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How To Fix libtool not on Path After Installation in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 14

In this article, we will discuss a common issue faced by Ubuntu users – ‘libtool not found on the path after installation’. This problem can occur even after successful installation of the libtool package. We will delve into the causes of this issue and provide a step-by-step guide to resolve it.

Quick Answer

To fix the issue of libtool not being found on the path after installation in Ubuntu, you can locate the libtool executable using commands like locate libtool or whereis libtool. If libtool is not found in the PATH variable, you can add its directory to the PATH by modifying your shell configuration file (e.g., ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile). After saving the changes and applying them, libtool should be accessible from any directory.

What is libtool?

Libtool is a generic library support script that hides the complexity of using shared libraries behind a consistent, portable interface. It allows developers to create portable and unambiguous executables from source code.

Understanding the PATH Variable

Before we proceed to the solution, it is important to understand the PATH variable. The PATH is an environment variable in Linux and other Unix-like operating systems that specifies a set of directories where executable programs are located.

In general, each executing process or user session has its own PATH setting.

Locating libtool

If you have installed libtool but are unable to find it on the path, you can use the following commands to locate its executable:

locate libtool


whereis libtool

The locate command finds files by name. The whereis command locates the binary, source, and manual page files for a command.

Checking the PATH Variable

To check if libtool is in your PATH, you can print the PATH variable using the following command:

echo $PATH

This command will display a list of directories separated by colons. If libtool is correctly installed and on your PATH, you should see its directory listed here.

Adding libtool to the PATH

If libtool is not found in any of the directories listed in the PATH variable, you will need to add its directory to the PATH. This can be done by modifying your shell configuration file (e.g., ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile).

Open the file in a text editor:

nano ~/.bashrc

At the end of the file, add the following line:

export PATH="/path/to/libtool:$PATH"

Replace “/path/to/libtool” with the actual directory path where libtool is installed. After saving the changes to the shell configuration file, either open a new terminal or run the following command to apply the changes:

source ~/.bashrc

The source command reads and executes commands from the file specified as its argument in the current shell environment.


By following these steps, you should be able to add libtool to your PATH and use it as intended. Remember, it’s important to ensure that the PATH variable is correctly set, as it allows you to run executables from any directory without having to specify the full path to the executable.

If you still face any issues, refer to the official Ubuntu documentation or seek help from the Ubuntu community.

What should I do if the `locate` or `whereis` commands do not find libtool?

If the locate or whereis commands do not find libtool, it is possible that the package was not installed correctly. You can try reinstalling the libtool package using the package manager of your Ubuntu distribution, such as apt or apt-get.

How do I modify the shell configuration file?

To modify the shell configuration file, you can open it in a text editor using the nano command followed by the file path. For example, to open the ~/.bashrc file, you can use the command nano ~/.bashrc. Make the necessary changes to the file, save it, and then either open a new terminal or use the source command to apply the changes to the current terminal session.

Can I add libtool to my PATH using a different shell configuration file?

Yes, you can add libtool to your PATH using a different shell configuration file if you are using a shell other than Bash. The process may vary depending on the shell you are using. For example, if you are using the Zsh shell, you can modify the ~/.zshrc file instead of the ~/.bashrc file. Remember to use the appropriate commands and syntax for the specific shell you are using.

How can I verify if libtool is correctly added to my PATH?

To verify if libtool is correctly added to your PATH, you can run the echo $PATH command again after making the changes to your shell configuration file. If libtool is successfully added, you should see its directory listed in the output. Additionally, you can try running the libtool command in the terminal. If it executes without any errors, libtool is likely properly configured in your PATH.

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