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Why is libc.so.6 missing from /lib and can I add a symlink?

Ubuntu 9

In this article, we will delve into the reasons why libc.so.6 is missing from /lib and discuss whether it’s advisable to add a symlink.

Quick Answer

The libc.so.6 file is missing from /lib in Ubuntu due to the multiarch feature introduced in Ubuntu 11.04 and later versions. While it is technically possible to add a symlink, it is generally recommended to update scripts and programs to avoid hardcoding library paths.

Understanding the Issue

The absence of libc.so.6 from /lib is a result of the multiarch feature introduced in Ubuntu 11.04 and later versions. This feature facilitates the simultaneous installation of both i386 and amd64 versions of libc. This is particularly helpful for running 32-bit binaries on 64-bit systems and vice versa. To avoid conflicts between different architectures, the libc6 package no longer contains a symlink to the new location of libc.so.6.

The Role of libc.so.6

libc.so.6 is the GNU C Library, a fundamental component of most Linux distributions. It provides the system calls, basic functions, and other operations necessary for the functioning of Linux applications.

Can I Add a Symlink?

While it’s technically possible to manually add a symlink to /lib/libc.so.6, it may not serve a useful purpose, especially if the 64-bit library isn’t needed. Instead, it’s recommended to update any scripts or programs that hardcode the path to libc.so to work properly with Ubuntu 11.04 and later versions.

Understanding Library Paths

To understand the library paths searched by the system, you can use the ldconfig command with the -v -N options. The -v option makes ldconfig run in verbose mode, providing more detailed output, while -N inhibits the reordering of the libraries. This will display a list of directories searched for libraries.

ldconfig -v -N

Additionally, the ldd command can be used to determine the libraries loaded by a program. For example, to check the libraries loaded by a program named program_name, you would use:

ldd program_name

If you encounter issues where programs cannot find libraries installed in a specific directory, such as /usr/local/lib, you should check the output of ldconfig -v -N | grep '^/' to verify if the directory is included in the library search paths.

ldconfig -v -N | grep '^/'

Conclusion

In conclusion, the absence of /lib/libc.so.6 is due to the multiarch feature in Ubuntu. While adding a symlink may not cause any issues, it is generally advisable to update scripts and programs to avoid hardcoding library paths. Understanding how your system searches for libraries can help troubleshoot and resolve any related issues.

Why is `libc.so.6` missing from `/lib` in Ubuntu 11.04 and later versions?

The absence of libc.so.6 from /lib is due to the multiarch feature introduced in Ubuntu 11.04. This feature allows the simultaneous installation of both i386 and amd64 versions of libc, avoiding conflicts between different architectures.

What is the role of `libc.so.6`?

libc.so.6 is the GNU C Library, a fundamental component of most Linux distributions. It provides the system calls, basic functions, and other operations necessary for the functioning of Linux applications.

Can I manually add a symlink to `/lib/libc.so.6`?

While it is technically possible to add a symlink to /lib/libc.so.6, it is generally not recommended, especially if the 64-bit library is not needed. It is better to update scripts and programs to work properly with Ubuntu 11.04 and later versions.

How can I check the library paths searched by the system?

To check the library paths searched by the system, you can use the ldconfig command with the -v -N options. Running ldconfig -v -N will display a list of directories searched for libraries.

How can I determine the libraries loaded by a program?

You can use the ldd command to determine the libraries loaded by a program. For example, to check the libraries loaded by a program named program_name, you would use ldd program_name.

What should I do if programs cannot find libraries installed in a specific directory?

If programs cannot find libraries installed in a specific directory, such as /usr/local/lib, you should check the output of ldconfig -v -N | grep '^/' to verify if the directory is included in the library search paths.

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