[tex-live] TeXLive 2016 asymptote on archlinux

Nelson H. F. Beebe beebe at math.utah.edu
Tue Jan 17 16:06:12 CET 2017

Christophe Jorssen <christophe.jorssen at gmail.com> reports about his
new ArchLinux laptop:

>> asy: error while loading shared libraries: libreadline.so.5: cannot open

You can find many alternative bin distributions for TeX Live 2016 at


The x86_64-linux-arch version of asy refers to libreadline.so.6, so I
checked all of the other x86_64-linux*/asy files, and found that they
need either libreadline.so.5 or libreadline.so.6.

ArchLinux uses a bleeding-edge rolling release model (as does Debian
unstable/testing, Fedora Rawhide, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, TrueOS, and
Ubuntu RR), and regrettably, the distributors fail to understand that
once released, shared library versions need to be preserved, and not
deleted, because user code may be linked against them.

As a temporary fix, I suggest doing this on your system:

	sudo ln -s libreadline.so.7 /usr/lib/libreadline.so.6

That allows asy on my ArchLinux system to at least respond to
--version.  I've had to do similar things for -lreadline in the past
for other packages, so I suspect you'll then be just fine.

- Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254                  -
- University of Utah                    FAX: +1 801 581 4148                  -
- Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB    Internet e-mail: beebe at math.utah.edu  -
- 155 S 1400 E RM 233                       beebe at acm.org  beebe at computer.org -
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