6.35. Readline-6.3

The Readline package is a set of libraries that offers command-line editing and history capabilities.

Approximate build time: 0.1 SBU
Required disk space: 17.8 MB

6.35.1. Installation of Readline

First install some patches to fix various bugs that have been addressed upstream:

patch -Np1 -i ../readline-6.3-upstream_fixes-3.patch

Reinstalling Readline will cause the old libraries to be moved to <libraryname>.old. While this is normally not a problem, in some cases it can trigger a linking bug in ldconfig. This can be avoided by issuing the following two seds:

sed -i '/MV.*old/d' Makefile.in
sed -i '/{OLDSUFF}/c:' support/shlib-install

Prepare Readline for compilation:

./configure --prefix=/usr --docdir=/usr/share/doc/readline-6.3

Compile the package:

make SHLIB_LIBS=-lncurses

The meaning of the make option:


This option forces Readline to link against the libncurses (really, libncursesw) library.

This package does not come with a test suite.

Install the package:

make SHLIB_LIBS=-lncurses install

Now move the dynamic libraries to a more appropriate location and fix up some symbolic links:

mv -v /usr/lib/lib{readline,history}.so.* /lib
ln -sfv ../../lib/$(readlink /usr/lib/libreadline.so) /usr/lib/libreadline.so
ln -sfv ../../lib/$(readlink /usr/lib/libhistory.so ) /usr/lib/libhistory.so

If desired, install the documentation:

install -v -m644 doc/*.{ps,pdf,html,dvi} /usr/share/doc/readline-6.3

6.35.2. Contents of Readline

Installed libraries: libhistory.{a,so} and libreadline.{a,so}
Installed directories: /usr/include/readline, /usr/share/readline, and /usr/share/doc/readline-6.3

Short Descriptions


Provides a consistent user interface for recalling lines of history


Aids in the consistency of user interface across discrete programs that need to provide a command line interface