Every time I run pdflatex my whole home directory is scanned. It takes forever and one cpu core is at 100% usage.

I'm using Ubuntu 12.04 TeXLive packages and can't find where this is set.

kpsepath tex | tr ':' '\n' does not list my home directory directly only ~/texmf and ~/.texmf.

Please help.

  • 1
    It would be helpfull to add the version number of your tex distribution (actuall is 2012) and how you installed the distribution. How do you know that your complete home directory is scanned (I have no Ubuntu)?
    – Mensch
    Oct 26, 2012 at 15:42
  • For completeness texlive-binaries is 2009-11ubuntu2. And I can tell that the whole directory is scanned by using strace.
    – tauran
    Oct 27, 2012 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


You very likely have your $HOME containing a final slash /. This expands to // after $HOME in the definition of $TEXMF and thus all of your home is searched.

By default $HOME does not contain this final /, so it might have been added locally in your init files.

Other than that, on Debian/Ubuntu TeX Live you change settings by adding lines to /etc/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf (creating if necessary).

  • I had to remove the final / in /etc/passwd as that is the source for $HOME. Very annoying...
    – tauran
    Oct 27, 2012 at 11:44
  • 2
    @tauran /etc/passwd should never have trailing slashes on directory names anyway so a bonus side effect of this problem is that you got your system cleaned up.
    – Caleb
    May 12, 2014 at 15:16

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