(kpathsea.info)TeX or Metafont failing
18.104.22.168 TeX or Metafont failing
If TeX or Metafont get a segmentation fault or otherwise fail while
running a normal input file, the problem is usually a compiler bug
(unlikely as that may sound). Even if the trip and trap tests are
passed, problems may lurk. Optimization occasionally causes trouble in
programs other than TeX and Metafont themselves, too.
Insufficient swap space may also cause core dumps or other erratic
For a workaround, if you enabled any optimization flags, it's best to
omit optimization entirely. In any case, the way to find the facts is
to run the program under the debugger and see where it's failing.
Also, if you have trouble with a system C compiler, I advise trying
the GNU C compiler. And vice versa, unfortunately; but in that case I
also recommend reporting a bug to the GCC mailing list; see *note Bugs:
To report compiler bugs effectively requires perseverance and
perspicacity: you must find the miscompiled line, and that usually
involves delving backwards in time from the point of error, checking
through TeX's (or whatever program's) data structures. Things are not
helped by all-too-common bugs in the debugger itself. Good luck.
One known cause of trouble is the way arrays are handled. Some of
the Pascal arrays have a lower index other than 0, and the C code will
take the pointer to the allocated memory, subtract the lower index, and
use the resulting pointer for the array. While this trick often works,
ANSI C doesn't guarantee that it will. It it known to fail on HP-UX 10
mchines when the native compiler is used, unless the `+u' compiler
switch was specified. Using GCC will work on this platform as well.
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