I am using asymptote to generate lots of images in a LaTeX document. The images are translated from asymptote to PDF as this:

pdflatex text.tex
asy text-*.asy
pdflatex text.tex

However, asymptote insists in opening a window, (which briefly flashes and goes away, without any content). Because of that I cannot compile my document from a remote machine using ssh:

asy x.asy
freeglut (asy): failed to open display ''

Is there a way to run asymptote in some mode that does not require a window system (without a defined DISPLAY in Unix)?

I have already tried -noView and -nointeractiveView, but Asymptote will still try to open a window.

  • Try asy -noView text-*.asy
    – egreg
    Aug 12, 2015 at 17:31
  • egreg: thanks, but even with -noView it tries to use the display...
    – Jay
    Aug 12, 2015 at 17:44
  • nordev: it also complains about not being able to "open display ''"
    – Jay
    Aug 12, 2015 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


Asymptote has disabled offscreen rendering by default. To enable this feature, pass the -offscreen option to asy:

asy -offscreen text-*.asy

Alternatively you can create a config.asy configuration file and include the following:

import settings;

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