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I'm trying to make biblatex (v. 3.7) use the biber (v. 2.7) backend. I'm using the minimal example from this thread (which unfortunately doesn't provide a solution): Warning: "Using fall-back BibTeX(8) backend:(biblatex) functionality may be reduced/unavailable."

When I run pdflatex -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode bibertest.tex I get the warning

Package biblatex Warning: Using fall-back BibTeX(8) backend: (biblatex) functionality may be reduced/unavailable.

resulting in the following error when I run biber bibertest

ERROR - Cannot find control file 'bibertest.bcf'! - did you pass the "backend=biber" option to BibLaTeX? INFO - ERRORS: 1

I've been reading the logfiles for two days now, and I simply can't find why biblatex would ignore the backend=biber option. Here's the bibertest.log file:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.17 (TeX Live 2016) (preloaded format=pdflatex 2017.4.24)  26 APR 2017 12:46 entering extended mode  restricted \write18 enabled.  %&-line parsing enabled.
**bibertest.tex (./bibertest.tex LaTeX2e <2017/01/01> patch level 3 Babel <3.9r> and hyphenation patterns for 83 language(s) loaded. (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/article.cls Document Class: article 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo File: size10.clo 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option) ) \c@part=\count79 \c@section=\count80 \c@subsection=\count81 \c@subsubsection=\count82 \c@paragraph=\count83 \c@subparagraph=\count84 \c@figure=\count85 \c@table=\count86 \abovecaptionskip=\skip41 \belowcaptionskip=\skip42 \bibindent=\dimen102 ) (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/biblatex.sty Package: biblatex 2016/12/05 v3.7 programmable bibliographies (PK/JW/AB)

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/pdftexcmds.sty Package: pdftexcmds 2017/03/19 v0.25 Utility functions of pdfTeX for LuaTeX (HO )

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/infwarerr.sty Package: infwarerr 2016/05/16 v1.4 Providing info/warning/error messages (HO) ) (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/ifluatex.sty Package: ifluatex 2016/05/16 v1.4 Provides the ifluatex switch (HO) Package ifluatex Info: LuaTeX not detected. ) (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/ltxcmds.sty Package: ltxcmds 2016/05/16 v1.23 LaTeX kernel commands for general use (HO) ) (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/ifpdf.sty Package: ifpdf 2017/03/15 v3.2 Provides the ifpdf switch ) Package pdftexcmds Info: LuaTeX not detected. Package pdftexcmds Info: \pdf@primitive is available. Package pdftexcmds Info: \pdf@ifprimitive is available. Package pdftexcmds Info: \pdfdraftmode found. ) (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/etoolbox/etoolbox.sty Package: etoolbox 2017/01/02 v2.4 e-TeX tools for LaTeX (JAW) \etb@tempcnta=\count87 ) (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/graphics/keyval.sty Package: keyval 2014/10/28 v1.15 key=value parser (DPC) \KV@toks@=\toks14 ) (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/oberdiek/kvoptions.sty Package: kvoptions 2016/05/16 v3.12 Key value format for package options (HO)

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/kvsetkeys.sty Package: kvsetkeys 2016/05/16 v1.17 Key value parser (HO)

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/generic/oberdiek/etexcmds.sty Package: etexcmds 2016/05/16 v1.6 Avoid name clashes with e-TeX commands (HO) Package etexcmds Info: Could not find \expanded. (etexcmds)             That can mean that you are not using pdfTeX
1.50 or (etexcmds)             that some package has redefined \expanded. (etexcmds)             In the latter case, load this package earlier. ))) (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/logreq/logreq.sty Package: logreq 2010/08/04 v1.0 xml request logger \lrq@indent=\count88

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/logreq/logreq.def File: logreq.def 2010/08/04 v1.0 logreq spec v1.0 )) (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/ifthen.sty Package: ifthen 2014/09/29 v1.1c Standard LaTeX ifthen package (DPC) ) (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/url/url.sty \Urlmuskip=\muskip10 Package: url 2013/09/16  ver 3.4  Verb mode for urls, etc. ) (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/generic/xstring/xstring.sty (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/generic/xstring/xstring.tex \@xs@message=\write3 \integerpart=\count89 \decimalpart=\count90 ) Package: xstring 2013/10/13  v1.7c  String manipulations (C Tellechea) ) \c@tabx@nest=\count91 \c@listtotal=\count92 \c@listcount=\count93 \c@liststart=\count94 \c@liststop=\count95 \c@citecount=\count96 \c@citetotal=\count97 \c@multicitecount=\count98 \c@multicitetotal=\count99 \c@instcount=\count100 \c@maxnames=\count101 \c@minnames=\count102 \c@maxitems=\count103 \c@minitems=\count104 \c@citecounter=\count105 \c@savedcitecounter=\count106 \c@uniquelist=\count107 \c@uniquename=\count108 \c@refsection=\count109 \c@refsegment=\count110 \c@maxextratitle=\count111 \c@maxextratitleyear=\count112 \c@maxextrayear=\count113 \c@maxextraalpha=\count114 \c@abbrvpenalty=\count115 \c@highnamepenalty=\count116 \c@lownamepenalty=\count117 \c@maxparens=\count118 \c@parenlevel=\count119 \blx@tempcnta=\count120 \blx@tempcntb=\count121 \blx@tempcntc=\count122 \blx@maxsection=\count123 \blx@maxsegment@0=\count124 \blx@notetype=\count125 \blx@parenlevel@text=\count126 \blx@parenlevel@foot=\count127 \blx@sectionciteorder@0=\count128 \labelnumberwidth=\skip43 \labelalphawidth=\skip44 \biblabelsep=\skip45 \bibitemsep=\skip46 \bibnamesep=\skip47 \bibinitsep=\skip48 \bibparsep=\skip49 \bibhang=\skip50 \blx@bcfin=\read1 \blx@bcfout=\write4 \c@mincomprange=\count129 \c@maxcomprange=\count130 \c@mincompwidth=\count131 Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex default data model... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'blx-dm.def' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/blx-dm.def) Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex style data model... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'numeric.dbx' not found. Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex custom data model... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex-dm.cfg' not found. \c@afterword=\count132 \c@savedafterword=\count133 \c@annotator=\count134 \c@savedannotator=\count135 \c@author=\count136 \c@savedauthor=\count137 \c@bookauthor=\count138 \c@savedbookauthor=\count139 \c@commentator=\count140 \c@savedcommentator=\count141 \c@editor=\count142 \c@savededitor=\count143 \c@editora=\count144 \c@savededitora=\count145 \c@editorb=\count146 \c@savededitorb=\count147 \c@editorc=\count148 \c@savededitorc=\count149 \c@foreword=\count150 \c@savedforeword=\count151 \c@holder=\count152 \c@savedholder=\count153 \c@introduction=\count154 \c@savedintroduction=\count155 \c@namea=\count156 \c@savednamea=\count157 \c@nameb=\count158 \c@savednameb=\count159 \c@namec=\count160 \c@savednamec=\count161 \c@translator=\count162 \c@savedtranslator=\count163 \c@shortauthor=\count164 \c@savedshortauthor=\count165 \c@shorteditor=\count166 \c@savedshorteditor=\count167 \c@labelname=\count168 \c@savedlabelname=\count169 \c@institution=\count170 \c@savedinstitution=\count171 \c@lista=\count172 \c@savedlista=\count173 \c@listb=\count174 \c@savedlistb=\count175 \c@listc=\count176 \c@savedlistc=\count177 \c@listd=\count178 \c@savedlistd=\count179 \c@liste=\count180 \c@savedliste=\count181 \c@listf=\count182 \c@savedlistf=\count183 \c@location=\count184 \c@savedlocation=\count185 \c@organization=\count186 \c@savedorganization=\count187 \c@origlocation=\count188 \c@savedoriglocation=\count189 \c@origpublisher=\count190 \c@savedorigpublisher=\count191 \c@publisher=\count192 \c@savedpublisher=\count193 \c@language=\count194 \c@savedlanguage=\count195 \c@pageref=\count196 \c@savedpageref=\count197 \shorthandwidth=\skip51 \shortjournalwidth=\skip52 \shortserieswidth=\skip53 \shorttitlewidth=\skip54 \shortauthorwidth=\skip55 \shorteditorwidth=\skip56 Package biblatex Info: Trying to load compatibility code... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'blx-compat.def' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/blx-compat.def File: blx-compat.def 2016/12/05 v3.7 biblatex compatibility (PK/JW/AB) ) Package biblatex Info: Trying to load BibTeX backend compatibility... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'blx-bibtex.def' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/blx-bibtex.def File: blx-bibtex.def 2016/12/05 v3.7 biblatex compatibility (PK/JW/AB)


Package biblatex Warning: Using fall-back BibTeX(8) backend: (biblatex)                functionality may be reduced/unavailable.

) Package biblatex Info: Trying to load generic definitions... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex.def' found.  (/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/biblatex.def File: biblatex.def 2016/12/05 v3.7 biblatex compatibility (PK/JW/AB) \c@textcitecount=\count198 \c@textcitetotal=\count199 \c@textcitemaxnames=\count266 \c@biburlnumpenalty=\count267 \c@biburlucpenalty=\count268 \c@biburllcpenalty=\count269 \c@smartand=\count270 ) Package biblatex Info: Trying to load natbib compatibility... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'blx-natbib.def' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/blx-natbib.def File: blx-natbib.def 2016/12/05 v3.7 biblatex compatibility (PK/JW/AB) ) Package biblatex Info: Trying to load bibliography style 'numeric'... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'numeric.bbx' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/bbx/numeric.bbx File: numeric.bbx 2016/12/05 v3.7 biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB) Package biblatex Info: Trying to load bibliography style 'standard'... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'standard.bbx' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/bbx/standard.bbx File: standard.bbx 2016/12/05 v3.7 biblatex bibliography style (PK/JW/AB) \c@bbx:relatedcount=\count271 \c@bbx:relatedtotal=\count272 )) Package biblatex Info: Trying to load citation style 'numeric-comp'... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'numeric-comp.cbx' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/cbx/numeric-comp.cbx File: numeric-comp.cbx 2016/12/05 v3.7 biblatex citation style (PK/JW/AB) \c@cbx@tempcnta=\count273 \c@cbx@tempcntb=\count274 Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\cite'. Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\parencite'. Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\footcite'. Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\footcitetext'. Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\smartcite'. Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\supercite'. Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\textcite'. Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\textcites'. Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\cites'. Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\parencites'. Package biblatex Info: Redefining '\smartcites'. ) Package biblatex Info: Trying to load configuration file... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex.cfg' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/biblatex.cfg File: biblatex.cfg  )) Package biblatex Info: Trying to load language 'english'... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'english.lbx' found.

(/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex/lbx/english.lbx File: english.lbx 2016/12/05 v3.7 biblatex localization (PK/JW/AB) ) \@quotelevel=\count275 \@quotereset=\count276

No file bibertest.aux. \openout1 = `bibertest.aux'.

LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OML/cmm/m/it on input line
5. LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 5. LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for T1/cmr/m/n on input line 5. LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 5. LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OT1/cmr/m/n on input line 5. LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 5. LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMS/cmsy/m/n on input line 5. LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 5. LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMX/cmex/m/n on input line 5. LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 5. LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for U/cmr/m/n on input line 5. LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 5. Package biblatex Info: No input encoding detected. (biblatex)             Assuming 'ascii'. Package biblatex Info: Automatic encoding selection. (biblatex)             Assuming data encoding 'ascii'. Package biblatex Info: Input encoding 'ascii' specified. Package biblatex Info: Data encoding 'ascii' specified. (biblatex)             No need to reencode data. \openout4 = `bibertest-blx.bib'.

Package biblatex Info: Trying to load bibliographic data... Package biblatex Info: ... file 'bibertest.bbl' not found. No file bibertest.bbl. Package biblatex Info: Reference section=0 on input line 5. Package biblatex Info: Reference segment=0 on input line 5.

LaTeX Warning: Citation 'hirsh_emergence_2002' on page 1 undefined on input lin e 7.


LaTeX Warning: Empty bibliography on input line 9.

[1

{/Users/johannes/Library/texlive/2016/texmf-var/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex. map}] (./bibertest.aux)

LaTeX Warning: There were undefined references.


Package biblatex Warning: Please (re)run BibTeX on the file(s): (biblatex)                bibertest (biblatex)                and rerun LaTeX afterwards.

Package logreq Info: Writing requests to 'bibertest.run.xml'. \openout1 = `bibertest.run.xml'.

 )  Here is how much of TeX's memory you used:  7099 strings out of 493013  127258 string characters out of 6133343  372085 words of memory out of 5000000  10632 multiletter control sequences out of 15000+600000  3948 words of font info for 15 fonts, out of 8000000 for 9000  1141 hyphenation exceptions out of 8191  35i,4n,37p,834b,1061s stack positions out of 5000i,500n,10000p,200000b,80000s </usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmbx10.pfb
></usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr10.pfb> Output written on bibertest.pdf (1 page, 26498 bytes). PDF statistics: 16 PDF objects out of 1000 (max. 8388607)  10 compressed objects within 1 object stream  0 named destinations out of 1000 (max. 500000) 1 words of extra memory for PDF output out of 10000 (max. 10000000)

There are two files missing, but I didn't delete any files and the tex installation is untouched, so I'm still hoping it is a user error.

I would be very thankful for any hints that help me resolve this error!

  • 2
    What's important here is your input: can you give us a small example? – Joseph Wright Apr 26 '17 at 11:10
  • Joseph, in the first sentence there is a link to another thread. I'm using the exact same input. – LoveDaOOP Apr 26 '17 at 11:25
  • The MWE from the other thread has backend=bibtex. So of course your document uses BibTeX. Use backend=biber in the loading options, clean your temporary files and try again. – moewe Apr 26 '17 at 11:31
  • I'm using backend=biber. Sorry, I should have been clear about this. I was getting the error shown in my first post. I realised that I wasn't sure if I'm deleting all temporary files properly. I google which files must be deleted and after doing so the minimal example actually works. Thank you for hinting me to the temp files. – LoveDaOOP Apr 26 '17 at 11:50
4

I was able to solve the issue. Here are two things that might be helpful to thers experiencing the same problem:

  1. Delete all temporary files after switching from backend=bibtex to backend=biber. Then recompile.
  2. If a minimal example works but your final file doesn't: Make sure none of your templates and classes overwrites the backend setting.

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