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Today, I encountered a breakdown of biber for the second time and with no apparent issue. This issue, as well as a fix, has been reported elsewhere reported here.

I wanted to know if there is a permanent fix for this.

For reference, I'using TL2012 with biber 1.2, but this has also occurred on my system previously, most recently in TL2011 with the previous biber. The problem did not arise after the update though and I don't think it's related to it.

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I would think it isn't really a surprise that you have to delete auxiliary files when switching from plain BiBTeX to biblatex+biber... –  cgnieder Sep 12 '12 at 13:23
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You update basically answers the question, so please turn it into a real answer. –  Daniel Sep 12 '12 at 13:28
    
@cgnieder, you're right, I should have thought of clearing the .aux files. However, even if you clear the files after the crash, you still have to dump the folder in /var/... which I still consider a bug –  Kpantzas Sep 21 '12 at 14:57
    
I had to do that once but not after a switch... I switch regularly between methods when testing solutions and only ever have to delete the *.b* files. –  cgnieder Sep 21 '12 at 15:08
    
yes, but have you tried switching and compiling the TeX file without clearing out the *.b* files? –  Kpantzas Sep 21 '12 at 15:12
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closed as not a real question by Paul Gaborit, egreg, percusse, zeroth, Claudio Fiandrino Sep 22 '12 at 8:24

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2 Answers

biber comes with its own Perl modules, the reason why it takes a long time for the first run of biber. The modules are extracted for Linux into a directory /tmp/par-????/cache-???. So far so good ... If you update biber then there can be a problem when it uses old modules from that directory. In such a case it is save to delete that directory and restart biber.

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This doesn't fully qualify as a "permanent solution", but I guess it's the only real answer. :( It seems that Biber 1.2 is more robust in this respect than its predecessors that crashed randomly, at least on my machines, even not after updates. –  egreg Sep 21 '12 at 15:24
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As suggested by Daniel the update is an answer.

I noticed that the breakdown occurs systematically when I switch to biblatex+biber in a document where I was previously using plain old bibtex. I hand't cleared out the aux files in all three cases where this happened.

So the .aux files HAVE TO BE CLEARED upon the switch.

Otherwise biber crashes and you have to clear the folder as explained in the link the question, EVEN IF YOU CLEAR THE FILES. So if it crashes, dump the .aux, then dump the folder in the error message and only then biber starts working again

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