Asymptote: Macintosh

Revision as of 14:58, 24 November 2020 by Printrbot (talk | contribs) (Installing Asymptote on a Mac/Linux)
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Installing Asymptote on a Mac/Linux

This tutorial was tested on Mac OS 10.15.7 "Catalina," but should work for most older systems as well as other Unix systems

Download the Asymptote source here (at the time of this edit, it is version 2.68) by selecting the latest version and downloading the asymptote-x.xx.src.tgz file.
Download and install MacTeX.
Note that anywhere you see "x.xx", replace it with the Asymptote version number (e.g. If the file name was asymptote-2.68.src.tgz, you would replace x.xx with 2.68).

There are two ways to actually install Asymptote: using the AsyIntaller written by PrintrBot, or installing it manually.

Installing via the AsyInstaller

  1. Download the code from GitHub here
  2. Unzip the folder if it was not automatically.
  3. Double click the asyinstaller file and follow the instructions in the installer.

If all went well, Asymptote should be installed.

Installing Manually

Terminal commands are italicized.

  1. Open Terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities/
  2. Run: cd ~/Downloads # or wherever you put the asymptote-x.xx.src.tgz file
  3. tar -xvzf asymptote-x.xx.src.tgz
  4. cd asymptote-x.xx
  5. ./configure
  6. make all
  7. sudo make install

You have finished installing Asymptote.


Suppose that on the Desktop, you have a file named asyfile.tex

Here is a sample file:



Use whatever LaTeX editor to compile the file. It will return a warning that looks something like this:

Package asymptote Warning: file asyfile_1.pdf does not exist on input line 17.

Terminal again.

cd ~/Desktop
asy asyfile

That will run asymptote on the file asyfile.asy, (created when the tex file was compiled) producing asyfile_1.pdf.

Now run latex on asyfile.tex again, and with any luck, it should compile with no errors. (The image produces a diagonal blue line.)


This post describes a shell script that automates the compilation process.

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