tectonic -X dump

Run a partial document build and dump the contents of a TeX intermediate file to standard output. This can be useful if you have an external tool that parses such files, and you wish to integrate it into Tectonic-based authoring workflows.

This is a V2 CLI command. For information on the original (“V1” CLI), see its reference page.


Generate and print the LaTeX aux file for the current document:

tectonic -X dump -s aux

This output can, for example, be piped into bibtools to generate a .bib file that provides exactly the records needed for the document build.

Usage Synopsis

tectonic -X dump
  [--only-cached] [-C]
  [--profile <profile>] [-p <profile>]
  [--suffix] [-s]


This command runs a partial build of the current document, as identified by searching for a Tectonic.toml file in the current directory or one of its parents.

The “partial build” consists of one pass of the TeX engine. Future versions of this tool might gain options allowing you to specify different passes. This command can be used to dump any file created by TeX during the build (so long as it’s created on the first pass).

Command-Line Options

The --only-cached option (or -C for short) will configure the engine to refuse to connect to the network when searching for support files. This can be useful if you’re working on a document in a context where the Internet is unavailable (e.g., on an airplane). While the engine generally avoids unnecessary network connections, referencing a new file in your document will cause it to look for that file in the online support bundle.

The --profile option (or -p for short) will select which document output profile will be used for the build. If unspecified, the profile to use will be effectively chosen at random.

If the --suffix (-s) argument is provided, the name of the dumped file simply has to end with the content of the argument <filename>, rather than match it exactly. Therefore tectonic -X dump -s aux will dump the LaTeX aux file regardless of its complete name, and tectonic -X dump -s log will dump the log file. If there happens to be more than one file whose name ends with your specified suffix, they will all be dumped, in a pseudo-random order.

Use the --untrusted option if working with untrusted content. This is not the default, because in most cases you will trust the document that you’re building, probably because you have created it yourself, and it would be very annoying to have to pass --trusted every time you dump a document that uses shell-escape. See the security discussion in the documentation of the compile command for details. In actual usage, it would obviously be easy to forget to use this option; in cases where untrusted inputs are a genuine concern, we recommend setting the environment variable TECTONIC_UNTRUSTED_MODE to a non-empty value. This has the same effect as the --untrusted option. Note, however, that a hostile shell user can trivially clear this variable.