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Thread: TeXLive created wrongly formatted pages since Oneiric

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    TeXLive created wrongly formatted pages since Oneiric


    I have a questions to all TeX/LaTeX users.
    Since 1994 I am using TeX/LaTeX quite intensively.
    Since Oneiric (11.10, stable, Lubuntu, 64 bit) the generated
    DVI file is not correct, as a DinA4 page (i.e. the pagesize given)
    is not used as before on all used systems (many Unixes .
    The space on the page is no longer sufficient, i.e. when the page is
    really filled with text, the last lines are on the next page.
    As I rely heavily on TeX, I just switched from Lubuntu 11.10 to
    Debian Squeeze (6.0) and now to Wheezy (Testing; both 64 bit).
    As given by versioning info the TeX/LaTeX versions are all the same
    (belonging to TeXLive 2009 ... still), but in Debian this bug is not
    present but the layout is correct as before and on many platforms.
    I just installed Xubuntu 12.04 Beta (64 bit) and updated everything
    right now - and all documents are generated wrongly in Precise like
    they were generated wrongly in Oneric.
    As all installations were done from scratch (no upgades) and TeXLive full
    and many additional packages are installed I would not consider the
    installation to be the reason for the problem.
    Unfortunately I could not find anything about that bug in the WWW - but
    maybe I am just using the wrong keywords.
    As all documents are affected - also really simple ones - I would expect
    this problem to be seen by all TeX/LaTeX users.
    Are there others here in the forum who have come across this problem?
    Any ideas how such a bug can be effectively reported to Ubuntu (if it
    hasn't been reported yet) - and how one may get more details?
    I would appreciate any idea/help/info - especially as such a bug should
    not be present in the comming stable LTS release of Ubuntu.
    Many thanks in advance!

    Best wishes, JMB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Re: TeXLive created wrongly formatted pages since Oneiric

    It may help if you post a minimal example, along with the behavior you expect, and the behavior you see.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: TeXLive created wrongly formatted pages since Oneiric


    well, I don't think it makes sense to provide a PDF created by TeX/LaTeX
    on Ubuntu verses that on Debian.
    I must admit that as the problem is so extreme that it is clearly visible
    I did not analyse much - and had hoped to get further information from others.
    As explained before every document of mine is generated wrongly.
    I just tried with an Ubuntu and Debian PS-file of the same TeX/LaTeX source,
    made evince scale at 85% and showed them one against the other in two windows.
    The TeX/LaTeX output (placing of images, fonts etc.) is exactly the same,
    but the size of the page size isn't.
    I measered it on screen (cm) just to show the proportion:
    21.5x27.5 Ubuntu
    20.8x28.8 Debian
    with Debian being the correct one (i.e. the page size of all TeX/LaTeX runs
    the last ~20 year I am using TeX (under DOS, Ultrix, OS/2, Linux, cygwin ...).
    And I generated TeX output as scientist under many different language settings
    without any page size trouble - so I don't even think about any local
    customization being in the way ... but I may be wrong.
    The layout is fixed in my LaTeX source by:
    (which is reasonable for Din A4 being about 20.9 cm x 29.7 cm).
    So the rough proportions (height / width) are:
    1.42 Din A4
    1.38 Debian
    1.28 Ubuntu
    So if anyone can transform TeX/LaTeX documents the same way he did before
    Oneiric that person has not the problem I have - the difference is clearly
    visible (and people using TeX/LaTeX tend to spot bad styling in sub-mm range).
    So any questions about further specification makes it clear that the problem
    is not present for the one rising the question.
    Maybe I code in a special way - but the difference between Debian and Ubuntu
    using the same version (TeXLive 2009, IMHO) is strange anyway.
    But as Debian works for me (after a lot of configuration work - not related
    with TeX), I am not in a hurry to use Ubuntu right now.
    The only point to rise my question is - next to curiosity - to help fixing
    a bug in the LTS version. It would habe been the candidate to recommend
    for people not so deeply involved in Unix/Linux ... but I may consider
    Debian Wheezy (Testing) for that purpose now ... making me the 1st spot
    for quesions. I but can only recommend what I (at least sometimes) use.
    But thanks anyway to give that hint - maybe I could clarify what I envisioned.

    Best wishes,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Question Wrong paper default since Oneiric

    Hello - just back in the Ubuntu game,

    well, as I switched to Debian Testing/Wheezy I did not look at the problem
    further. With Ubuntu 12.10 I wanted to check if the problem is solved - and
    it ist not.
    Actually, TeX/LaTeX is correct - the problem is the default paper size being
    letter on the system (/etc/papersize was "letter" not "a4") and thus
      paperconf -n  => letter
      paperconf -s  => 612 792
    As I found no command to change it I did it by hand:
      vi /etc/papersize   => a4
        paperconf -n  => a4
        paperconf -s  => 595.276 841.89
    But I don`t know how to change TeX configuration for all the special
    components (like: dvips/dvipdft/ps2pdfwr/dvipdfmx) and maybe other
    parts of the system configuration depending on that.
    texconfig paper a4
        ... just yields: "This command shouldn't be used on Debian.
                          Please use 'paperconf' instead."
    But paperconf seems not to work for me - and
        tlmgr paper a4
    is not present on the Ubuntu 12.10 system (full TeXLive being installed).

    So I need a way to give the TeXLive package (and maybe other components)
    the correct information and than it would be appropriate to file a bug,
    as I think this is a bug of the Ubuntu installer - as one can just specify
    (giving my choice):
    language (English), Timezone (Berlin time),
    and keyboard (German no deadkeys),
    and I would not guess from that input that the user needs letter format,
    would you? It would even be better to ask paper size seperately than to
    misconfigure a system and hide its configuration (I am an experienced
    Unix admin - maybe I should feel ashamed - but Ubuntu is not designed
    for experts, right?).
    Additionally, with these settings the paper configuration war OK before
    Oneiric (that was the point to switch to Debian for me) and with similar
    settings Squeeze/Stable was OK (which I migrated to Testing/Wheezy,
    the hard way ).
    Can anyone help?

    The Internet is full of pieces of advice for changing paper size - but
    nothing which really fits to Ubuntu (as far as I dug) ...
    If anyone just wonders about the page size just look at:
      pdfinfo <documentname>.pdf
          -> Page size:      595 x 842 pts (A4)
               *** or ***
             Page size:      612 x 792 pts (letter)
      grep -i paper <documentname>.ps
          -> %%DocumentPaperSizes: Letter
             %%BeginPaperSize: Letter
               *** or ***
             %%DocumentPaperSizes: a4
             %%BeginPaperSize: a4
    and if it is not what you want you're in the configuration game, too.

    Any help in making my Ubuntu system fully aware of the changed
    paper size
    is highly welcome and that piece of information may be
    appreciated by others too.
    If I manage this myself I will update this thread, of cause.

    Best wishes, JMB

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    The Netherlands
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: TeXLive created wrongly formatted pages since Oneiric

    Your locale settings is English, so you get the english settings for numbers, papersize, etc.
    I found this page: Locale
    Your language setting (in system settings), LC_PAPER and /etc/papersize seem to be connected. And since you use English in Berlin, the "wrong" preference is chosen.
    On my system the language in the system settings is Dutch, LC_PAPER is nl_NL.UTF-8 and /etc/papersize is a4.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: TeXLive created wrongly formatted pages since Oneiric

    Thanks for the hint to locale - actually it is LANG="en_US.UTF-8".
    It is really strange that giving English to the language question results in US-English and letter format in recent Ubuntu version.
    Before Oneiric, I never saw that kind of problem.
    Additionally, if one does not correct this directly after basic installation, TeXLive is installed using letter format, and the normal commands to change the paper format are absolute useless (i.e. not working in Ubuntu/Xubuntu):
    texconfig pdftex paper a4
    texconfig dvipdfm paper a4
    texconfig xdvi paper a4
    texconfig dvips paper a4
    texconfig paper a4  # should set default papersize for dvips, dvipdfm, pdftex and xdvi.
    texconfig rehash  *or*  texhash  *or*  mktexlsr
    paperconf -p a4
    If someone knows how/if one can change this under *buntu a short description here would be welcome.
    For those having such problems with an installation, one may define aliases or invoking commands with given paper format (here a4) as quick workaround:
    dvips -t a4 ...
    dvipdft -p a4 ...  # same for dvipdfm
    As better "workaround" I just made a fresh installation, changed /etc/papersize to a4 and installed package texlive-full and the other missing packages - and thus TeXLive uses consistently Din A4 paper format (learning the hard way).

    From my point of view the installer is buggy (maybe on purpuse to present people as few questions as possible and neglecting quality; an impression I am getting from Unity, too - many bugs and as far as I have seen no additional customization compared to LTS, like focus-follow-mouse still missing instead of former promises by developers; and with 13.04 focussing on mobile devices it may even get worse).
    Actually I am not very motivated - on the other side the Xubuntu people did a really great job - maybe I can stay on that distro (next to Debian).
    Xubuntu is impressively faster on my machine (Intel 2700k, 16 GB memory, Intel chipset graphics) than Ubuntu (with same additional packages installed) and is after less configuration trouble better to use for my workflow.
    I have trouble seeing the user base for Unity/Ubuntu after my current experience.
    But maybe Xubuntu can regain some users - it seems to deserve 1st place on desktops right now (at least concerning the *buntu derivatives).
    Maybe this is a good motivation to try filing a bug report against the installer.

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