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Bug#388399: FTBFS problems on alpha, mips[el]: Please help debugging (was: Bug#388399: Processed: Re: Bug#388399: gnuplot: FTBFS)

Dear Buildd admins, 

there seems to be a problem with packages that build-depend on tetex,
which only manifests on the alpha, mips and mipsel buildds.  We need
your help to investigate this, please see below.

Ralf Stubner <ralf.stubner@web.de> wrote:

> The strange thing is that mktexmf, which is called here, looks like this:
> [...]
> destdir=`echo "$MT_MFNAME" | sed 's%/[^/][^/]*$%%'`
> test -d "$destdir" || "$MT_MKTEXDIR" "$destdir" || exit 1
> cd "$destdir" || exit 1
> [...]
>     cat > "mf$$.tmp" <<END               ### first failure
> [...]
> chmod `kpsestat -xst,go-w .` "mf$$.tmp"  ### second
> rm -f "$mfname"
> mv "mf$$.tmp" "$mfname"                  ### third 
> echo "$destdir/$mfname" >$STDOUT
> echo "$progname: $destdir/$mfname: successfully generated." >&2
> "$MT_MKTEXUPD" "$destdir" "$mfname"
> [...]
>>From the succesfull messages at the end of mktexmf we know that $destdir
> was /home/buildd/.texmf-var/fonts/source/jknappen/ec/, which must have
> existed otherwise the script would have been terminated before. So at
> first sight it looks as if $destdir was created but without write
> permissions. No idea why that could happen.

Buildd admins, could you please check this?  Does any of these
directories exist, and would the user under whose name the build is done
have write access there?

The TeX packages usually create their fonts in a hierarchy below the
user's home directory.  Especially for buildds, we have arranged that
when the home directory does not exist or is not writable, fonts are
cached in /tmp/texfonts.  Could it be that on the affected systems,
the directories in /home/buildd already exist, but are not writable?

Alternatively, it would also make sense to copy /usr/bin/mktexmf to
/usr/local/bin on the buildd and add a "set -x" at the beginning, and
trigger a new build of gnuplot.

Thanks in advance,
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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