Introduction to readline

The readline library provides a set of functions for use by applications that allow users to edit command-lines as they are typed in. Both Emacs and vi editing modes are available.

Package information

Installation of readline

Install readline by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr &&
make SHLIB_LIBS=-lcurses &&
make install

Command explanations

make SHLIB_LIBS=-lcurses: This command makes the proper symbols available for applications that assume readline is compiled with ncurses links.

Configuring readline

Configuration Information

As with most libraries, there is no configuration to do, save that the library directory i.e., /opt/lib or /usr/local/lib should appear in /etc/ so that ldd can find the shared libraries. After checking that this is the case, /sbin/ldconfig should be run while logged in as root.


The readline package contains the libreadline libraries and libhistory libraries.