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Re: -rpath with libtool and Debian Linux

On 27 Jan 1999, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> > In normal cases the dymanic linker would figure this out one way or
> > another with rpath this functionality is disabled as it overrides
> > the library versioning scheme.
> > The linux dynamic linker will resolve things in some magical way based on
> > the library dependencies and the program dependencies to locate the proper
> > library in many cases - rpath does cripples, not enhances, this function.
> Since you do support -rpath in your system, you should probably extend
> your dynamic linker to work in this case too, or risk taking the blame
> for silently breaking applications, if the poor user ever understands
> what happened to his program.

You may be right.  I haven't examined that situation in enough detail to
explain why the designers of the dynamic linker implemented it the way
they did.  Maybe they got it wrong.

Note that 'we' (Debian) write neither the kernel, nor the dynamic linker.

You have previously objected to a proposed solution on the grounds that
'you want libtool to work on all systems'.  It seems to me that if you
want to make libtool work on Linux, you should find a way of disabling
rpath, since rpath is broken on Linux.

> It seems to me that the main problem has to do with library
> versioning.  Even though the existing library versioning mechanisms
> are great to describe the evolution of the API offerred by a library,
> they by no means describe the dependencies of a library, so we end up
> with libraries that have the same version numbers but that are not
> compatible at all.

You're right.

That is the underlying problem.

However, our dynamic linker *does* understand the problem.  And it *does*
have a solution to it.  And -rpath turns it off.  So we cannot afford to
use -rpath.


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