[tex-live] biber in cygwin64 tl2016 builds

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Thu May 19 12:18:04 CEST 2016

On Thu, May 19, 2016 at 09:46:28AM +0100, David Carlisle wrote:
> biber apparently hangs on any input if I just use something as simple as
> \documentclass{article}
> \usepackage{biblatex}
> \begin{document}
> \end{document}
> then after pdflatex file, biber file just hangs at the command line
> with no output and no log (even with --trace) and I have to kill it.
> biber -- help works and biber --cache shows a cache in /tmp (which I
> tried removing and it built another one but with same result)
> There were some problems at the start of tl2015 with biber but they
> cleared up at some point, although to be honest I don't recall if they
> fixed in texlive or if I just switched in the biber that comes with
> cygwin.  The cygwin /usr/bin/biber works most of the time but now
> complains that the version in the bcf file is 3.1 not 3.0 so
> presumably it will fail if any new features are really used.
> David

On linux with tl2015 and biber-2.3, if I use your example with
pdflatex and then biber, biber fails with:

INFO - This is Biber 2.3
INFO - Logfile is 'biber.tex.blg'
ERROR - Cannot find control file 'biber.tex.bcf'! - did you pass the
"backend=biber" option to BibLaTeX?

That implies that your example is defective ?

In my own test suite I use:


The message I got implies that at least the backend specification is
required.  Why yours hangs I have no idea, but the results of what a
program considers to be unexpected input (if you will allow me to
anthropomorphize programs) are always "interesting" and only
occasionally match what humans expect (I'm thinking particularly of
compilation error messages, at least after the first error).

BUT - for me, an essentially empty document with all of my normal
package settings fails in the same way.  Has such an empty document
worked in the past ?  If it has, should it be expected to work ?
I've no idea, it took me a long time to find a biber example that
worked for me, I'm just asking if this is a realistic document.

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