biber first aid for “data source not found”

I don’t know what causes it, but every now and then biber gives up working on my system. Then I start getting error messages like data source /var/folders/m6/bn7r45zx6cx55rr9g4qh6s6w0000gn/T/par-agoldst/cache-87e533530c5239fb9f8e3ff008979f1f16ea0e5e//inc/lib/Biber/LaTeX/recode_data.xml not found in .

There is a magic incantation, which I found somewhere on the biber sourceforge forums, to get biber to clear the cobwebs by reinstalling itself using perl’s PAR tool, as it does the first time it is run on a new system. Just clear the PAR cache, whose location under /var is helpfully specified in the error message:

 sudo rm -rf /var/folders/m6/bn7r45zx6cx55rr9g4qh6s6w0000gn/T/par-agoldst

You will have different stuff in /var/folders.../par-<username>.

Since I’ve seen other people complaining of this, I’m convinced it’s not my fault but the result of some deeply buried sporadic bug in biber. I’d try harder to figure it out, but it’s just too easy to make this one go away when it pops up once every few months. TeX is hacking, people!

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24 Comments

Filed under biber, kludgetastic

24 responses to “biber first aid for “data source not found”

  1. Woojong Koh

    It worked! Thank you so much!

  2. Kim isn't too ill

    Works perfectly on MikTex in Windows 7 and strawberry perl installed 🙂

  3. Kerschdje

    You just saved my life

  4. Johan

    Please guys, I don’t understand a thing and I’m desperate. Biber does not work for me and I get the same error message. How do I clear the PAR cache? What the hell is the PAR cache?! 😦

  5. Johan

    Oh man, I just did it. 😀 I’m so happy…. THANKS THOUGH. I LOVE YOU. Now: my master thesis.

  6. neothemachine

    Mine, too!

  7. Oscar

    Puh, thank you for that tip!

  8. I can confirm that this tweak works also on OS X 10.6.8.

    Is there some better way to solve this one?

  9. saved me too. Thanks a lot

  10. hobbes

    Very helpful indeed, thank you!
    Though I am curious as to what is causing this (mis-)behaviour.

  11. Vincenzo

    This is the most useful post of my entire life. thank you.

  12. Yeeeeeeeah, thank you 😀 I had no clue until I tried to run biber on command line myself. The strange error message brought me to you. 😀

  13. Pingback: LaTeX-Problem: TeXlipse und Biber | brain.flush();

  14. Wundermax

    Oh boy. This is something than can cause seriously high blood pressure when it happens the first time. Thank you for putting this here where it’s easily found.

  15. Tim

    You just saved me too! I would have spent hours without luck if I hadn’t stumbled upon this. THANKS!

  16. I was just reading your post from today and thinking: “man, I should really just e-mail Andrew for some biblatex tech support. But first I should Google that error one last time.” So I did, read this post, and didn’t realize it was you until I hit the agoldst in the directory.

    Which on the one hand is helpful, but on the other makes me fear that to this point, only humanists feel the need to use biblatex, which is kind of a scary thought for switching.

  17. I get this error all the time. And every time this post saves me. Damned Biber.

  18. Pingback: Besting biber : Martin Larsson

  19. robohobo

    Thank you. Another LaTeXer saved!

  20. Lundegaard

    You safed my thesis!!!

  21. Very helpful, thank you. For Windows 7/8 users, the equivalent fix is to delete the par-xxxxxx folder from C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Temp.

  22. This saved me:

    cd /var
    sudo find . -name “par*”
    sudo rm -f

    it’s not always par-username either

  23. Tobi

    You saved me!!
    While googling around a bit I also found this:
    “On Linux and Mac, this can be combined to delete the offending folder in one command”:
    rm -rf `biber –cache`

    originally posted at:
    http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/140814/biblatex-biber-fails-with-a-strange-error-about-missing-recode-data-xml-file

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