John Heidemann / Other Stuff / Free Unix / DVIPS Formatting on Redhat Linux

This web page documents an annoying bug that exists in the DVIPS/TeTeX configuration of Redhat Linux 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 (and possibly other versions).

Problem: LaTeX (and other documents) are printed with the wrong margins on RedHat Linux 7.1 (and other versions). Specifically, the top margin is too small, and the bottom margin is too large.

As an example, see:

See RedHat Bugzilla bug #50660 for a discussion of this bug.

Why: Dvips seems to default to a4 paper size, while latex defaults to us lettersize paper size. They get confused, and dvips places lettersize output with a4 positioning.

Unfortunately, as of August, 2002, this this bug remains unresolved in Redhat’s distribution.

Updated August 2006 to reflect the need to configure pdftex as well.

Fix: I have proposed that Redhat automatically configure the system so the two settings match (see bug #50660). Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened.

Work-around: Until this gets fixed, you can manually configure your system by running these commands as root:

texconfig dvips paper letterSize
texconfig xdvi us

and, added as of August 2006:

texconfig paper letter
texconfig pdftex paper letter
texconfig dvipdfm letter

(As of Redhat 8.0, “lettersize” worked, but in 9, it has to be “letterSize”.)

Comments: Thanks to nevin at for identifying the xdvi problem, and to twaugh at for discussing possible solutions.

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