On MS Windows 10, 64 bit, recent TeXlive instalation, I am unable to run Biber. I am using TeXWorks for compilation. When biber is called, it produces no output in console and running lualatex biber lualatex produces same output as running only lualatex.

  • Biblatex v. 3.14
  • Biber from TeXlive 2019

Searching with where biber in windows cmd line, I get correct location of instalation:


same binary is also used in TeXworks as compilation tool.

According to answer here:

Troubleshooting for biber

issuing in cmd line

biber --help

produces no output whatsoever (no webpage, no error). How can I resolve this situation? How can I reinstall Biber, preferably via tlmgr? This issue is present on my Office PC (at work), so I might not be able to tinker with TeXlive installation fully.

As MWE (in case content of .aux files or so is required) could work example from Overleaf tutorial:





    author =       "Albert Einstein",
    title =        "{Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter K{\"o}rper}. ({German})
    [{On} the electrodynamics of moving bodies]",
    journal =      "Annalen der Physik",
    volume =       "322",
    number =       "10",
    pages =        "891--921",
    year =         "1905",
    DOI =          "http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/andp.19053221004",
    keywords =     "physics"

    title={The Principles of Quantum Mechanics},
    author={Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac},
    series={International series of monographs on physics},
    publisher={Clarendon Press},
    keywords = {physics}

    author    = "Donald Knuth",
    title     = "Knuth: Computers and Typesetting",
    url       = "http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~uno/abcde.html",
    keywords  = "latex,knuth"

    author = "Donald E. Knuth",
    title = "Fundamental Algorithms",
    publisher = "Addison-Wesley",
    year = "1973",
    chapter = "1.2",
    keywords  = "knuth,programming"




\title{Bibliography management: \texttt{biblatex} package}
\date{ }



Using \texttt{biblatex} you can display bibliography divided into sections, 
depending of citation type. 
Let's cite! The Einstein's journal paper \cite{einstein} and the Dirac's 
book \cite{dirac} are physics related items. 
Next, \textit{The \LaTeX\ Companion} book \cite{latexcompanion}, the Donald 
Knuth's website \cite{knuthwebsite}, \textit{The Comprehensive Tex Archive 
Network} (CTAN) \cite{ctan} are \LaTeX\ related items; but the others Donald 
Knuth's items \cite{knuth-fa,knuth-acp} are dedicated to programming. 



  • Try to set the environment variable PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP so that it points to a temporary folder for which you certainly have writing rights. See github.com/plk/biber/issues/70 Mar 2, 2020 at 13:01
  • Thank you for your suggestion Mrs. Fischer. Testing this may take a while (since I have no rights to create global env. variable). I will contact my Office IT dep. in this matter; which will cause (significant) delay. I report back after I will have any more info/results/questions. Mar 2, 2020 at 13:24
  • you don't need a global environment variable. Simply run in a command line set PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP=path/to/folder and then biber --help to check if it can unpack. Mar 2, 2020 at 13:25
  • OK, thank you for clarification. Your solution is working. With commands you provided, (a lot of files) is produced in given path. I tried compilation with generated biber.exe ; it gives now error: Can't locate PAR.pm in @INC (you may need to install the PAR module) (@INC contains:) at -e line 593. Is PAR some Perl module? I have (clean) Strawberry Perl installed. Mar 2, 2020 at 13:38
  • Did you try while the environment variable is still set? Mar 2, 2020 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


This answer is written according to comments posted by Mrs. Fischer. With her guidance, I was able to solve my issue. This solution is specific to Windows users with user-control enabled (usually a company setting).

It seems, that biber during execution requires to be "unpacked." This process is blocked from user-control due to forbidden write location. You should follow these steps (tested on Win10 with user control):

  1. Create new user environment variable called PAR_GLOBAL_VARIABLE and set it to path, where you have guaranteed writing access (somewhere, where you have your own files). I recommend create new empty folder for that.
  2. start cmd.exe and start command biber --help. That executes biber and makes it unpack in location, which you have specified. It takes some time and its a lot files, so make yourself a coffee or tee
  3. After that, in cmd output you will get biber help page. That signals it is working.
  4. Set compilation tool path in your tex editor (in my case, TeXworks) to path where you "unpacked" biber to biber.exe file newly created.
  5. Test a compilation run, it should work OK.
  • Another issue arises on user-administered systems with anti-virus software. Recently, the unpacking process was flagged by BitDefender as malicius. For that, ask your Office IT department to employ a scanning exception for the folder in which the "unpacking" takes place. Mar 6, 2020 at 13:13

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