After I read an article on I got intrigued: this sounded like a really comfortable way to automate my compiling process! So today I downloaded, installed and used Paolo Cereda‘s arara for the first time — and immediately fell in love with it. So now I’d like to tell you how I installed it on my linux machine, added an entry to my kile editor and how it works once you’ve set it up.


Since I am working with OpenSUSE as OS I tell you, what I did to get it working there. The first step is to download [cce inline=”true”]arara.jar[/cce]. Then I created the directory [cce inline=”true”]/opt/arara/[/cce] and placed the file in there. Now I created a bash script in the same directory named [cce inline=”true”]arara[/cce] containing the following two lines: [cce]#!/bin/bash java -jar “$(dirname “$0″)/arara.jar” $*[/cce] This file must be executable, so I run [cce inline=”true”]chmod 777 arara[/cce] on the command line. (I changed these rights to more restricted ones later. I was eager to start!) Next thing to do was making it accessable from everywhere. For this I added the following lines to the [cce inline=”true”].profile[/cce] file in my home directory: [cce]# arara PATH=/opt/arara:$PATH; export PATH[/cce] That’s it. Since I am a dedicated kile user I created a menu entry for [cce inline=”true”]arara[/cce] next. Simply go to [cce inline=”true”]Einstellungen > Kile einrichten > Werkzeuge > Erstellen[/cce] and add an entry [cce inline=”true”]arara[/cce] with options [cce inline=”true”]’–verbose %S'[/cce]. Now we’re good to go. Sorry for the menu entries being in German. The English ones must be something like [cce inline=”true”]Settings > Setup Kile > Tools > Built[/cce].

Setting it up

Next thing you need are rules for [cce inline=”true”]arara[/cce]. Otherwise it won’t do anything. But to get started you don’t need to dig too deep into it. I created the subdirectory [cce inline=”true”]/opt/arara/rules/plain/[/cce]. This directory now should contain the rules which are files with the extension [cce inline=”true”]yaml[/cce]. Paolo Cereda has a bunch of them ready to use. So for testing purposes I copied them into the directory and I was ready for testing. The names of the [cce inline=”true”]yaml[/cce] files now are the rules for [cce inline=”true”]arara[/cce]. Creating these rules on your own isn’t very difficult, though. The documentation explains several examples step by step. Actually I created own rules first before I realized there were ready ones.

Let the music begin: run arara

For testing purposes I created a file [cce inline=”true”]test.tex[/cce] containg these lines: [cce lang=”latex”]% arara: pdflatex % arara: makeindex: { style: } % arara: biber % arara: pdflatex % arara: pdflatex \documentclass{article} \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} \usepackage{filecontents} \usepackage{makeidx} \begin{filecontents}{\} heading_prefix “{\\bfseries ” heading_suffix “\\hfil}\\nopagebreak\n” headings_flag 1 delim_0 “\\dotfill ” delim_1 “\\dotfill ” delim_2 “\\dotfill ” delim_r “\\textendash” suffix_2p “\\nohyperpage{\\,f.}” suffix_3p “\\nohyperpage{\\,ff.}” \end{filecontents} \usepackage[backend=biber]{biblatex} \addbibresource{biblatex-examples.bib} \makeindex \begin{document} A citation\cite{companion} and an index entry\index{bla} and some arbitrary text. \printbibliography \printindex \end{document}[/cce] The first five lines [cce lang=”latex”]% arara: pdflatex % arara: makeindex: { style: } % arara: biber % arara: pdflatex % arara: pdflatex[/cce] tell [cce inline=”true”]arara[/cce] to run [cce inline=”true”]pdflatex[/cce], then [cce inline=”true”]makeindex[/cce] with a custom style file, then [cce inline=”true”]biber[/cce] for the bibliography and [cce inline=”true”]pdflatex[/cce] twice more. Hit the [cce inline=”true”]arara[/cce] button in kile and voila: everythings ready! With some effort that took less than an hour I made my life a lot easier! Thanks very much to Paolo for this awesome software!

2 thoughts on “arara – automate your LaTeX with birds music

  1. Wow, that’s a nice summary. Thank’s for the effort!

    1. cgnieder says:

      Thanks! You’re welcome 🙂

      I have posted this before arara v3.0 made it to CTAN. Now that it is part of TeX Live and has an installer installation is easier if even necessary, of course.

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