In order to get some C code to compile correctly, I need to export a folder so that are certain file is found.

On the command line, if I first run

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/bin/path../version/:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

and then the executable from the C code works. If I do not export LD_LIBRARY_PATH, then the executable will fail, as the C package cannot find the necessary file, i.e.

exectuable: error while loading shared libraries: file1.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

I would now like to run this code via a bash script. Here is my bash script, run_stuff.sh:


source ~/.bash_profile

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/bin/path../version/:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH


This fails, with the error above. I have since tried

echo "export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/bin/path../version/:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH"

within the bash script, and I have added

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/bin/path../version/:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

within ~/.bash_profile. It still doesn't work---the C code cannot find this file.

How does one correctly export a folder within a bash script?

  • 1
    I would recommend wrapping that export in quotes: export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="/bin/path../version/:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH", it's possible the variable setting is choking because it's not sure where the start/end is, would depend on the rest of the contents of your LD_LIBRARY_PATH.
    – Centimane
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 17:37

1 Answer 1



It can be exported locally.


LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/bin/path../version/:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH path/to/executable/executable 

using VAR=value cmd will set and export VAR for cmd process.


export it in two step




this is the way I do in my scripts. (note that this contradict what man page says)

export [-fn] [name[=word]] ...

If a variable name is followed by =word, the value of the variable is set to word.

  • Thanks, I'm trying this now. I'm still a bit confused why placing the LD_LIBRARY_PATH before the executable without export changes things. Could you elaborate somewhat? Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 17:00
  • @ShanZhengYang Variables can be set in the same line as a command in bash, in which case the variable is only set/changed for that command. It's perhaps a bit more explicit, though it shouldn't function any differently.
    – Centimane
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 17:32
  • Just tried this approach. I'm getting the same error as before... Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 17:54
  • @Centimane Even export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="/bin/path../version/:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH" was a total failure Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 18:09
  • @ShanZhengYang What do you get if you echo $LD_LIBRARY_PATH after exporting it?
    – Centimane
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 18:11

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