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CORRECTION: compiling on IRIX 6.5, Solaris 2.8, Linux 2.4.20

From: Peter Karman <karman(at)>
Date: Thu Jan 29 2004 - 13:47:35 GMT
Bill Moseley waxed lyrical on 1/28/04 8:58 PM:

> Does IRIX have LD_RUN_PATH?  Be nice to store the path in the executable
> instead of having to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH at runtime.
> Another option is using -R and -L together.  Not sure if that would work
> on IRIX.

As usual, Bill, you ask the right questions.

First, I realized that I failed to understand the distinction between 
LD_RUN_PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH. So I googled it and found this:

That explained why I have been frustrated with needing to set the 
LD_LIBRARY_PATH in order for my executables to execute; LD_RUN_PATH, I 
had assumed, should take care of that. But LD_RUN_PATH is not used *when 
running* the executable (this is one of those great UNIX semantic 
things...). Instead, LD_RUN_PATH is used *when compiling* to include the 
path in the thing that runs. LD_LIBRARY_PATH, on the other hand, is used 
*when running* the executable.

Lesson number one, Peter: don't rely on your intuition when it comes to 
understanding environment variables.

Corollary to lesson one: google is your friend.

Second, what I also failed to realize was that in order for LD_RUN_PATH 
to actually be *used* by the compiler when compiling, I must specify the 
LIBS="-L/path/to/lib" on my configure line.

Lesson number two, Peter: use the ./configure --help option to see all 
the options and what they do.

Third, and most important for IRIX, had I read more *carefully* the 
little ld message when compiling other apps on IRIX, I would have 
realized that LD_RUN_PATH is ignored on IRIX. Here's the little ld 
message from the IRIX ld output, for those (like me) who usually fail to 
notice it as it whizzes by when running 'make':

Libraries have been installed in:

If you ever happen to want to link against installed libraries
in a given directory, LIBDIR, you must either use libtool, and
specify the full pathname of the library, or use the `-LLIBDIR'
flag during linking and do at least one of the following:
    - add LIBDIR to the `LD_LIBRARYN32_PATH' environment variable
      during execution
    - use the `-Wl,-rpath -Wl,LIBDIR' linker flag

See any operating system documentation about shared libraries for
more information, such as the ld(1) and manual pages.

So lesson number three: don't rely on google for everything. Read the 
man pages for my particular operating system.

It wasn't enough for me to learn how to use LD_RUN_PATH (though that 
will be helpful for Solaris and others). I needed to know NOT to rely on 
it on IRIX.

Armed with these lessons, I recompiled libxml2 and swish-e for IRIX with 
the following. NOTE that I use the LD_RUN_PATH variable but I have to 
mention it explicitly at the ./configure line.

NOTE too that I do not set the LD_RUN_PATH to include the zlib path. I 
tried that, but despite the --use-zlib=/path/to/zlib/irix, make seemed 
to use a local version instead from /usr/lib32 (because it was prior in 
the path?) and it caused fatal conflicts for making swish-e. Even 
without setting /path/zlib in LD_RUN_PATH, I still get warnings during 
compile, but they are not fatal, and seem to be fine with swish-e. The 
warnings look like:

ld32: WARNING 85: definition of compress in 
/path/to/zlib/irix/lib/libz.a(compress.o) preempts that definition in 

I'm sure there are some more options for the IRIX configure that would 
compensate for these warnings, but at this point, my laziness prevailed. 
It worked, and that was good enough. This happened before when I 
compiled the IRIX version and I ignored it then too (at my peril, I'm sure).


setenv LD_RUN_PATH /path/to/gcc/lib

configure LDFLAGS="-Wl,-rpath -Wl,$LD_RUN_PATH -L$LD_RUN_PATH" \


make install


setenv LD_RUN_PATH /path/to/gcc/lib:/path/to/libxml2/irix

configure LDFLAGS="-Wl,-rpath -Wl,$LD_RUN_PATH -L$LD_RUN_PATH" \
--prefix=/path/to/swish-e/2.4.1/irix \
--with-zlib=/path/to/zlib/irix \
--with-libxml2=/path/to/libxml2/irix \


make test

SWISHE:API perl module

I believe that at this point, the LD_RUN_PATH variable *is* used by the 
Perl make process. Does anyone know if the Perl linker is different?? In 
any case, doing this:

setenv LD_RUN_PATH /path/to/swishe/lib:/path/to/zlib/lib

and this:

configure LIBS="-L/path/to/swishe/lib -L/path/to/zlib/lib"

appear to achieve the same thing, since this:

setenv LD_RUN_PATH /path/to/swishe/lib:/path/to/zlib/lib
perl Makefile.PL PREFIX=/path/to/swish-e/2.4.1/irix \
CCFLAGS=-I/path/to/swish-e/2.4.1/irix/include \
LIBS="-lswish-e -lz"

seems to work the same as this:

perl Makefile.PL PREFIX=/path/to/swish-e/2.4.1/irix \
CCFLAGS=-I/path/to/swish-e/2.4.1/irix/include \
LIBS="-L/path/to/swish-e/2.4.1/irix/lib -L/path/to/zlib/lib \
-lswish-e -lz"

But I may have missed something here. In any case, again, it works, and 
make test passes.


Peter Karman - Software Publications Engineer - Cray Inc
phone: 651-605-9009 -
Received on Thu Jan 29 05:47:41 2004