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Here's the minimal failing example.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{biblatex}
\begin{document}
Here's a citation \cite{Quine:1948}.
\printbibliography
\end{document}

@article{Quine:1948,
    Author = {Willard V. Quine},
    Journal = {The Review of Metaphysics},
    Month = {September},
    Number = {5},
    Pages = {21--38},
    Title = {On What There Is},
    Volume = {2},
    Year = {1948},
}

When I compile this I get,

! Undefined control sequence.
\biburlsetup ->\Urlmuskip 
                          =0mu plus 3mu\relax \mathchardef \UrlBigBreakPenal...
l.4 Here's a citation \cite{Quine:1948}.

? 

I'm using biblatex 2.8a. The only other error I detect in the log file is:

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/blx-dm.def)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex custom data model...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex-dm.cfg' not found.

Following up on a suggestion from moewe I did this:

\listfiles
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{biblatex}

\begin{document}
\the\Urlmuskip
\end{document}

Same error as above. Here are the package versions.

 article.cls    2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
  size10.clo    2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option)
biblatex.sty    2013/11/25 v2.8a programmable bibliographies (PK/JW/AB)
biblatex2.sty    2013/11/25 v2.8a programmable bibliographies (biber) (PK/JW/AB
)
etoolbox.sty    2011/01/03 v2.1 e-TeX tools for LaTeX
    etex.sty    1998/03/26 v2.0 eTeX basic definition package (PEB)
  keyval.sty    1999/03/16 v1.13 key=value parser (DPC)
kvoptions.sty    2011/06/30 v3.11 Key value format for package options (HO)
 ltxcmds.sty    2011/11/09 v1.22 LaTeX kernel commands for general use (HO)
kvsetkeys.sty    2012/04/25 v1.16 Key value parser (HO)
infwarerr.sty    2010/04/08 v1.3 Providing info/warning/error messages (HO)
etexcmds.sty    2011/02/16 v1.5 Avoid name clashes with e-TeX commands (HO)
ifluatex.sty    2010/03/01 v1.3 Provides the ifluatex switch (HO)
  logreq.sty    2010/08/04 v1.0 xml request logger
  logreq.def    2010/08/04 v1.0 logreq spec v1.0
  ifthen.sty    2001/05/26 v1.1c Standard LaTeX ifthen package (DPC)
     url.sty    1999/03/02  ver 1.4  Verb mode for urls, email addresses, and f
ile names
  blx-dm.def
biblatex-dm.cfg
blx-compat.def    2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex compatibility (PK/JW/AB)
biblatex.def    
standard.bbx    2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
 numeric.bbx    2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
 numeric.cbx    2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex citation style (PK/JW/AB)
biblatex.cfg    
 english.lbx    2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex localization (PK/JW/AB)
 ***********

Here's the log file from compiling with latex.

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 (TeX Live 2013) (format=latex 2014.3.19)  23 MAR 2014 08:12
entering extended mode
 restricted \write18 enabled.
 %&-line parsing enabled.
**minimal3.tex
(./minimal3.tex
LaTeX2e <2011/06/27>
Babel <3.9j> and hyphenation patterns for 78 languages loaded.
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/article.cls
Document Class: article 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo
File: size10.clo 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option)
)
\c@part=\count79
\c@section=\count80
\c@subsection=\count81
\c@subsubsection=\count82
\c@paragraph=\count83
\c@subparagraph=\count84
\c@figure=\count85
\c@table=\count86
\abovecaptionskip=\skip41
\belowcaptionskip=\skip42
\bibindent=\dimen102
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/biblatex.sty
Package: biblatex 2013/11/25 v2.8a programmable bibliographies (PK/JW/AB)


Package biblatex Warning: No "backend" specified, using Biber backend.
(biblatex)                To use BibTeX, load biblatex with 
(biblatex)                the "backend=bibtex" option.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/biblatex2.sty
Package: biblatex2 2013/11/25 v2.8a programmable bibliographies (biber) (PK/JW/
AB)

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/etoolbox/etoolbox.sty
Package: etoolbox 2011/01/03 v2.1 e-TeX tools for LaTeX

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/etex-pkg/etex.sty
Package: etex 1998/03/26 v2.0 eTeX basic definition package (PEB)
\et@xins=\count87
)
\etb@tempcnta=\count88
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/graphics/keyval.sty
Package: keyval 1999/03/16 v1.13 key=value parser (DPC)
\KV@toks@=\toks14
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/oberdiek/kvoptions.sty
Package: kvoptions 2011/06/30 v3.11 Key value format for package options (HO)

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/ltxcmds.sty
Package: ltxcmds 2011/11/09 v1.22 LaTeX kernel commands for general use (HO)
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/kvsetkeys.sty
Package: kvsetkeys 2012/04/25 v1.16 Key value parser (HO)

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/infwarerr.sty
Package: infwarerr 2010/04/08 v1.3 Providing info/warning/error messages (HO)
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/etexcmds.sty
Package: etexcmds 2011/02/16 v1.5 Avoid name clashes with e-TeX commands (HO)

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/ifluatex.sty
Package: ifluatex 2010/03/01 v1.3 Provides the ifluatex switch (HO)
Package ifluatex Info: LuaTeX not detected.
)
Package etexcmds Info: Could not find \expanded.
(etexcmds)             That can mean that you are not using pdfTeX 1.50 or
(etexcmds)             that some package has redefined \expanded.
(etexcmds)             In the latter case, load this package earlier.
)))
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/logreq/logreq.sty
Package: logreq 2010/08/04 v1.0 xml request logger
\lrq@indent=\count89

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/logreq/logreq.def
File: logreq.def 2010/08/04 v1.0 logreq spec v1.0
))
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/ifthen.sty
Package: ifthen 2001/05/26 v1.1c Standard LaTeX ifthen package (DPC)
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/../texmf-local/tex/latex/html/url.sty
Package: url 1999/03/02  ver 1.4  Verb mode for urls, email addresses, and file
 names
)
\c@tabx@nest=\count90
\c@listtotal=\count91
\c@listcount=\count92
\c@liststart=\count93
\c@liststop=\count94
\c@citecount=\count95
\c@citetotal=\count96
\c@multicitecount=\count97
\c@multicitetotal=\count98
\c@instcount=\count99
\c@maxnames=\count100
\c@minnames=\count101
\c@maxitems=\count102
\c@minitems=\count103
\c@citecounter=\count104
\c@savedcitecounter=\count105
\c@uniquelist=\count106
\c@uniquename=\count107
\c@refsection=\count108
\c@refsegment=\count109
\c@maxextratitle=\count110
\c@maxextratitleyear=\count111
\c@maxextrayear=\count112
\c@maxextraalpha=\count113
\c@abbrvpenalty=\count114
\c@highnamepenalty=\count115
\c@lownamepenalty=\count116
\c@maxparens=\count117
\c@parenlevel=\count118
\blx@tempcnta=\count119
\blx@tempcntb=\count120
\blx@tempcntc=\count121
\blx@maxsection=\count122
\blx@maxsegment@0=\count123
\blx@notetype=\count124
\blx@parenlevel@text=\count125
\blx@parenlevel@foot=\count126
\blx@sectionciteorder@0=\count127
\labelnumberwidth=\skip43
\labelalphawidth=\skip44
\shorthandwidth=\skip45
\biblabelsep=\skip46
\bibitemsep=\skip47
\bibnamesep=\skip48
\bibinitsep=\skip49
\bibparsep=\skip50
\bibhang=\skip51
\blx@bcfin=\read1
\blx@bcfout=\write3
\c@mincomprange=\count128
\c@maxcomprange=\count129
\c@mincompwidth=\count130
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex default data model...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'blx-dm.def' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/blx-dm.def)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex custom data model...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex-dm.cfg' not found.
\c@afterword=\count131
\c@savedafterword=\count132
\c@annotator=\count133
\c@savedannotator=\count134
\c@author=\count135
\c@savedauthor=\count136
\c@bookauthor=\count137
\c@savedbookauthor=\count138
\c@commentator=\count139
\c@savedcommentator=\count140
\c@editor=\count141
\c@savededitor=\count142
\c@editora=\count143
\c@savededitora=\count144
\c@editorb=\count145
\c@savededitorb=\count146
\c@editorc=\count147
\c@savededitorc=\count148
\c@foreword=\count149
\c@savedforeword=\count150
\c@holder=\count151
\c@savedholder=\count152
\c@introduction=\count153
\c@savedintroduction=\count154
\c@namea=\count155
\c@savednamea=\count156
\c@nameb=\count157
\c@savednameb=\count158
\c@namec=\count159
\c@savednamec=\count160
\c@shortauthor=\count161
\c@savedshortauthor=\count162
\c@shorteditor=\count163
\c@savedshorteditor=\count164
\c@translator=\count165
\c@savedtranslator=\count166
\c@labelname=\count167
\c@savedlabelname=\count168
\c@institution=\count169
\c@savedinstitution=\count170
\c@lista=\count171
\c@savedlista=\count172
\c@listb=\count173
\c@savedlistb=\count174
\c@listc=\count175
\c@savedlistc=\count176
\c@listd=\count177
\c@savedlistd=\count178
\c@liste=\count179
\c@savedliste=\count180
\c@listf=\count181
\c@savedlistf=\count182
\c@location=\count183
\c@savedlocation=\count184
\c@organization=\count185
\c@savedorganization=\count186
\c@origlocation=\count187
\c@savedoriglocation=\count188
\c@origpublisher=\count189
\c@savedorigpublisher=\count190
\c@publisher=\count191
\c@savedpublisher=\count192
\c@language=\count193
\c@savedlanguage=\count194
\c@pageref=\count195
\c@savedpageref=\count196
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load compatibility code...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'blx-compat.def' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/blx-compat.def
File: blx-compat.def 2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex compatibility (PK/JW/AB)
)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load generic definitions...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex.def' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/biblatex.def
File: biblatex.def 
\c@textcitecount=\count197
\c@textcitetotal=\count198
\c@textcitemaxnames=\count199
\c@biburlnumpenalty=\count200
\c@biburlucpenalty=\count201
\c@biburllcpenalty=\count202
\c@smartand=\count203
)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load bibliography style 'numeric'...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'numeric.bbx' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/bbx/numeric.bbx
File: numeric.bbx 2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load bibliography style 'standard'...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'standard.bbx' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/bbx/standard.bbx
File: standard.bbx 2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
\c@bbx:relatedcount=\count204
\c@bbx:relatedtotal=\count205
))
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load citation style 'numeric'...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'numeric.cbx' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/cbx/numeric.cbx
File: numeric.cbx 2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex citation style (PK/JW/AB)
Package biblate

Following up on a suggestion from moewe I did this:

\listfiles
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{biblatex}

\begin{document}
\the\Urlmuskip
\end{document}

Same error as above. Here are the package versions.

 article.cls    2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
  size10.clo    2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option)
biblatex.sty    2013/11/25 v2.8a programmable bibliographies (PK/JW/AB)
biblatex2.sty    2013/11/25 v2.8a programmable bibliographies (biber) (PK/JW/AB
)
etoolbox.sty    2011/01/03 v2.1 e-TeX tools for LaTeX
    etex.sty    1998/03/26 v2.0 eTeX basic definition package (PEB)
  keyval.sty    1999/03/16 v1.13 key=value parser (DPC)
kvoptions.sty    2011/06/30 v3.11 Key value format for package options (HO)
 ltxcmds.sty    2011/11/09 v1.22 LaTeX kernel commands for general use (HO)
kvsetkeys.sty    2012/04/25 v1.16 Key value parser (HO)
infwarerr.sty    2010/04/08 v1.3 Providing info/warning/error messages (HO)
etexcmds.sty    2011/02/16 v1.5 Avoid name clashes with e-TeX commands (HO)
ifluatex.sty    2010/03/01 v1.3 Provides the ifluatex switch (HO)
  logreq.sty    2010/08/04 v1.0 xml request logger
  logreq.def    2010/08/04 v1.0 logreq spec v1.0
  ifthen.sty    2001/05/26 v1.1c Standard LaTeX ifthen package (DPC)
     url.sty    1999/03/02  ver 1.4  Verb mode for urls, email addresses, and f
ile names
  blx-dm.def
biblatex-dm.cfg
blx-compat.def    2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex compatibility (PK/JW/AB)
biblatex.def    
standard.bbx    2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
 numeric.bbx    2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
 numeric.cbx    2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex citation style (PK/JW/AB)
biblatex.cfg    
 english.lbx    2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex localization (PK/JW/AB)
 ***********

Here's the log file from compiling with latex.

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 (TeX Live 2013) (format=latex 2014.3.19)  23 MAR 2014 08:12
entering extended mode
 restricted \write18 enabled.
 %&-line parsing enabled.
**minimal3.tex
(./minimal3.tex
LaTeX2e <2011/06/27>
Babel <3.9j> and hyphenation patterns for 78 languages loaded.
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/article.cls
Document Class: article 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo
File: size10.clo 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option)
)
\c@part=\count79
\c@section=\count80
\c@subsection=\count81
\c@subsubsection=\count82
\c@paragraph=\count83
\c@subparagraph=\count84
\c@figure=\count85
\c@table=\count86
\abovecaptionskip=\skip41
\belowcaptionskip=\skip42
\bibindent=\dimen102
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/biblatex.sty
Package: biblatex 2013/11/25 v2.8a programmable bibliographies (PK/JW/AB)


Package biblatex Warning: No "backend" specified, using Biber backend.
(biblatex)                To use BibTeX, load biblatex with 
(biblatex)                the "backend=bibtex" option.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/biblatex2.sty
Package: biblatex2 2013/11/25 v2.8a programmable bibliographies (biber) (PK/JW/
AB)

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/etoolbox/etoolbox.sty
Package: etoolbox 2011/01/03 v2.1 e-TeX tools for LaTeX

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/etex-pkg/etex.sty
Package: etex 1998/03/26 v2.0 eTeX basic definition package (PEB)
\et@xins=\count87
)
\etb@tempcnta=\count88
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/graphics/keyval.sty
Package: keyval 1999/03/16 v1.13 key=value parser (DPC)
\KV@toks@=\toks14
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/oberdiek/kvoptions.sty
Package: kvoptions 2011/06/30 v3.11 Key value format for package options (HO)

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/ltxcmds.sty
Package: ltxcmds 2011/11/09 v1.22 LaTeX kernel commands for general use (HO)
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/kvsetkeys.sty
Package: kvsetkeys 2012/04/25 v1.16 Key value parser (HO)

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/infwarerr.sty
Package: infwarerr 2010/04/08 v1.3 Providing info/warning/error messages (HO)
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/etexcmds.sty
Package: etexcmds 2011/02/16 v1.5 Avoid name clashes with e-TeX commands (HO)

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/ifluatex.sty
Package: ifluatex 2010/03/01 v1.3 Provides the ifluatex switch (HO)
Package ifluatex Info: LuaTeX not detected.
)
Package etexcmds Info: Could not find \expanded.
(etexcmds)             That can mean that you are not using pdfTeX 1.50 or
(etexcmds)             that some package has redefined \expanded.
(etexcmds)             In the latter case, load this package earlier.
)))
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/logreq/logreq.sty
Package: logreq 2010/08/04 v1.0 xml request logger
\lrq@indent=\count89

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/logreq/logreq.def
File: logreq.def 2010/08/04 v1.0 logreq spec v1.0
))
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/ifthen.sty
Package: ifthen 2001/05/26 v1.1c Standard LaTeX ifthen package (DPC)
)
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/../texmf-local/tex/latex/html/url.sty
Package: url 1999/03/02  ver 1.4  Verb mode for urls, email addresses, and file
 names
)
\c@tabx@nest=\count90
\c@listtotal=\count91
\c@listcount=\count92
\c@liststart=\count93
\c@liststop=\count94
\c@citecount=\count95
\c@citetotal=\count96
\c@multicitecount=\count97
\c@multicitetotal=\count98
\c@instcount=\count99
\c@maxnames=\count100
\c@minnames=\count101
\c@maxitems=\count102
\c@minitems=\count103
\c@citecounter=\count104
\c@savedcitecounter=\count105
\c@uniquelist=\count106
\c@uniquename=\count107
\c@refsection=\count108
\c@refsegment=\count109
\c@maxextratitle=\count110
\c@maxextratitleyear=\count111
\c@maxextrayear=\count112
\c@maxextraalpha=\count113
\c@abbrvpenalty=\count114
\c@highnamepenalty=\count115
\c@lownamepenalty=\count116
\c@maxparens=\count117
\c@parenlevel=\count118
\blx@tempcnta=\count119
\blx@tempcntb=\count120
\blx@tempcntc=\count121
\blx@maxsection=\count122
\blx@maxsegment@0=\count123
\blx@notetype=\count124
\blx@parenlevel@text=\count125
\blx@parenlevel@foot=\count126
\blx@sectionciteorder@0=\count127
\labelnumberwidth=\skip43
\labelalphawidth=\skip44
\shorthandwidth=\skip45
\biblabelsep=\skip46
\bibitemsep=\skip47
\bibnamesep=\skip48
\bibinitsep=\skip49
\bibparsep=\skip50
\bibhang=\skip51
\blx@bcfin=\read1
\blx@bcfout=\write3
\c@mincomprange=\count128
\c@maxcomprange=\count129
\c@mincompwidth=\count130
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex default data model...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'blx-dm.def' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/blx-dm.def)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex custom data model...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex-dm.cfg' not found.
\c@afterword=\count131
\c@savedafterword=\count132
\c@annotator=\count133
\c@savedannotator=\count134
\c@author=\count135
\c@savedauthor=\count136
\c@bookauthor=\count137
\c@savedbookauthor=\count138
\c@commentator=\count139
\c@savedcommentator=\count140
\c@editor=\count141
\c@savededitor=\count142
\c@editora=\count143
\c@savededitora=\count144
\c@editorb=\count145
\c@savededitorb=\count146
\c@editorc=\count147
\c@savededitorc=\count148
\c@foreword=\count149
\c@savedforeword=\count150
\c@holder=\count151
\c@savedholder=\count152
\c@introduction=\count153
\c@savedintroduction=\count154
\c@namea=\count155
\c@savednamea=\count156
\c@nameb=\count157
\c@savednameb=\count158
\c@namec=\count159
\c@savednamec=\count160
\c@shortauthor=\count161
\c@savedshortauthor=\count162
\c@shorteditor=\count163
\c@savedshorteditor=\count164
\c@translator=\count165
\c@savedtranslator=\count166
\c@labelname=\count167
\c@savedlabelname=\count168
\c@institution=\count169
\c@savedinstitution=\count170
\c@lista=\count171
\c@savedlista=\count172
\c@listb=\count173
\c@savedlistb=\count174
\c@listc=\count175
\c@savedlistc=\count176
\c@listd=\count177
\c@savedlistd=\count178
\c@liste=\count179
\c@savedliste=\count180
\c@listf=\count181
\c@savedlistf=\count182
\c@location=\count183
\c@savedlocation=\count184
\c@organization=\count185
\c@savedorganization=\count186
\c@origlocation=\count187
\c@savedoriglocation=\count188
\c@origpublisher=\count189
\c@savedorigpublisher=\count190
\c@publisher=\count191
\c@savedpublisher=\count192
\c@language=\count193
\c@savedlanguage=\count194
\c@pageref=\count195
\c@savedpageref=\count196
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load compatibility code...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'blx-compat.def' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/blx-compat.def
File: blx-compat.def 2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex compatibility (PK/JW/AB)
)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load generic definitions...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex.def' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/biblatex.def
File: biblatex.def 
\c@textcitecount=\count197
\c@textcitetotal=\count198
\c@textcitemaxnames=\count199
\c@biburlnumpenalty=\count200
\c@biburlucpenalty=\count201
\c@biburllcpenalty=\count202
\c@smartand=\count203
)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load bibliography style 'numeric'...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'numeric.bbx' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/bbx/numeric.bbx
File: numeric.bbx 2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load bibliography style 'standard'...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'standard.bbx' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/bbx/standard.bbx
File: standard.bbx 2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB)
\c@bbx:relatedcount=\count204
\c@bbx:relatedtotal=\count205
))
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load citation style 'numeric'...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'numeric.cbx' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/cbx/numeric.cbx
File: numeric.cbx 2013/11/25 v2.8a biblatex citation style (PK/JW/AB)
Package biblate
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1  
The infos you find in your logfile also appear in a document that compiles (and looks) fine here, so now worries about that. –  moewe Mar 22 at 14:48

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can find the source of your problem in this part of the log file:

(/usr/local/texlive/2013/../texmf-local/tex/latex/html/url.sty
Package: url 1999/03/02  ver 1.4  Verb mode for urls, email addresses, and file
 names
)

This is a bogus url.sty belonging to an outdated and deprecated package; my suggestion is that you run the following commands from a terminal:

sudo rm -fr /usr/local/texlive/2013/../texmf-local/tex/latex/html
sudo mktexlsr

in order to get rid of the useless package.

share|improve this answer
    
Bam. This is the correct solution. Any idea how this old file got installed? I do occasionally do updates through tlmgr but I am positive I haven't installed any non-texlive packages. –  shane Mar 23 at 13:50
1  
@shane tlmgr never installs things in texmf-local. It may be a remains of some older installation. –  egreg Mar 23 at 13:54
    
That's it. I've been on texlive since 2011, but i used to have a different distro that probably has just been lingering around. Thanks so much for the help! –  shane Mar 23 at 13:56

This compiles:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{biblatex}   %% backend is default i.e. biber. If you want bibtex put [backend=bibtex] as the option
\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents*}{mybib.bib}
  @article{Quine:1948,
    Author = {Willard V. Quine},
    Journal = {The Review of Metaphysics},
    Month = {September},
    Number = {5},
    Pages = {21--38},
    Title = {On What There Is},
    Volume = {2},
    Year = {1948},
}
\end{filecontents*}
\addbibresource{mybib.bib}     %% <--- you missed this
\begin{document}
Here's a citation \cite{Quine:1948}.
\printbibliography
\end{document}

enter image description here

You should compile with pdflatex biber pdflatex sequence. Sine no backend is specified for biblatex the default backend biber is used. If you want to use bibtex (which I doubt, you are using) use \usepackage[backend=bibtex]{biblatex}.

Also you missed \addbibresource{mybib.bib} in your code.

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I get the exact same error message from this. I don't think you have to use the \addbibresource command if the references are in the document itself. –  shane Mar 22 at 14:54
    
@shane Did you run the above code as such? How are you using biber? And \addbibresource is needed and adding references like you did is completely wrong. –  Harish Kumar Mar 22 at 14:57
    
I copy and pasted and then tried to compile with pdftex and received the same error mentioned above. –  shane Mar 22 at 14:59
    
@shane Delete all aux files and try again. What about biber? –  Harish Kumar Mar 22 at 15:00
    
Deleting aux doesn't help. The error isn't in the biber step, it's in the pdflatex step. If i do biber minimal.bcf then I get an error message. Entity: line 1966: parser error : Extra content at the end of the document <bcf:section number="0"> I haven't seen that before. –  shane Mar 22 at 15:04

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