How do I run the dynamically linked version of Stata on Linux?
|| Dynamically linked version of Stata on Linux
|| Chinh Nguyen, StataCorp
|| July 2007; minor revisions July 2009
Stata for Unix now uses GTK+-2.0 to
create its graphical user interface. Although most distributions of Linux
have included GTK+-2.0 dynamic libraries for some time, Stata may use some
features of GTK+-2.0 that may be unavailable in the version of GTK+-2.0
currently installed on your computer. For this reason, we recommend that
you use the statically linked versions of Stata for Linux.
We do, however, include dynamically linked versions of Stata for Linux. The
following document describes the minimum set of libraries you will need to
run the dynamically linked version of Stata for Unix, as well as how to
build and install them.
Before you start
Why would you want to run the dynamically linked version of Stata?
A dynamically linked version of any executable will have a smaller footprint
for both memory and disk space. Newer versions of dynamic libraries with bug
fixes and performance improvements to GTK+-2.0 that a dynamically linked
executable will pick up may be available. Also only a dynamically linked
version can supports themes from GNOME
I’m getting messages like “error while loading shared
libraries:” followed by a list of missing libraries. What does that
You are attempting to run the dynamically linked version of Stata, but your
system does not have the required libraries. You must either install the
statically linked version of Stata or install a version of the GTK+-2.0
libraries that is compatible with Stata.
How do I tell if my GTK+-2.0 libraries are compatible with Stata?
Install the dynamically linked version of Stata appropriate for your
license and try to launch it, or use ldd on the
executable for a list of dependencies. If Stata launches or
ldd reports no missing dependencies, then
you will not need to do anything else. Otherwise, you can upgrade the
libraries by installing RPMs or by compiling and installing the libraries
What do I need to install the GTK+-2.0 dynamic libraries?
Besides RPMs or source code, you will probably need superuser access if you
are making a systemwide installation.
Install with RPMs or compile and install?
If you can, use RPMs to upgrade your GTK+-2.0 libraries. Stata’s
minimum requirement for GTK+-2.0 is GTK+ 2.8.17, GLIB 2.10.2, Cairo 1.4.2,
GtkSourceView 1.6.0, and their dependencies. Having the most recent version
of Cairo is important because earlier versions of Cairo can have trouble
drawing Stata graphs with complex paths.
If RPMs are not available for your Linux distribution, proceed to the
Compiling and installing GTK+-2.0 step.
Depending on your Linux distribution, you probably have a package manager that
can resolve any dependencies and download the latest library versions
available for your operating system. Newer versions of Red Hat and Fedora
use yum, Suse has
yast, Debian and Ubuntu use
apt, and Gentoo uses the
portage system. You will need to consult your
distribution’s manual pages for package installation syntax.
You can also visit public repositories and manually download the necessary
files. Sites such as freshrpms.net and
rpmfind.net have many updated packages for
most mainstream Linux distributions.
Compiling and installing GTK+-2.0
Before you download, compile, and install the libraries, you must set up your
build environment. For bash, use
For csh, use
setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH "/usr/local/lib"
setenv PKG_CONFIG_PATH "/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig"
setenv PATH "/usr/local/bin:$PATH"
The default installation directory for the libraries is
/usr/local. The actual dynamic libraries will
be installed in the subdirectory lib of the
installation directory (here, /usr/local/lib).
If you plan on installing the libraries and their subdirectories elsewhere,
make sure that you specify where the actual libraries and pkg-config files
will be installed in the package’s configure step.
Download the source code archives listed in the
Minimum set of libraries column of
the following table. This is the minimum set of libraries you will need
if your Linux distribution has libraries older than those required to run
Download the source code archives listed as
Possible dependencies only if you
have an older Linux distribution that does not have GTK+-2.0 installed at
all or if building the minimum set of libraries fails because of missing
dependencies. Not all libraries may have to be built, and the archive links
are provided only to resolve any possible missing dependencies.
Your Linux distribution must have
installed. We recommend using gcc for compiling the libraries.
Once the minimum set of libraries’ archives are downloaded, you must
compile and install each library in the order listed because some packages
will require others to build properly. It is best to extract the source
code for a library, and then compile and install it before extracting the next
library. This approach will help you keep track of the build process and aid
in dependency resolution.
It is possible that only a few libraries do not meet the minimum requirement
for Stata. If that is the case, only compile the libraries that are
listed in the
"error while loading shared libraries:" message.
For example, if after launching Stata, you receive a message that there
was an error loading the shared library
libtiff.3.7.4.so, then only compile the library for
TIFF-3.7.4. Repeat until all dependencies are
Usually, you need to perform only the following steps (after
extracting a library’s source code and changing to the extracted
$ sudo make install
If you need to set any environment variables for compilation, do it at the
configure step. For example,
$ env CC=gcc CFLAGS=-m64 ./configure
We only provide the -m64 compiler flag to the
configure script as an example. gcc will generate code native to the environment (32 bit
or 64 bit) when the -m is not specified.
Configuring the Fontconfig library involves a
couple of extra steps. If you already have
Fontconfig installed, you should backup your
existing font configuration file
Do not backup the
file as /etc/fonts/fonts.conf.bak as the
Fontconfig installation script will do that for you,
and there's a danger of losing your original configuration file if it takes
you multiple attempts to install Fontconfig.
Use the command ./configure --sysconfdir=/etc to
configure Fontconfig. After you install
Fontconfig, the install script will replace your
original font configuration file with a new one. Copy the original
fonts.conf back to
$ cp /etc/fonts/fonts.conf ~/fonts.conf.orig
$ ./configure --sysconfdir=/etc
$ sudo make install
$ sudo cp ~/fonts.conf.orig /etc/fonts/fonts.conf
If Fontconfig is not already installed on your
system, it is not necessary to specify the
The default installation directory for libraries is
/usr/local. All appropriate directories
needed by the libraries
bin/, etc.) will be installed there. if you wish to
install the libraries elsewhere, use the --prefix option with
configure. For example, to install the libraries into
$ ./configure --prefix=/opt/freeware
We strongly recommend that you do not set the installation directory to
/usr. If you are unsuccessful in installing any of
the libraries and their possible dependencies, you may leave your system in
an unstable state.
If a library depends on a library that is not available on your system
(unlikely), then the configure script will fail
and notify you of the dependency. Before proceeding any further, you must
resolve the dependency before compiling and installing the library.
After installing the libraries, you can confirm a successful build by
gtk-demo executable from the
of your installation directory (typically
/usr/local/bin/). If it does not run, then
you did not properly compile and install the libraries. If it does run and
you are sure that you are running a freshly built
gtk-demo and not one that may already exist in
/usr/bin, then you can install the
dynamically linked version of Stata and run it.
If Stata does not launch, make sure the environment variable
LD_LIBRARY_PATH points to the path of the
newly installed libraries:
$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH "/usr/local/lib"
If Stata still does not launch on a 64-bit machine, type
$ file /usr/local/bin/gtk-demo
to verify that gtk-demo is a 64-bit executable. If
it is not, then you built 32-bit versions of the libraries and must
recompile the entire GTK+-2.0 environment.
Unfortunately, in-depth troubleshooting of any problems during the compiling
and installing step is beyond the scope of this FAQ and Stata technical
support. Search the web for help in troubleshooting your problems. If
resolution is not possible, then you should revert to the statically linked
version of Stata.