I'm trying to get a C application to load shared objects from a relative directory regardless of where I call it from. So far it only works if I'm in the same directory as the executable when I call it:

~/prog$ ./my_program
~/prog$ cd ..
~$ ./prog/my_program
./prog/my_program: error while loading shared libraries: libs/libmysharedobject.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

As you can guess from the output above, the shared object is stored under the ~/prog/libs/ directory. Here's what the relevant gcc calls look like:

gcc -std=c99 -ggdb -Wall -pedantic -Isrc
    -fPIC -shared -Wl,-soname,libs/libmysharedogbject.so
    -o libs/libmysharedobject.so libs/mysharedobject.c
gcc [CFLAGS omitted] -o my_program main.c
    build/src/my_program.o build/src/common.o
    -lm -Llibs -lmysharedobject

Here's the top of the output from readelf -d my_program:

Dynamic section at offset 0x6660 contains 26 entries:
  Tag        Type                         Name/Value
 0x0000000000000001 (NEEDED)             Shared library: [libm.so.6]
 0x0000000000000001 (NEEDED)             Shared library: [libs/libmysharedobject.so]
 0x0000000000000001 (NEEDED)             Shared library: [libc.so.6]

I have tried adding -Wl,-z,origin,-rpath='$ORIGIN', which causes the following lines to show up in readelf's output:

 0x000000000000000f (RPATH)              Library rpath: [$ORIGIN]
 0x000000006ffffffb (FLAGS_1)            Flags: ORIGIN

But it doesn't seem to solve my problem. I've also tried setting rpath to $ORIGIN/libs, ., and ./libs, all to no avail. (UPDATE: $(CURDIR) doesn't have any effect either. This surprises me, since it's expanded to an absolute path.)

Is there a way to get my executable to find its shared objects regardless of the directory from which it's invoked, preferably without having the end user set LD_LIBRARY_PATH every time? Or am I trying to do something that Linux doesn't support?

  • You could just export LD_LIBRARY_PATH and then run whatever calls you need. – HalosGhost Jun 16 '14 at 23:32
  • That's precisely what I'm trying to avoid. I'll edit my post to clarify. – Fraxtil Jun 16 '14 at 23:36
  • Then libtool may also be of interest to you. – HalosGhost Jun 16 '14 at 23:38
  • If altering the source is an option, you could use dlopen() and load the libraries at the top of main(). – Patrick Jun 18 '14 at 3:05

Set rpath to $ORIGIN/libs and set soname to libsharedobject rather than libs/libsharedobject. My makefile is as follows.

all: my_program

libs/libmysharedobject.so: Makefile success.c
  gcc -fPIC -shared -Wl,-soname,libmysharedobject.so \
    -o libs/libmysharedobject.so success.c

my_program: Makefile libs/libmysharedobject.so
  gcc -o my_program main.c -Llibs -lmysharedobject -Wl,-R,'$$ORIGIN/libs'

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