info/warning/message (HO)
ltxcmds.sty    2011/04/18 v1.20 LaTeX kernel commands for general use (HO)
ifluatex.sty    2010/03/01 v1.3 Provides the ifluatex switch (HO)
intcalc.sty    2007/09/27 v1.1 Expandable integer calculations (HO)
etexcmds.sty    2011/02/16 v1.5 Prefix for e-TeX command names (HO)
kvsetkeys.sty    2011/04/07 v1.13 Key value parser (HO)
kvdefinekeys.sty    2011/04/07 v1.3 Defining keys (HO)
pdftexcmds.sty    2011/04/22 v0.16 Utilities of pdfTeX for LuaTeX (HO)
pdfescape.sty    2011/04/04 v1.12 Provides string conversions (HO)
bigintcalc.sty    2011/01/30 v1.2 Expandable big integer calculations (HO)
bitset.sty    2011/01/30 v1.1 Data type bit set (HO)
uniquecounter.sty    2011/01/30 v1.2 Provides unlimited unique counter (HO)
letltxmacro.sty    2010/09/02 v1.4 Let assignment for LaTeX macros (HO)
hopatch.sty    2011/01/30 v1.0 Wrapper for package hooks (HO)
xcolor-patch.sty    2011/01/30 xcolor patch
atveryend.sty    2011/04/23 v1.7 Hooks at very end of document (HO)
atbegshi.sty    2011/01/30 v1.15 At begin shipout hook (HO)
refcount.sty    2010/12/01 v3.2 Data extraction from references (HO)
hycolor.sty    2011/01/30 v1.7 Color options of hyperref/bookmark (HO)
kvoptions.sty    2010/12/23 v3.10 Keyval support for LaTeX options (HO)
pd1enc.def    2011/10/01 v6.82j Hyperref: PDFDocEncoding definition (HO)
hyperref.cfg    2008/07/11 v1.2 hyperref configuration for XeLaTeX
url.sty    2006/04/12  ver 3.3  Verb mode for urls, etc.
hxetex.def    2011/10/01 v6.82j Hyperref driver for XeTeX
puenc.def    2011/10/01 v6.82j Hyperref: PDF Unicode definition (HO)
stringenc.sty    2010/03/01 v1.8 Converts strings between encodings (HO)
rerunfilecheck.sty    2011/04/15 v1.7 Rerun checks for auxiliary files (HO)
se-ascii-print.def    2010/03/01 v1.8 stringenc: Printable ASCII characters
beamerbaserequires.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbasecompatibility.sty    2010/07/12  (rcs-revision 6648c3177e4e)
beamerbasefont.sty    2010/10/26  (rcs-revision f39336aafb3c)
amssymb.sty    2009/06/22 v3.00
amsfonts.sty    2009/06/22 v3.00 Basic AMSFonts support
beamerbasetranslator.sty    2010/06/11  (rcs-revision 85fd1cc7fc42)
translator.sty    2010/06/12 ver 1.10
beamerbasemisc.sty    2010/06/06  (rcs-revision bff0a9294b45)
beamerbasetwoscreens.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbaseoverlay.sty    2011/09/12  (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbasetitle.sty    2010/09/21  (rcs-revision f0446ed0b6ae)
beamerbasesection.sty    2010/08/29  (rcs-revision e07e85b4cd4a)
beamerbaseframe.sty    2011/09/12  (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbaseverbatim.sty    2011/09/12  (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbaseframesize.sty    2011/09/12  (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbaseframecomponents.sty    2011/09/12  (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbasecolor.sty    2010/06/06  (rcs-revision d1a9b48be06d)
beamerbasenotes.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbasetoc.sty    2010/06/11  (rcs-revision 242ecaa6783b)
beamerbasetemplates.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbaseauxtemplates.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbaseboxes.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbaselocalstructure.sty    2010/09/19  (rcs-revision 9224c5f3ce70)
enumerate.sty    1999/03/05 v3.00 enumerate extensions (DPC)
beamerbasenavigation.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbasetheorems.sty    2010/06/06  (rcs-revision 7e7cc5e53e9d)
 amsmath.sty    2000/07/18 v2.13 AMS math features
 amstext.sty    2000/06/29 v2.01
  amsgen.sty    1999/11/30 v2.0
  amsbsy.sty    1999/11/29 v1.2d
  amsopn.sty    1999/12/14 v2.01 operator names
  amsthm.sty    2009/07/02 v2.20.1
beamerbasethemes.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerthemedefault.sty    2010/06/17  (rcs-revision d02a7cf4d8ae)
beamerfontthemedefault.sty    2010/06/17  (rcs-revision d02a7cf4d8ae)
beamercolorthemedefault.sty    2010/06/17  (rcs-revision d02a7cf4d8ae)
beamerinnerthemedefault.sty    2010/06/17  (rcs-revision d02a7cf4d8ae)
beamerouterthemedefault.sty    2010/06/17  (rcs-revision d02a7cf4d8ae)
mathspec.sty    2009/09/30 v0.2 LaTeX Package (Mathematics font selection for X
etoolbox.sty    2011/01/03 v2.1 e-TeX tools for LaTeX
etex.sty    1998/03/26 v2.0 eTeX basic definition package (PEB)
fontspec.sty    2011/09/18 v2.2a Advanced font selection for XeLaTeX/LuaLaTeX
expl3.sty    2011/10/09 v2900 L3 Experimental code bundle wrapper
l3names.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental namespace for primitives
l3bootstrap.sty    2011/09/10 v2798 L3 Experimental bootstrap code
calc.sty    2007/08/22 v4.3 Infix arithmetic (KKT,FJ)
l3basics.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental basic definitions
l3expan.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental argument expansion
l3tl.sty    2011/09/16 v2831 L3 Experimental token lists
l3seq.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental sequences and stacks
l3int.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental integers
l3quark.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental quarks
l3prg.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental control structures
l3clist.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental comma separated lists
l3token.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental token manipulation
l3prop.sty    2011/09/17 v2839 L3 Experimental property lists
l3msg.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental messages
l3io.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental input-output operations
l3file.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental file operations
l3skip.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental dimensions and skips
l3keys.sty    2011/09/10 v2800 L3 Experimental key-value interfaces
l3fp.sty    2011/09/26 v2857 L3 Experimental floating-point operations
l3box.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental boxes
l3coffins.sty    2011/09/12 v2814 L3 Experimental coffin code layer
l3color.sty    2011/09/07 v2776 L3 Experimental colour support
l3luatex.sty    2011/09/10 v2798 L3 Experimental LuaTeX-specific functions
xparse.sty    2011/10/09 v2900 L3 Experimental document command parser
fontspec-patches.sty    2011/09/18 v2.2a Advanced font selection for XeLaTeX/Lu
fixltx2e.sty    2006/09/13 v1.1m fixes to LaTeX
fontspec-xetex.sty    2011/09/18 v2.2a Advanced font selection for XeLaTeX/LuaL
eu1enc.def    2010/05/27 v0.1h Experimental Unicode font encodings
eu1lmr.fd    2009/10/30 v1.6 Font defs for Latin Modern
xunicode.sty    2011/09/09 v0.981 provides access to latin accents and many oth
er characters in Unicode lower plane
eu1lmss.fd    2009/10/30 v1.6 Font defs for Latin Modern
xkeyval.sty    2008/08/13 v2.6a package option processing (HA)
xkeyval.tex    2008/08/13 v2.6a key=value parser (HA)
xltxtra.sty    2010/09/20 v0.5e Improvements for the "XeLaTeX" format
realscripts.sty    2010/09/30 v0.3 Access OpenType subscripts and superscripts
metalogo.sty    2010/05/29 v0.12 Extended TeX logo macros
t3cmr.fd    2001/12/31 TIPA font definitions
nameref.sty    2010/04/30 v2.40 Cross-referencing by name of section
gettitlestring.sty    2010/12/03 v1.4 Cleanup title references (HO)
umsa.fd    2009/06/22 v3.00 AMS symbols A
umsb.fd    2009/06/22 v3.00 AMS symbols B

Package atveryend Info: Empty hook `AtEndAfterFileList' on input line 22.
  • 1
    'Works for me'. Could you add \listfiles to your input and edit the resulting file list into the question?
    – Joseph Wright
    May 28, 2012 at 7:56
  • 1
    Also for me: no problems at all. May 28, 2012 at 8:04
  • Run tlmgr update --all May 28, 2012 at 8:52
  • I wouldn't like to upgrade all the packages at the moment because I fear that it may produce further complications for me: I'm about to finish my PhD thesis in a few days and the last thing I need is to change the setup when my thesis could brake (for example I'm using the classicthesis package which is quite changed in it's last version - upgrading to it would mean that I will need to modify my files to suit the latest version). I'll better opt to create my presentation on another machine with TeXLive 2009 which seems to work OK.
    – Vladimir
    May 28, 2012 at 9:07
  • Since Joseph Wright and Claudio Fiandrino reported no errors, I guess the problem is with my installation of TeXLive 2011 (although it works well with my thesis files).
    – Vladimir
    May 28, 2012 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


Well obviously XeTeX doesn't find a font. It would be easier if you had mentioned the exact wording of the error with the missing tfm (errors are always important!), but my guess is that you are missing the amsfonts. If yes the following should give errors with pdflatex too:


\begin{frame} \frametitle{First Slide}
This is a list:
\item First item in a list
\item First item in a list
  • I thought to address the fonts error in a separate question. I just mentioned it here. The MWE I provided above does not produce missing font error. Anyway, I compiled the same files several months ago while still using TeXLive2009 (everything else in the set up is the same) without errors whatsoever.
    – Vladimir
    May 28, 2012 at 9:02
  • 2
    @Vladimir: If xetex can't find a font it will not produce a pdf. So a missing font is fatal. And it is important to know which font is giving the problem. So show the exact "missing tfm-message". May 28, 2012 at 9:09

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