Building biber on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

As I’ve just installed Ubuntu 10.04 (‘Lucid Lynx’) on my test system, I thought I should check that I can get biber working. As in my earlier posts, this is not too hard, but it’s nice to have some instructions. As usual, first you need to download biber from the homepage and unpack the files. Using the Terminal, move the directory where the source is and do

sudo cpan Config::AutoConf
perl Build.PL
sudo ./Build installdeps
./Build test
sudo ./Build install

The cpan line adds one module to Perl which for some reason biber’s installdeps routine doesn’t find automatically: if you miss this out then the build will fail. There are a lot of Perl questions while the additional modules are installed: I just say yes to all to them. The build itself is pretty quite, and it’s almost at the point of being trivial (the above instructions now seem to work on all the platforms I use).

TeX Live 2009 on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

TeX users on Linux tend to use the packaged TeX installation provided by there distro, rather than using the standard TeX Live installer and managing things themselves. Ubuntu is one of the more popular Linux distros, and there has been an issue for a while that they had stuck with TeX Live 2007, despite TeX Live 2008 and then TeX Live 2009 being released.

The latest Ubuntu release, 10.04 ‘Lucid Lynx’, finally moves to TeX Live 2009. This finally makes it easy to get TeX Live in a reasonable up to date version:

sudo apt-get install texlive

This grabs a subset of the complete TeX Live 2009, but seems to include quite a good selection (a bit like the MiKTeX basic installation on Windows, but I think a bit bigger). TeXworks is also on the list (at least the stable version), so if you don’t want to compile it from the source you can do

sudo apt-get install texworks

and be ready to go. Of course, you might still need to grab a few more bits of TeX Live (for example, XeTeX is not included in the standard selection). However, it’s definitely an improvement of the earlier situation.