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I am the author of the MaTeX package, and occasionally I receive support requests from users in e-mail. By now I believe I have ironed out virtually all bugs in MaTeX, and worked around most Mathematica bugs that cause issues in MaTeX, with one exception.

I received several problem reports where the root cause turned out to be that RunProcess simply does not work on the user's computer.

Common features I was able to identify are:

  • This is Windows-specific
  • It may affect only older versions of Mathematica, but this is unclear
  • It may happen only when the default Windows character set is not ANSI / Windows-1252. This is typically the case when the language of Windows is not English or a Western European language. But this is again unclear.
  • It may be related to non-ASCII characters in the username (and thus the home directory path), though this is unlikely.

The problem is reproducible like this:

Assuming that Windows is installed in C:\Windows, evaluate

RunProcess["C:\\Windows\\System32\\where.exe"]

This will return $Failed along with the following error message:

StartProcess::nffil: File not found during RunProcess.

This is despite where.exe being present in that location. FileExistsQ["C:\\Windows\\System32\\where.exe"] will return True.

I am looking for help with:

  • Establishing which systems are affected by the problem. Thus, if you use Mathematica on Windows, and your Windows is set to a non-English, non-Western-European language, please let me know if you can reproduce the problem, along with your Mathematica version.

  • Finding a workaround for the problem. MaTeX relies on RunProcess, and reads the error code, the standard output and the standard error from the process. The workaround must allow RunProcess to work somehow (Run is not sufficient).

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