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I have created a courses.bib database file for all my course litterature, which I have placed along with a package of mine named tlnames.sty that defines some related macros. The folder in which both files reside is ~/documents/texlive/texmf/tex/latex/tlnames.

I'm compiling this from inside TeXWorks using a modified version of the LaTeXmk script, which works fine except for the bibliography - it can't find courses.bib. Finding tlnames.sty works OK - I can import the package and use macros from it.

I have, since I placed courses.bib there, run texhash ~/documents/texlive/texmf and recievd the following output

$ texhash texmf
texhash: Updating /home/tomas/documents/texlive/texmf/ls-R... 
texhash: Done.

Why is this not working? What do I need to do to help BiBTeX find my database?

For completeness of the question: I'm running Ubuntu 12.04, with TeX Live 2011 and TeXWorks version 0.5 r.952.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

(Still running 11.10, but....)

I wouldn't put my .bib file there. If you want a system-wide solution, try running this command from the terminal:

kpsewhich -var-value BIBINPUTS

For me, that gives me a bunch of choices, including


So if I add a file like test.bib to:


BibTeX and/or Biber can find this file even without using texhash. (This works from within emacs and from a terminal; I don't have TeXWorks.)

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Files stored inside the texmf tree have to be in the 'correct' locations for TeX to find them. In the case of .bib files, they need to be inside texmf/bibtex/bib. From your description, ~/documents/texlive/texmf is a local tree on your system, so you need the .bib file inside


You can further sub-divide things if you wish, so perhaps


would be a location you could use.

Recent TeX Live releases, including TL2011, do not need you to texhash a local tree unless it's stored on a remote disk. So for most people simply adding files in the correct place inside texmf will be enough.

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