XeTeX and Fedora 8

By this time you guys probably know that XeTeX is what people have been waiting for ages. It simply can take any font that you dumped in your ~/.fonts directory without installing anywhere. So all the beauty of any OpenType fonts can be seen in full glory in LaTeX. Bravo!

If you have not done it already, you can get rid of your old teTeX for your machine and upgrade to TeXLive 2007, which includes XeTeX by following instructions described here.

But this post is not about the beauty of XeTeX. It’s about the eternal agony of any Linux update procedure. Yes, you guessed it right. The XeTeX in Fedora distributed TeXLive is broken.

So after you update go to CTAN and download all the XeTeX packages. You can do this by a single command (first shift to a temp dir):

wget ftp://tug.ctan.org/pub/tex-archive/macros/xetex/latex/*.zip

Now go to your ~/texmf directory and create a subdirectory called tex/xetex in it, if it is not already there. Change to that directory. Considering you have downloaded the zip files to ~/temp, type this:

find ~/temp -name "*.zip" -exec unzip {} \;

This with unzip all the files in that directory.

Now go one by one to each of the directory and if you see any ".ins" file, run xelatex on each ins file; this will create the .sty files. Now run

texhash

Now you can use XeTeX in its full glory. But hold on a second. You can use XeTeX alright, but the usual “–” to endash and other such LaTeX tricks still won’t work, even if you have used "Mapping=tex-text". For that you need to go here and download "tex-text.map" and "tex-text.tec". Put them in /usr/share/texmf/fonts/misc/fontmapping. If the directory is not there, create it. Run texhash again. Cheers! We have just repaired the broken wings of XeTeX in Fedora 8.

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