Kile, biber and path issues on Precise

I've grown to like biber as a bibTeX backend, as it's highly configurable. However, it was a bit of a stretch to get it to work on my work computer, which is on Kubuntu Precise LTS.
First of all, Precise ships with a prehistoric TeXLive 2009, so I needed the 2012 backport:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:texlive-backports/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Still no biber though, as the 0.9.9 version in the repository is broken (and has been for ages). There are binaries on sourceforge: biber 0.9.9, x86 and x64, which I untarred in ~/bin/.

Now for the Kile configuration. I followed this blog (it's in German, but the pictures are self explaining), but got a persistent "[Biber] failed to start" message. The reason was that Kile has no idea about the user's path settings - so anything like biber or even ~/bin/biber will fail.
/home/<myusername>/bin/biber worked nicely.

Example code:
The biber documentation can be found here.


Rom1 said...

Sorry, but can you be more explicit about "even ~/bin/biber will fail. /home//bin/biber worked nicely.". I don't understand if it is in Linux or kile that you set up something.
Thanks a lot ...

avocadohead said...

Sorry - I realise on rereading that it's a bit short and confusing. Also, quite a while ago :)
I assume it's the General tab in kile's tool configuration. In the first screenshot in the linked blog post, the input field after 'Command' just says 'biber'. Didn't work for me, I had to put in the absolute path to the biber executable. HTH.
I'll probably check the current state of biber and rework the post a bit.

avocadohead said...

If you're on Xenial, there are again dependency problems. This bug discussion has a fix:

Rom1 said...

oK ... thank you for the info.