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I am using MATLAB on Arch Linux and I am running into problems. When I try and open the help (doc) I get the following error

/opt/tmw/matlab/sys/jxbrowser/glnxa64/xulrunner/xulrunner-linux-64/libxul.so: /usr/lib/libharfbuzz.so.0: undefined symbol: FT_Done_MM_Var

Now from what I can piece together there is not as simple as rolling back the harfbuzz package since there is some sort of interaction between freetype2 and harfbuzz in that they need to be built against each other.

As MATLAB is proprietary it is hard to know exactly what is going on, but my guess is something in MATLAB was built against the older freetype2/harfbuzz setup and that is now causing issues. Does this seem reasonable? If so, how do I work around it? If not, what else could be going on?

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From the Arch Linux wiki:

A solution is to install outdated versions of the libraries in the packages cairo (1.14.10 works) and harfbuzz (1.4.6 works) to a local directory and add them to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH for matlab (See also: [5]):

LD_LIBRARY_PATH="/opt/matlab/outdatedLibraries/:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH" /opt/matlab/R2017b/bin/matlab
  • No doubt this will work, but since it seems to be an issue not with the new version but compile flags, I would rather rebuild the libraries with the needed flags to prevent the problems. – StrongBad May 20 '18 at 17:01
  • Go for it! I was just trying to convert a possible answer from a comment to an Answer. If you discover steps to solve the problem otherwise, please write up an Answer. – Jeff Schaller May 20 '18 at 17:32

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