Subject: Re: patch to allow /etc/ configure directories for ELF
To: Todd Vierling <>
From: Jason Thorpe <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 03/11/1999 18:55:49
On Thu, 11 Mar 1999 21:44:02 -0500 (EST) 
 Todd Vierling <> wrote:

 > Jason, we've been through this hoop a dozen times.  WHAT BREAKS on a
 > properly configured, rpath-only system if we allow people to use the
 > `historic' library search method for their own uses?
 > Think (open("/etc/", ...) == -1).
 > It's not like we're doing things such as minor version handling....

I honestly don't care if it "works" if I simply don't install an  But I don't even think it's appropriate to supply
the rope, here.

Let's take it from the top:

Let's say you have a program called foozle.  There are several associated
programs (foobazle, foowhatziz) that all share a common shared library
called "".  The package installs it as:

(along with whatever other shared libraries it uses).

Note that it does not link against the NetBSD system "libutil".

This is _perfectly legitimate_, because the portable foozle package
also uses the RPATH facility on IRIX, Solaris, and BSD/OS to get the
path right (on Solaris, maybe that's /opt/foozle/lib/

If you RPATH this, and allow, which is ld.elf_so
supposed to pick?  Even if you allow RPATH _with_, you are
screwed here!

This is an actual real, plausible scenario which breaks with

If you move a shared library, and want your programs to continue working,
USE A BLOODY SYMLINK.  But don't break an otherwise working system just
to make your life easier.

        -- Jason R. Thorpe <>