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A configuration file should be created at $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/paperq/paperq.conf (or $HOME/.config/paperq/paperq.conf). Each line in the file should consist of an option name and a value, separated by a space. Each option can be defined only once.

Available options:

  • bibtex-dir: a directory containing BibTeX files to be used for retrieving bibliographic data
  • bibtex-file: a BibTeX file to be used for retrieving bibliographic data
  • wrap (default 64): the number of characters at which to wrap the bibliographic information. Note that this does not include the tab character that is placed in front of the text. Thus, if you want to wrap at 72 characters, and your terminal displays tabs as eight characters, set wrap to 64.
  • max-authors (default 3): the number of authors to print before truncating the list and
  • open-cmd (default xdg-open %s): the command used to open documents. Use %s as a placeholder for the file name.
  • print-cmd (default lp %s): the command used to print documents. Use %s as a placeholder for the file name.
  • bibcache-size (default 1000): the number of buckets in the DBM store of bibliographic data (see below)

Displaying bibliographic information

The display of bibliographic data requires one or more BibTeX files. Document file names are assumed to correspond with the BibTeX keys (i.e. "Smith2012.pdf" -> "@article{Smith2012,...") in the BibTeX file. Inside the configuration file, either declare the bibtex-dir or bibtex-file variable followed by the corresponding file/directory name, i.e.:

bibtex-dir /home/john/bibtex


bibtex-file /home/john/bibtex/mybib.bib

Only one of the two variable needs to specified. Only one file defined by bibtex-file will be used, regardless of the number defined. bibtex-dir takes precedence over bibtex-file.

If a bibtex file is available, listing the documents in the queue (-l) will display their bibliographic data rather than their filenames.

Caching bibliographic info with zeptodb

By default, paperq regenerates the bibliographic information for a file every time you request information on it. Instead, if zeptodb is installed on your system, the bibliographic text will be cached, which might speed up the listing of larger numbers of articles.

Set the bibcache-size option in the config file in order to set the approximate maximum number of articles that you expect to have in the cache (default 1000). If the cache grows to be longer than this number, performance might be a bit slower. On the other hand, setting this to be needlessly large may also result in slower performance (either way, the effect will probably be minimal unless your queue is extremely large, in which case you probably have larger problems than a slightly slower paperq). Note that the bibcache-size is only used when the cache is first created. You cannot change the value at a later time.