I am currently setting up a hosted VM to build my own little personal cloud. The VM is running ubuntu server 20.04 on an aarch64 platform. I would like to synchronize my .tex files with it and have them build there. To this end I installed Tex Live 2022 as described in the debian set up page https://www.tug.org/texlive/debian.html .

I ran in to some problems downloading from the repo that first got selected (mirrors.concertpass.com) when installing. The only package reported missing was skills, with a rather generic "downloading did not succeed (download_file failed)" error message. I have switched mirrors after the installation with sudo tlmgr option repository ctan and installed the package with tlmgr manually and as reported by tlmgr successfully.

I ran a check afterwards which reported no problems:

ubuntu@cloud:~$ sudo tlmgr check all
Running check files:
Running check depends:
Running check executes:
Running check runfiles:
Running check texmfdbs

Biber however seems not to be installed.

ubuntu@cloud:~$ sudo biber

Command 'biber' not found, but can be installed with:

sudo apt install biber

Indeed biber is not in the texlive/2022/bin/aarch64-linux directory, but according tlmgr is installed, with a missing dependency.

ubuntu@cloud:~$ sudo tlmgr info biber
package:     biber
category:    Package
shortdesc:   A BibTeX replacement for users of BibLaTeX
longdesc:    Biber is a...
installed:   Yes
revision:    61867
tlmgr: cannot find depending package biber.aarch64-linux
tlmgr: action info returned an error; continuing.
tlmgr: An error has occurred. See above messages. Exiting.

Manually installing biber.aarch64-linux does not seem to be possible:

ubuntu@cloud:~$ sudo tlmgr install biber.aarch64-linux
tlmgr: package repository https://ctan.math.utah.edu/ctan/tex-archive/systems/texlive/tlnet (verified)
tlmgr install: package biber.aarch64-linux not present in repository.
tlmgr: action install returned an error; continuing.
tlmgr: An error has occurred. See above messages. Exiting.

How can I make my system provide a biber installation that is integrated into the tlmgr eco-system (particularly latexmk)?

  • 1
    texlive 2022 biber is not yet available on that plaform: tug.org/pipermail/tex-live/2022-April/047999.html Apr 9 at 11:29
  • Oh, well that's unfortunate. I'm not going to be able to build it myself I dont think. What are the risks of installing it from apt? And thank you for the lightning fast reply.
    – walterh
    Apr 9 at 11:59
  • If you install Biber from apt (if it is available at all) that version is unlikely to match with the biblatex version you have installed via your vanilla TeX Live. The apt version is going to match to the biblatex version provided by the TeX Live installable via apt.
    – moewe
    Apr 9 at 12:39
  • biber in my Texlive 2022 is 2.17 same as texlive 2021 so if it was in texlive 2021 aarch64 you could copy a binary across I think Apr 9 at 13:03
  • 1
    That makes sense, I can see that in the ubuntu repository for 22.04 the biber package is version 2.17, the newest one. I intend to upgrade ubuntu for other reasons already, so I will try that once it gets released or hopefully someone builds biber for my platform.
    – walterh
    Apr 9 at 13:22


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