I want to create my custom bibliography style in biblatex, but I'm having trouble loading it.

Since I want an ieee-style format, but in my university's style, I've decided to create my own style named myieee by copying everything under /usr/local/texlive/2020/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex-ieee to /usr/local/texlive/2020/texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex-myieee and replaced every ieee with myieee.

I'm trying to load the customized style with \usepackage[style = myieee]{biblatex}, but The bibliography style 'myieee' could not be found.. What can I do in order to load my style?

I've tried searching through texmf-dist/tex/latex/biblatex to see if ieee is referred to somewhere there, but I could not find anything.

  • 1
    If you really want to do it like that, it might very well be that you just need to update the file database in your LaTeX distribution (depending on the distribution you use, this is done in different ways). However, one of the strengths of BibLaTeX is that you can modify styles on the fly. If ieee is very close to what you want, why do not just make the modification directly in the BibLaTeX coding language within your TeX-file instead of creating a new style? May 26 '20 at 12:20
  • @ManuelWeinkauf Since it applies to most of the entry types, I see it more of a new package. I have also created one more entry type, so having a dbx-file in my project directory is not what I want.
    – aahlback
    May 26 '20 at 13:42
  • See for example tex.stackexchange.com/questions/476537/… for updating the search path for LaTeX (that question is for Windows but it works the same for Linux, possibly with sudo).
    – Marijn
    May 26 '20 at 13:47
  • @Marijn Thanks! By moving it to ~/texmf/tex/latex/biblatex-myieee instead and then updating it, it worked!
    – aahlback
    May 26 '20 at 15:55

In general it is not recommended to (manually) install packages (or other LaTeX code like biblatex styles) in the TeXMF tree controlled by your TeX distribution.


should only be changed by tlmgr.

There are several places where you can put your own packages/files.

For a one-off the simplest solution is to just drop them in the same directory as your main .tex file. But if you want to use the style more frequently that is not a good option. In those cases you can put the files into TEXMFHOME or TEXMFLOCAL, see How do I install an individual package on a Linux system? and Where do I place my own .sty or .cls files, to make them available to all my .tex files? for more details (also https://texfaq.org/FAQ-what-TDS and https://texfaq.org/FAQ-privinst).

Note that if you choose a TEXMF tree you will have to save your files in a specific folder structure, the so-called TDS, see https://texfaq.org/FAQ-install-where.

For TeX live on a Linux system, TEXMFHOME is generally ~/texmf and so your files could go to


Double check with

kpsewhich -var-value TEXMFHOME

that TEXMFHOME is really ~/texmf.

The advantage of TEXMFHOME is that you do not have to update LaTeX's file database with mktexlsr, which may be necessary if you install to TEXMFLOCAL (and if you mess with files in the system-controlled directory).

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