After a while, I'd like to play again with the FFI library with the help of an answer and a tutorial written by Henri Menke.

I run an archlinux up-to-date system with a TeXLive 2021 vanilla installed and up-to-date.

Unfortunately, running the following minimal example:



local ffi = require("ffi")
local gsl = ffi.load("gsl")



fails with:

christophe@cesium /tmp % lualatex --shell-escape t.tex
This is LuaHBTeX, Version 1.13.2 (TeX Live 2021) 
 system commands enabled.
LaTeX2e <2021-11-15>
 L3 programming layer <2021-11-22>
Document Class: minimal 2001/05/25 Standard LaTeX minimal class
) (/usr/local/texlive/2021/texmf-dist/tex/lualatex/luacode/luacode.sty
directlua]:2: could not load library gsl
stack traceback:
    [C]: in function 'FFISUPPORTED'
    [\directlua]:2: in main chunk.
\luacode@dbg@exec ...code@maybe@printdbg {#1} #1 }
l.8 \end{luacode*}

My system has:


I tried hardcoding the path, like local gsl = ffi.load("/usr/lib/libgsl.so"), but I still get could not load library /usr/lib/libgsl.so.

The luatex manual has no hint : it doesn't even mention the ffi library. Should I use luaJITtex instead? I'm quite confused to be honest.

Note that luajit is able to find the gsl library but fails too:

christophe@cesium /tmp % luajit -v
LuaJIT 2.0.5 -- Copyright (C) 2005-2017 Mike Pall. http://luajit.org/
christophe@cesium /tmp % cat t.lua       
local ffi = require("ffi")
local gsl = ffi.load("gsl")
christophe@cesium /tmp % luajit t.lua    
luajit: t.lua:2: /usr/lib/libgsl.so: undefined symbol: cblas_ctrmv

Any ideas?


The documentation for GSL states in the section about using the shared library:

To link against the library you need to specify both the main library and a supporting CBLAS library, which provides standard basic linear algebra subroutines. A suitable CBLAS implementation is provided in the library libgslcblas.a if your system does not provide one.

So you have to link to a CBLAS library too in order to use GSL. (This isn't done automatically since you might want use a different CBLAS library depending on your system) You can do this by running ffi.load for you chosen CBLAS implementation before loading gsl, e.g. (for GSL's bundled cblas):


ffi.load("gslcblas") -- Replace with another cblas for better performance
local gsl = ffi.load("gsl")

  • Thanks (+1) and accepted. Do you know if there is some documentation for the ffi library in luatex?
    – cjorssen
    Nov 30 '21 at 14:35
  • So it was the same issue as with luajit but obfuscated but luatex I guess?
    – cjorssen
    Nov 30 '21 at 14:37
  • @cjorssen It should be mostly compatible with the ffi library in LuaJIT, so you can use the documentation there. The repo of the used library is github.com/facebookarchive/luaffifb, but that mostly links to the LuaJIT docs. As you've seen, error messages can be slightly different and there's also some difference regarding NULL. Nov 30 '21 at 14:59

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