So I decided to reinstall teTeX without doing any configuration:

# rm -rf  /usr/local/teTeX/
# mkdir -p /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf
# gzip -dc teTeX-texmf-1.0.tar.gz | (umask 0; cd /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf; tar xf 
# gzip -dc teTeX-src-1.0.tar.gz | tar xvf -
# cd teTeX-1.0
# sh -c './configure >configure.log 2>&1' &
# sh -c 'make world >world.log 2>&1' &

Then I set 

export PATH=/usr/local/teTeX/bin/i686-pc-linux-gnu:$PATH

and get

latex try
This is TeX, Version 3.14159 (Web2C 7.3.1)
I can't find the format file `latex.fmt'!

OK, so I try to run texconfig, but I get 

# texconfig 
Error: file texmf.cnf not found in
TEXMFMAIN ``/usr/local/teTeX/bin/i686-pc/share/texmf'' seems to have
the wrong value from a texmf.cnf file.

This is weird since the binaries are installed in 


so I do not see where `i686-pc' is coming from.

# ls /usr/local/teTeX/bin/

Since somebody asked:

# rpm -q glibc

I'll be glad to debug this---if you give me some pointers.


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