I've just joined this site and recently started using LaTeX so please excuse me if I come across as a little naive of anything.

I installed TexMaker in Windows 7 and tried to follow this example: "awesome" example from Cambridge University (as well as many others tutorials) to simply make use of the Harvard style of references. However this did not work.

So I've instead decided to use Ubuntu 12.04 as an OS and install every package so that I know I'm not missing anything I "might" need. Here is what I've done so far:

sudo apt-get install texlive-full
sudo apt-get install texmaker

That first step took forever to run and killed almost 2gigs of my hardisk space. However even after installing every single package possible I still can not run this above example from Cambridge. As I get the following error:

LaTeX Error: File biblatex.sty not found.

The "official documentation" is also far too long too read, but strangely doesn't even deal with the essentials, like how to set it up in x number of steps. But instead focuses on such things that hardly anybody would ever use.

Can anybody help me out on how to do a simple Harvard Reference for an assignment?

  • 3
    It's a long-standing issue that the TeX Live in Ubuntu has until recently been very out-of-date (2009). The general recommendation is to follow How to install “vanilla” TeXLive on Debian or Ubuntu? to set up a stand-alone TeX Live, which does have for example biblatex.
    – Joseph Wright
    Mar 12, 2013 at 16:06
  • @JohnCrawford Did you install MikTeX and then configure TeXmaker in Windows 7?
    – jub0bs
    Mar 12, 2013 at 16:15
  • 4
    Regarding the biblatex documentation, the examples should not be neglected.
    – Audrey
    Mar 12, 2013 at 16:21
  • I forget now, but in Ubuntu 12.04 and earlier, I think you had to install biblatex separately: sudo apt-get install biblatex. Note this will give you a rather old version of biblatex (and most regulars on this site tend to stick to the cutting- or even bleeding-edge). Another option, which I used to do myself, was install biblatex (and biber) manually. It is really not that difficult; see this standard question. On Ubuntu 12.10, you get a newer TeX Live, which includes biblatex, but will still be behind the current version.
    – jon
    Mar 12, 2013 at 20:11
  • A starting point on this site for biblatex is: tex.stackexchange.com/q/13509/15925 Mar 13, 2013 at 8:53

2 Answers 2


@jon, thanks for the tips (and everybody else). I was able to piece it all together with all your guy's help. For anybody else reading this this is what you need to do to get the latest version of LaTeX working w/ biblatex (something you need if you're wanting to use references)

Steps to take to install LaTeX and Biblatex so that you can use references in your documents. (this is using Ubuntu, Linux)

  1. Download and extract the needed file wget http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet/install-tl-unx.tar.gz
  2. Extract that compressed file tar -zxvf install-tl-unx.tar.gz
  3. Go into the directory and run the script file as SUDO sudo ./install-tl
  4. After downloading many different files (the install process took me about 20 minutes, so go make yourself a cup of tea) you should have this setup. You will then need to update your PATH variable to include the location of where LaTeX is installed to. Add the following to your ~/.profile export PATH=/usr/local/texlive/2012/bin/x86_64-linux:$PATH NOTE: your last directory might be different. Mine was "x86_64-linux" but you should first check to see if that exists. (Also don't forget to close your shell and reopen it so that the changes to the PATH settings are added)

You are now completed with the set up process. Time to actually write out a damn Tex document now.

Please download this fully working example file http://pastebin.com/download.php?i=fLWQ93Ly. Save that file to your local disk as the following filename "test1.tex" and run the following in your shell:

  1. pdflatex test1.tex (This will generate a few warnings, but you can ignore them)
  2. biber test1
  3. pdflatex test1.tex (This will then generate a PDF file for you which should look like this: image description here)

Please let me know if anybody has any troubles with this.

  • biblatex does come with 44 example files: <TEXMF>/doc/latex/biblatex/examples
    – jon
    Mar 13, 2013 at 17:57
  • @jon, Thanks for that! I actually had no idea it had that many examples in that folder (current on mine there are a lovely 91 examples... some of which I'm hoping are using the Harvard Ref style.) Thanks again. Mar 14, 2013 at 14:32
  • I think style=authoryear gets you close (as do some variations thereof), but we lack a full implementation of the Harvard style. It would be great to develop one, however, and people on this site are usually willing to help when people get stuck.
    – jon
    Mar 14, 2013 at 15:11
  • @JohnCrawford You should have added a tie between the citation and the preceding word: Hello~\parencite{label}.
    – user10274
    Oct 11, 2013 at 8:27
  • it says load another mirror when i do sudo ./install-tl, why does it have to suck donkey hair.. to install texlive with bilatex on ubuntu? No one cares about Ubuntu anymore?
    – fedvasu
    Jul 3, 2014 at 12:31

jon has already pointed out in a comment that biblatex needs to be installed separately on Ubuntu 12.04 and earlier with apt-get install biblatex (also mentioning that the LaTeX packages in the apt repositories are usually not the newest and providing this link on how to install newer versions).

Nowadays, on Debian Buster, biblatex.sty and biber are already included if you install texlive-full.

In case you did not install texlive-full, the apt package biblatex does not exist anymore, install texlive-bibtex-extra instead. Biber has it's own apt package, biber.

# apt install texlive-bibtex-extra
# apt install biber

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