I recently backported what I think is TeX Live 2013 from Debian testing/unstable to Debian wheezy. The version number is
2013.20140314-1. This is no longer the most current version in Debian; there is now a
This was not without difficulty, but that is another story. At least, I thought I had backported it, but it turns out I had overlooked something.
When I installed the
texlive-bibtex-extra package, (which contains the biblatex LaTeX package), I discovered that biber 1.8 was also required. This is in unstable, so I tried to backport it. This is where things went wrong. For reasons unclear to me, biber requires Perl 5.16. According to perlhist, 5.16 was released in May 2012, so relatively recently.
Unfortunately, Debian wheezy uses Perl 5.14. In general, updating a basic system component like Perl is not a good idea, so I have not tried to do this, though it is possible it is harmless; I don't know. In any case, I find that I am now stuck. It is possible that I will have to fall back to the TeX Live 2012 packaged for wheezy, which would be annoying.
Can anyone suggest a solution or workaround? I know one can do a local install of TeX Live, but would that not be subject to the same problem? Unless one was to include a local copy of Perl to use specifically for this purpose, that is. Another vague possibility seems to be to bundle perl with the program somehow, perhaps by some form of static linking?
The Biber README says
You do not need to install Perl use biber--binaries are provided for many operating systems via the main TeX distributions (TeXLive, MacTeX, MiKTeX) and also via download from SourceForge.
You only need a Perl installation to use biber in one of the following cases:
- A binary version is not available for your OS/platform * You wish to keep up with all of the bleeding-edge git commits before they are packaged into a binary.
When I built and installed the Debian binary Biber package, it still complained about 5.16 being available, so I am not sure what is meant by binaries here.