Fixing the 'dyld: library not loaded' Error for libreadline.6.dylib on Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

This guide provides a comprehensive solution to fix the 'dyld: library not loaded' error for libreadline.6.dylib on macOS. If you are a developer facing this issue, follow the steps outlined below to resolve it.

Table of Contents


The 'dyld: library not loaded' error is a common problem faced by macOS developers when trying to run applications or scripts that depend on the libreadline library. This error occurs if your system cannot find the required version of the library, usually libreadline.6.dylib.

In this guide, we will walk through the steps to install the necessary version of libreadline and create a symlink to resolve the error.


To follow this guide, you need:

  • A Mac computer running macOS
  • Basic knowledge of the Terminal app and command-line interface

Step 1: Install Homebrew

Homebrew is a package manager for macOS that simplifies the installation of software on macOS. We will use Homebrew to install the libreadline library.

If you already have Homebrew installed, skip to Step 2. Otherwise, follow these instructions to install Homebrew:

  1. Open the Terminal app.
  2. Paste the following command into the Terminal and press Enter:
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

For more information on installing Homebrew, refer to the official Homebrew documentation.

Step 2: Install libreadline

Once Homebrew is installed, use the following command to install the libreadline library:

brew install readline

This command installs the latest version of libreadline on your system.

After installing libreadline, you might still encounter the 'dyld: library not loaded' error if the required version of the library is not found. To fix this issue, create a symlink to the installed version of libreadline:

  1. Locate the installed version of libreadline by running the following command:
brew list readline

Note down the path to the libreadline.dylib file, which is usually /usr/local/opt/readline/lib/libreadline.dylib.

Create a symlink to the required version of libreadline using the following command:

ln -s /usr/local/opt/readline/lib/libreadline.dylib /usr/local/lib/libreadline.6.dylib

Replace /usr/local/opt/readline/lib/libreadline.dylib with the path you noted down in step 2, if different.

This command creates a symlink named libreadline.6.dylib in the /usr/local/lib directory, which points to the installed version of libreadline. This should resolve the 'dyld: library not loaded' error.


1. Can I use MacPorts instead of Homebrew to install libreadline?

Yes, you can use MacPorts to install the libreadline library. To do this, first install MacPorts and then run the following command:

sudo port install readline

After installing libreadline using MacPorts, follow the steps outlined in Step 3 to create a symlink.

2. How do I uninstall Homebrew after fixing the error?

If you wish to uninstall Homebrew after fixing the error, run the following command:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

This command will remove Homebrew and all packages installed through it from your system.

3. Can I have multiple versions of libreadline installed on my system?

Yes, you can have multiple versions of libreadline installed on your system. However, you need to create separate symlinks for each version, pointing to the correct libreadline library file.

4. What other libraries can cause the 'dyld: library not loaded' error?

The 'dyld: library not loaded' error can occur for any library that is missing or not found by the system. Some common libraries that cause this error include libssl, libcrypto, and libpng.

5. How do I find out which libraries my application depends on?

To find out which libraries your application depends on, run the otool command with the -L option followed by the path to your application's executable file:

otool -L /path/to/your/app

This command will display a list of libraries that your application depends on.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.