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A modernized, complete, self-contained TeX/LaTeX engine, powered by XeTeX and TeXLive.
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Tectonic is a modernized, complete, self-contained TeX/LaTeX engine, powered by XeTeX and TeXLive.

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You should probably click through to the main Tectonic website. This page is just a quick reference for Tectonic developers.

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The “reference sources”

Much of the core code of Tectonic is derived from XeTeX, and we strive to track and maintain compatibility with upstream as much as possible. However, the nature of the Tectonic project is such that its source code is going to diverge from that of XeTeX over time. We can do our best to track the semantics of changes to XeTeX, but the expression of those changes in source form may well change greatly over time.

In this repository, the Git submodule reference_sources links to the “staging repository” that tracks the XeTeX source code that we use as a reference. In particular, the version of the reference code in the submodule is the most recent code whose semantics are guaranteed to be expressed in Tectonic, to the best of our efforts. You don’t need to clone reference_sources to build Tectonic (which is good because everyone is always super confused by how Git submodules work!). It just provides a convenient way for Git to track the exact reference code that we are using at any given time.

Please see the tectonic-staging README for more information. (Or at least, more words on the topic.)


The Tectonic build can be customized with the following features:

serialization (enabled by default)

This feature enables (de)serialization using the serde crate. At the moment, this is only used to read per-user configuration from a TOML file. If this feature is disabled, the per-user configuration file will be silently ignored.

This functionality is optional because it requires the serde_derive crate, which in turn uses Rust’s proc_macro feature. The proc_macro functionality is not available on musl targets, and so must be turned off if you wish to build a completely static Tectonic executable.

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