[OS X TeX] MacTeX-Live 2011 and broken pdftex

Randy Scott scott_randy at sccollege.edu
Fri Jul 22 13:43:40 EDT 2011


After using MacTex-Live 2008 for the previous 3.5 years on my iMac (Intel
Core Duo 2.8 GHz, 4 Gb RAM, 10.6.8), I thought I'd be clever and update to
MacTex-Live 2011.

The download went well, and I unstuffed the package with no problems. The
installer seemed to do its job. Heck, I even read the "READMEFIRST" file. I
checked the system preferences pane and sure enough, MacTeX-Live 2011 was
the selected TeX distribution.

I then began work on the latest project, and when I went to typeset, BAM!,
lots of unseemly errors! Most seemed to be related to pdfTeX, which all of
my 2000 or so documents are written in. Yikes!

Examining the log file, the first warning listed is

>> (/Users/rscott 
>> 1/Library/texmf/tex/latex/oberdiek/tex/generic/oberdiek/ltxcmds.
>> sty
>> Package: ltxcmds 2009/08/05 v1.0 Some LaTeX kernel commands for general use
>> (HO
>> )
>> )
>> LaTeX Warning: You have requested, on input line 406, version
>>                `2010/12/07' of package ltxcmds,
>>                but only version
>>                `2009/08/05 v1.0 Some LaTeX kernel commands for general use
>> (HO)
>> '
>>                is available.
>> ! Undefined control sequence.
>> l.417 \ltx at IfUndefined
>>                       {pdftexversion}{%
>> ? 

Hmmm . . . I started up the TeX Live utility, found the oberdiek package,
and got the info on the package titled "ltxcmds." TeX Live reported that the
version date was actually later than 2010/12/07 (I seem to recall
2011/04/??, but I don't have that on this particular computer.)

The next error was a missing \begin{document} which was clearly not the
case, so I suspected some conflict from the above error.

Finally, I got the message

>> l.417 \ltx at IfUndefined{p
>>                         dftexversion}{%
>> ? 
>> ! Package pdftex.def Error: Option `pdftex' requires pdfTeX,
>> (pdftex.def)                but pdfTeX features are missing.
>> (pdftex.def)                Loading of this driver file is aborted.
>> See the pdftex.def package documentation for explanation.
>> Type  H <return>  for immediate help.
>>  ...            
>> l.422   }\@ehc

OK, now I was really worried, since I¹m pretty sure that MacTeX-Live 2011
was supposed to have handled all those sorts of details.

I went ahead and changed distributions to my BasicTeX-Live, and created a
simple file using TeXShop¹s LaTeX template (no pdfTeX and compiling with
LaTeX -> DVI -> PS -> PDF). It worked beautifully. Switching back to
MacTeX-Live 2011, that same basic document typeset with no problems.

I redownloaded the MacTeX-Live 2011 distribution, installed it and got the
same behavior.

However, when I try anything with pdf, I get all the same errors.

My knowledge of the internal computer workings is slightly less than
minimal, so if one of you could offer any insight into how to return my
distribution to working order, I would really appreciate your help.


Randy Scott
Santiago Canyon College
Orange, CA

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