Bibtex going openout_any = p

posted in: LaTeX, Technicalities | 4

Working with multibib, Bibtex started failing me after a recent reinstallation of texlive on xubuntu. On
bibtex <project-path>/src.aux
I got:

 bibtex: Not writing to &lt;project-path&gt;/src.blg (openout_any = p).

I couldn't open file name `&lt;project-path&gt;/src.blg' 

To get rid of the error, open texmf.cnf, which resides in /usr/share/texlive/texmf/web2c through
sudo gedit /usr/share/texlive/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf
Then find the entry

openout_any = p

p is the paranoid setting. I changed it to r and it now works again (chapeau to dmj).

[update 31 Jan 2013] If sudo is not an option and thus texmf.cnf can’t be changed, see Sini’s helpful comment below. [/update]


If you want to learn about multiple bibliographies using multibib, there is a very good tutorial by peisistratos. Unfortunately it is in German, but I’m sure there are English ones out there, too.

4 Responses

  1. DD

    if the trick doesn’t work, try “locate”-ing the *.cnf file in your system, as you might have two (this was my case), one in the

    /usr/share/texlive/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf directory

    but also another one in


    changed them both and now it works!


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