Using libertinus as fontfamily within a yaml-header of a .md-file and trying to convert with pandoc (2.9.2) and the pdf-engine lualatex (TL 2020, LuaLaTeX 1.12.0) I get the following error-message:

! LaTeX Error: Command `\eth' already defined.

See the LaTeX manual or LaTeX Companion for explanation.
Type  H <return>  for immediate help.
l.240 ...mbol{\eth}            {\mathord}{AMSb}{"67}

Steps to reproduce Take this mwe for the .md-file

title: Test
author: Author
date: \today
fontfamily: libertinus
This is a test-file. 



the command for the conversion is

pandoc -s libertinus-test.md --pdf-engine=lualatex -o libertinus-test.pdf

I figured out that the problem is the line with the math-packages:


Note: As soon as I change the fontfamily to libertine it is no problem. But same problem also occurs with libertinus-otf (by HV).

There is also an issue for this topic: https://github.com/alif-type/libertinus/issues/327

  • You have to convince pandoc not to load amssymb.
    – egreg
    Jun 18, 2020 at 8:59
  • and how can I do that without changing the default template? Jun 18, 2020 at 9:00
  • 1
    Notify the pandoc people that loading amssymb along with unicode-math is nonsensical. As far as I can see, there is no conditional around \usepackage{amssymb,amsmath} in the default template, so you're doomed.
    – egreg
    Jun 18, 2020 at 9:12

1 Answer 1


The default pandoc template has

100 \usepackage{amssymb,amsmath}
101 \usepackage{ifxetex,ifluatex}
102 \ifnum 0\ifxetex 1\fi\ifluatex 1\fi=0 % if pdftex
103   \usepackage[$if(fontenc)$$fontenc$$else$T1$endif$]{fontenc}
104   \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
105   \usepackage{textcomp} % provide euro and other symbols
106 \else % if luatex or xetex
107 $if(mathspec)$
108   \ifxetex
109     \usepackage{mathspec}
110   \else
111     \usepackage{unicode-math}
112   \fi
113 $else$
114   \usepackage{unicode-math}
115 $endif$

which unconditionally loads amssymb. This is the cause of your issues.

Note that loading amssymb along with unicode-math makes very little sense (if at all).

A more sensible template would have

\ifnum 0\ifxetex 1\fi\ifluatex 1\fi=0 % if pdftex
  \usepackage{textcomp} % provide euro and other symbols
\else % if luatex or xetex
  • please have a look at github.com/jgm/pandoc/issues/6469 and comment!
    – lemzwerg
    Jul 4, 2020 at 4:11
  • @lemzwerg Yes, there was an oversight, fixed my proposal.
    – egreg
    Jul 4, 2020 at 7:12
  • "Note that loading amssymb along with unicode-math makes very little sense (if at all)" -- this seems to be wrong. See github.com/jgm/pandoc/issues/6825 -- when we removed amssymb, it seems we lost \square which we need for todo lists. Nov 11, 2020 at 17:24
  • @JohnMacFarlane Abusing a math symbol font for text parts is not the best strategy.
    – egreg
    Nov 11, 2020 at 17:45
  • I'm not sure we can rely on the existence of appropriate glyphs in the main font -- since users can specify their own, and we don't know what fonts are available. Do you have another suggestion? Nov 12, 2020 at 3:11

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