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Kpathsea: A library for path searching

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3.2.1 Config files

As mentioned above, Kpathsea reads runtime configuration files named `texmf.cnf' for search path and other definitions. The search path used to look for these configuration files is named TEXMFCNF, and is constructed in the usual way, as described above, except that configuration files cannot be used to define the path, naturally; also, an `ls-R' database is not used to search for them.

Kpathsea reads all `texmf.cnf' files in the search path, not just the first one found; definitions in earlier files override those in later files. Thus, if the search path is `.:$TEXMF', values from `./texmf.cnf' override those from `$TEXMF/texmf.cnf'.

While (or instead of) reading this description, you may find it helpful to look at the distributed `texmf.cnf', which uses or at least mentions most features. The format of `texmf.cnf' files follows:

Here is a configuration file fragment illustrating most of these points:

 
% TeX input files -- i.e., anything to be found by \input or \openin ...
latex209_inputs = .:$TEXMF/tex/latex209//:$TEXMF/tex//
latex2e_inputs = .:$TEXMF/tex/latex//:$TEXMF/tex//
TEXINPUTS = .:$TEXMF/tex//
TEXINPUTS.latex209 = $latex209_inputs
TEXINPUTS.latex2e = $latex2e_inputs
TEXINPUTS.latex = $latex2e_inputs

Although this format has obvious similarities to Bourne shell scripts--change the comment character to #, disallow spaces around the =, and get rid of the .name convention, and it could be run through the shell. But there seemed little advantage to doing this, since all the information would have to passed back to Kpathsea and parsed there anyway, since the sh process couldn't affect its parent's environment.

The implementation of all this is in `kpathsea/cnf.c'.


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