Home » C++ » C++ Boost: undefined reference to boost::system::generic_category()

C++ Boost: undefined reference to boost::system::generic_category()

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment


I am trying to include Boost libraries in my project and have been facing issues in the same. I am on Ubuntu 12.10 with Codeblocks IDE and tried installing the libraries manually reading instructions from the site, but was getting error’s with header as well as to-be-built-before-use libraries.

I then installed the libraries via terminalby sudo apt-get install libboost-all-dev. After this, in my programs on Codeblocks, I can include headers like #include <boost/regex.hpp> but when I try to include the header for the Filesystem library ( #include "boost/filesystem/operations.hpp" ), I am getting the following error:

/usr/include/boost/system/error_code.hpp|214|undefined reference to boost::system::generic_category()'|

I am not sure how to resolve this error (specifically in Codeblocks on Linux). I really could use some help here.

Compiler : Gcc
Program code: Only tried inlcuding the above file system operations.hpp file.

Build log from Codeblocks:

Build started on: 20-11-2012 at 18:02.53
Build ended on: 20-11-2012 at 18:02.54
-------------- Build: Debug in libopenFrameworks ---------------
Target is up to date.
-------------- Build: Debug in reader1 ---------------
make -s -f Makefile Debug
linking i686 bin/reader1_debug linux
obj/i686Debug/src/testApp.o: In function `__static_initialization_and_destruction_0':
/usr/include/boost/system/error_code.hpp:214: undefined reference to `boost::system::generic_category()'
/usr/include/boost/system/error_code.hpp:215: undefined reference to `boost::system::generic_category()'
/usr/include/boost/system/error_code.hpp:216: undefined reference to `boost::system::system_category()'
obj/i686Debug/src/main.o: In function `__static_initialization_and_destruction_0':
/usr/include/boost/system/error_code.hpp:214: undefined reference to `boost::system::generic_category()'
/usr/include/boost/system/error_code.hpp:215: undefined reference to `boost::system::generic_category()'
/usr/include/boost/system/error_code.hpp:216: undefined reference to `boost::system::system_category()'
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
make: *** [bin/reader1_debug] Error 1
Process terminated with status 2 (0 minutes, 1 seconds)
6 errors, 0 warnings

You should link in the libboost_system library. I am not sure about codeblocks, but the g++ command-line option on your platform would be



Depending on the boost version libboost-system comes with the -mt suffix which should indicate the libraries multithreading capability.

So if -lboost_system cannot be found by the linker try -lboost_system-mt.


It’s a linker problem. Include the static library path into your project.

For Qt Creator open the project file .pro and add the following line:

LIBS += -L<path for boost libraries in the system> -lboost_system

In my case Ubuntu x86_64:

LIBS += -L/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu -lboost_system

For Codeblocks, open up Settings->Compiler...->Linker settings tab and add:


to the Link libraries text widget and press OK button.


You could come across another problem. After installing Boost on the Linux Mint I’ve had the same problem. Linking -lboost_system or -lboost_system-mt haven’t worked because library have had name libboost_system.so.1.54.0.

So the solution is to create symbolic link to the original file. In my case

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libboost_system.so.1.54.0 /usr/lib/libboost_system.so

For more information see this question.


I had the same problem and also use Linux Mint (as nuduoz) . I my case problem was solved after i added boost_system to GCC C++ Linker->Libraries.


I searched for a solution as well, and none of the answers I encountered solved the error, Until I found the answer of “ViRuSTriNiTy” to this thread: Undefined reference to 'boost::system::generic_category()'?

according to that answer, try to add these lines to your cmake file:

find_package(Boost 1.55.0 REQUIRED COMPONENTS system filesystem)
include_directories(... ${Boost_INCLUDE_DIRS})
link_directories(... ${Boost_LIBRARY_DIRS})
target_link_libraries(... ${Boost_LIBRARIES})



g++ -c main.cpp && g++ main.o /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libboost_system.so && ./a.out 

/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ is the location of the boost library

use find /usr/ -name '*boost*.so' to find the boost library location

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *