This is a follow up to my earlier question, Corrupted TeXLive2012 installation? (Option clash for currfile). Refer to that question for the history.

With an "updated" TeXLive2012, I am now getting:

LaTeX Error: File `l3candidates.sty' not found.

with this simple example:



The TeXLive Utility says everything is up to date.


  • Can someone confirm that the file above compiles fine for you with TeXLive2012.
  • What is the minimum directories/files that I should delete before attempting to reinstall TeXLive2012? I would very much like to keep the TeXLive2010 and TeXLive2011 releases and not loose them in the process. Is there perhaps something simpler I could do to resolve this?
  • 1
    I can compile your MWE without problem. It produces 2 pages with horizontal and vertical white strips. Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 2:34
  • @GarbageCollector: Thanks. I am assuming you are using TeXLive2012. Wait... It shouldn't produce any output? Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 2:37
  • I am using TeXLive 2012 that I installed fewer than 2 weeks ago. If I add a dummy text test then it produces a tight output with test text. Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 2:39
  • 1
    You can try: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/55614/… Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 7:19

1 Answer 1


It certainly does sound like your installation has gone wrong, as l3candidates should be part of l3kernel, and for me on a freshly-updated TL2012 I do get the file correctly located

palladium:~ joseph$ kpsewhich l3candidates.sty

Rather than go for the drastic approach of reinstalling all of TeX Live, I would just redo this one package. As you mention the TeX Live Utility, I assume you are using a Mac. In that, from the Packages list you can use the Filter box to find l3kernel, select it then choose 'Reinstall Selected Packages' from the Actions menu (Or Option + Cmd + R). Alternatively, at the Terminal you could give in instruction

sudo tlmgr install --reinstall l3kernel

which will also work for Linux and Windows users. (Windows users may need to run the Command Prompt as Administrator, and will certainly not need sudo.) For completeness, Windows users with the same issue can use the TeX Live Manager, user the Match box to find l3kernel. The TeX Live Manageer does not have the 'reinstall' concept available, so you will need to remove l3kernel here then separately reinstall it.

Of course, the 'repair' instructions here are entirely general: if you have what seems to be a corrupted package then you can use the appropriate interface to tlmgr to reinstall (or remove-then-install), rather than have to reinstall all of TeX Live!

  • Thanks Joseph, this seems to work. I had looked for l3candidates.sty and did not see it int he list of pacakges in the TeXLive Utility, and did not know to look for l3kernal. However, don't understand why this was missing, and a reinstall did not fix this issue. Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 22:02
  • @PeterGrill It's not a package, it's just a file, so it does not show up in the manager. You'd see exactly the same with any single missing file from a package made up of lots.
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 22:17

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