I am trying to compile correctly a text that relies on an external .bib file using bibtex-chicago on a Windows machine through TeXstudio. I get bold bibliography labels instead of the references. I get, for example banfield1967moral as a output.


\usepackage[authordate, backend=biber, bibencoding=utf8, natbib, isbn=false,safeinputenc]{biblatex-chicago}






title={The moral basis of a backward society},
author={Banfield, Edward C.},
publisher={Free Press}

and TEX_FILE.tex are in the same folder. The default bibliography tool is Biber and

To compile I call txs:///latex | txs:///biber | txs:///latex | txs:///latex.

The .blg file is not created.

The .log file suggest no .bbl file can be created and finds this additional error:

("C:\Users\...\MiKTeX 2.9\tex\latex\biblatex\blx-dm.def" File: blx-dm.def 2018/03/04 v3.11 biblatex localization (PK/MW))
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex style data model...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'chicago-authordate.dbx' not found.
Package biblatex Info: Trying to load biblatex custom data model...
Package biblatex Info: ... file 'biblatex-dm.cfg' not found.

Whilst compiling i get in the 'Messages' section:

Process started: biber.exe "document"

Error unlinking file C:\Windows\TEMP\bkLU5r9bip using unlink0 at C:\Windows\TEMP\par-4361737469676c696f6e69\cache-9d6b46fefde4bd584f892f8159e8daefd64788a3\inc\lib/IPC/Run3.pm line 128.

Process exited with error(s)

On TeXstudio I compile with "Bild and View" (double green arrow); it calls LaTeX, Bieber, and LaTex in the order.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! Please help us help you and add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. Reproducing the problem and finding out what the issue is will be much easier when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}.
    – DG'
    Sep 28, 2018 at 13:13
  • Try \addbibresource{BIB_FILE.bib} instead of \bibliography{BIB_FILE}. You could follow the instructions here to check, if your editor is configured properly: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/154751/…
    – DG'
    Sep 28, 2018 at 13:18
  • 1
    If you have completed a full LaTeX, Biber, LaTeX, LaTeX build cycle you should be able to find a .log file (produced by LaTeX) and a .blg file (produced by Biber, on Windows machines that file may be classified as a 'performance monitor file' that is misleading, it is a normal text file you can open with your favourite text editor). Those files should tell you about warnings or errors. What do they say? Double check your configuration with tex.stackexchange.com/q/154751/35864, post a complete MWE and an excerpt of the .log and .blg file.
    – moewe
    Sep 28, 2018 at 13:19
  • The code looks OK so far and actually works for me (I suggest you remove the full stop at the end of the the title field, since titles are not usually styled with a sentence end marker in papers or on book covers and let biblatex-chicago decide whether or not to place a full stop or a comma; on the other hand I would suggest to add a . to the author field to mark the C. as an initial). Since the code is OK we need to know what LaTeX and Biber complain about: Please show us the relevant parts of the .log and the full .blg file. See also tex.stackexchange.com/q/286706/35864
    – moewe
    Sep 29, 2018 at 11:01
  • Forgive my ignorance for not knowing what an OS machine is, but that probably does not really matter. We need to see the full contents of Biber's log file - the .blg file. It should tell us why no .bbl could be produced. edit: The quoted messages are entirely non-critical and do not even show that a .bbl was not found.
    – moewe
    Sep 29, 2018 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


The error message

Process started: biber.exe "document"

Error unlinking file C:\Windows\TEMP\bkLU5r9bip using unlink0 at
line 128.

Process exited with error(s)

(my line breaks) shows the root cause of the problem.

Biber is a self-extracting binary that needs to unpack itself into a cache location to run properly. Normally this happens on the first Biber run. Biber then creates a cache in a location suitable for temporary files and operates from there. If the cache is deleted it is simply recreated. But to work properly Biber needs full read and write access to the location of the cache. You can read more about this in chapter 4 of the Biber manual.

You can find out where your cache lives if you type

biber --cache

into your command line.

The underlying library that Biber uses to perform the packing an unpacking (PAR::Packer/pp) usually chooses the location of the temporary/cache folder based on the environment variables TMPDIR, TEMPDIR, TEMP and TMP.

As established in the comments (using set TEMP and set TMP) your environment variables are set up in a way that they direct Biber to unpack its cache into C:\Windows\TEMP\. But it seems that due to security reasons your operation system does not give Biber full read and write access to this directory. That means that Biber can not work properly.

You could ask your sysadmin to somehow whitelist Biber and give it full read and write access to its cache location. If that is not possible, you can try to tell Biber to write to a different location where you have full read and write access. To do that you need to set the value of the environment variable PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP.

  1. Find a directory you have full read and write access to (a directory within your user directory seems like a good guess C:\Users\<User>\...).
  2. Now set PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP to point to that directory. Open a command line and type

    set PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP=<your-writeable-directory>
  3. Run Biber and let it unpack itself to the new directory

    biber --version

    Wait for the process to finish, it may take a while.

  4. Verify the location of the cache

    biber --cache

    The output should show a folder name in the directory you passed to PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP.

  5. If possible clean up the old Biber caches from C:\Windows\TEMP. Of course that only works if you have write access to those files.

A relevant and related discussion can be found in https://github.com/plk/biber/issues/70.

  • Despite the complete answer, it does not seem to solve my issue. By setting PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP now a .bbl file is generated but it is empty. I tried multiple combination of compiler with no result.
    – MCS
    Oct 2, 2018 at 16:16
  • @MCS Is the file completely empty or does it contain at least a framework? If a .bbl is produced at all that means that Biber works at least to some extent. Do you get any useful messages in the Biber output when you run it or in the .blg file? (I don't know if I said this before, but on the off chance that I didn't: on Windows machines .blg files may be classified as "Performance monitor files", you may only be able to find them if you decide to unhide file extensions, despite Windows' claim to the contrary, the file is actually a simple text file that you can open with any text editor)
    – moewe
    Oct 2, 2018 at 16:21
  • Out of sheer frustration I re-installed, both MikTeX and TeXstudio and set the PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP. Everything now works. Thanks for the patience and the support.
    – MCS
    Oct 2, 2018 at 18:10

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