I've tried installing Mathematica 11 on Fedora 29 using the .sh install file. The installation seems to have worked (no errors and everything looks normal). However, when I attempt to run Mathematica I get the following error

/usr/local/Wolfram/Mathematica/11.3/SystemFiles/FrontEnd/Binaries/Linux-x86-64/Mathematica: symbol lookup error: /lib64/libfontconfig.so.1: undefined symbol: FT_Done_MM_Var

Seems to be some sort of font error, but I don't know how to fix it.


3 Answers 3


I had same problem on different Linux. I will show what I did.

This is a known issue. see https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/57948

Problems with fontconfig and Mathematica. The following error is reported. /usr/local/Wolfram/Mathematica/11.2/SystemFiles/FrontEnd/Binaries/Linux-x86-64/Mathematica: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/libfontconfig.so.1: undefined symbol: FT_Done_MM_Var

What I did is this: become root, and removed 3 libs related to this error, from inside Mathematica system folder. To be safe, you can rename them instead.

Remove or rename freetype.so. and I remember also removing libz.so.

Here is the main link I used to help with this.


I switched back to windows for desktop since then.

I did send bug report to WRI on this. CASE:4082638 This is the reply I got

This may be related to a known issue and the developers are working on resolving it for a future Mathematica version. In the meantime, please consider placing libfreetype.so.6 in the MathematicaInstallationDirectory/SystemFiles/Libraries/Linux-x86-64/ directory. The libfreetype.so.6 component is available at https://wolfr.am/vO0qvWH7PW: Another option is reverting back to fontconfig 2.12. Please let us know if neither option resolves the behavior. Wolfram Technical Supportsupport.wolfram.com

btw, I did not follow the instructions in the email above, since by the time I got the reply, the problem was resolved by deleting these libraries mentioned above.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Thanks you. I had previously tried renaming libfreetype.so and libfreetype.so.6, which didn't help. But now I also renamed libz.so.1, and that seems to have resolved the problem. $\endgroup$
    – theQman
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 16:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As answer above suggests I copied from /usr/lib/** libz.so.1 and libfreetype.so.6 to MathematicaInstallationDirectory/SystemFiles/Libraries/Linux-x86-64/ and it started working. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks now mathematica start, but adding a subchapter leads to an error/wrong formating. ;-( $\endgroup$ Commented May 5, 2020 at 8:51
  • $\begingroup$ @JoKalliauer Sorry, I do not understand what you mean by adding a subchapter leads to an error/wrong formating If you mean you were above to start Mathematica now OK, but you have an issue using afterwords, then I would suggest making a new question on that. Myself do not use Mathematica on Linux. But on windows now. $\endgroup$
    – Nasser
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ This is a very helpful answer indeed +1, but the short-link you provided for the library appears to be broken $\endgroup$
    – mattiav27
    Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 18:44

All solutions here did not work for me. However, this did work: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Mathematica#Troubleshooting

  • $\begingroup$ Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 16:07

On 5.13.13-arch1-1 updated september 1 of 2021 fails this solution, after searching doesn't find solution I copy previous version of libz and libfreetype with mathematica working and copy and paste into Mathematica-FOLDER/SystemFiles/Libraries/Linux-x86-64 and mathematica works again

you can get these ones here https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Z0ExZtxmAJ4AXOUEm085tLdL141dladn?usp=sharing


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