i can't use Biber from my work computer because the biber.exe, although installed in my programs directory, gets started in users/myname/appdata/local/temp folder. Because of that, it gets blocked by my company. I have only two options for making it work:

  1. Get Biber to stop working from this temp folder. When it would get executed from its program directory, where it is installed, it would probably work fine

  2. Get a signature for biber.exe. A signature in that sense, that the provider of LaTeX signates this package like: This biber.exe is a legit biber.exe and not some malware disguised as such.

I haven't found anything about the existence of such signatures for any LaTeX packages, I guess there are probably none, because there is no dedicated company behind LaTeX but rather the whole LaTeX community.

So is there any way to stop biber from starting its exe in this temp folder?

Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    you can unpack biber in another folder by setting the environment variable PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP see github.com/plk/biber/issues/70. If a signature is possible is probably something that you should ask the maintainer of your texsystem (you are not saying if you use miktex or texlive). Apr 19, 2023 at 8:09
  • Thanks for your comment Ulrike, I will look into it. I use MikTeX.
    – eufrat
    Apr 19, 2023 at 9:13
  • Sorry Ulrike, I am quite the LaTeX noob. Referring to this thread: golatex.de/… I am supposed to execute this command (top of page 2 of this thread) in Windows command shell, right? How do I find out about my biber version? In MikTeX Packages, it only says biber-windows-x64.
    – eufrat
    Apr 20, 2023 at 9:17
  • And regarding the second line of that command: biber --version. Supposed my version would be XY, should the command be biber --versionXY? Or just biber XY? Or biber --XY?
    – eufrat
    Apr 20, 2023 at 9:25
  • As you are doing this on company hardware: ask your IT for help. They will know how to set an environment variable and can test if this work. Apr 20, 2023 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


biber isn't a normal program in some respects. The biber.exe, when executed for the first time, unpacks itself to a temp location which is OS dependent and then runs itself from the temp location, which is the behaviour you are seeing. You can customise this temp location by setting an environment variable called PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP in your windows environment (just search for information on setting user environment variables for Windows - there will be thousands of results for that). Once you have this environment variable set, biber will unpack to the location you set with the variable and will run from there. There will certainly be some location you can use for this that is not restricted by your IT department (perhaps a folder on your Desktop?)

  • Hi, thank you for your answer. My IT said that its futile to try this, because even when I would succeed in getting biber to start from a folder where it does not get blocked (which would be my program directory), biber is not allowed to write there without admin rights.
    – eufrat
    Apr 24, 2023 at 6:57
  • Without digital signature from MikTeX, which I suppose is not existant, its not possible for me to use biber at my company.
    – eufrat
    Apr 24, 2023 at 7:05
  • The comment from your IT doesn't make much sense - there must locations on your machine where the user is allowed to write or the machine would be a brick. Look for the TMP/TEMP locations in the environment variables or perhaps the Desktop and set the PAR_GLOBAL_TEMP variable to such a location before running biber for the first time.
    – PLK
    Apr 26, 2023 at 19:39
  • Hi, there are of course locations where I can write independently from having admin rights or not. As far as I understood, the program directory is the only place where biber would not get blocked, but there I cant write without having admin rights. For example when I create a new folder there, I have to demand admin rights first. And any locations where I dont need admin rights to write, it gets blocked by AppLocker. I think its safe to say that IT doesnt want to be bothered with that anymore. So I have to try it myself. I will eventually do that within the next days.
    – eufrat
    Apr 27, 2023 at 20:45
  • For the moment, my workaround is to just compile on my private computer
    – eufrat
    Apr 27, 2023 at 20:46

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