I use Vim-LaTeX to compile LaTeX documents to PDF by invoking \ll command in the editor. I'm getting this warning on compiling a LaTeX document in the new Ubuntu 14.04:

LaTeX Warning: Empty bibliography on input line 728.

The generated PDF has no bibliography section and the citations are not generated either!

This same document compiles fine on Ubuntu 12.04 with the same Vim and Vim-LaTeX versions. What has changed in TeX-Live distributed with the newer Ubuntu to generate this error? How can I get back the bibliography section in the generated PDF?

The document uses biblatex and has this format:






% Because this is empty document

% Content goes here


A few related questions said that newer versions of biblatex requires biber. I installed biber, but this error still continues to happen.

  • 1
    There are no citations in the MWE, please add \nocite{*} after \begin{document} and before \printbibliography
    – Guido
    May 9, 2014 at 4:15
  • I don't believe that this is related to vim-latex
    – cmhughes
    May 9, 2014 at 4:20
  • @Guido: Fixed the MWE :-) May 9, 2014 at 4:30

1 Answer 1


The problem turned out to be due to a combination of the new Ubuntu and Vim-LaTeX. In the years since Ubuntu 12.04, TeXLive has been updated. The new version of biblatex in Ubuntu 14.04 uses biber instead of bibtex as backend.

Vim-LaTeX however has not been updated in these years. Its still configured for bibtex and looks for .bbl files in its code. After making the changes suggested by Paul to the Vim-LaTeX files, I was able to compile the document successfully with a bibliography.

The fixed Vim-LaTeX can be obtained here.

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