Shared libraries on Ubuntu

The other day I installed a bioinformatics software package called EMBOSS on my machine (Ubuntu 10.04). I did the canonical ./configure; make; sudo make install and didn’t see any errors. However, when I actually tried to use the software I ran into issues.

/usr/local/bin/getorf: error while loading shared libraries: libacd.so.6: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

I checked, and this libacd.so.6 file did indeed exist, both in the installation directory and in /usr/local/lib. When I added this directory to the library path, the errors went away. However, the library path is intended for testing new libraries and can lead to problems if you rely on it long-term.

I eventually found a solution with the command ldconfig. First, I opened up the file at /etc/ld.so.conf and added a line for /usr/local/lib. Then I ran ldconfig as root and the errors went away! I could get the program to recognize the libraries without relying on the library path.

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