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ldconfig error: is not a symbolic link

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment


When running:

    sudo /sbin/ldconfig

the following error appears:

    /sbin/ldconfig: /usr/local/lib/ is not a symbolic link

When I run file:

    file /usr/local/lib/
    /usr/local/lib/: directory

Inside /usr/local/lib/ there are three libraries that I use. I’ll call them here as lib1, lib2 and lib3.

Now, when I do an ldd on my binary it results:

    lib1.so => not found
    lib2.so => not found
    lib3.so => /usr/local/lib/lib3.so (0x00216000)

But all of then are in the same folder as /usr/local/lib/{lib1,lib2,lib3}.so.

Every time I run ldconfig, the same error appears:

/usr/local/lib/ is not a symbolic link

I thought /usr/local/lib should be declared twice in /etc/ld.conf.d/*.conf, but not:

    sudo egrep '\/usr\/local' /etc/ld.so.conf.d/*

ld.so.conf only includes /etc/ld.so.conf.d/*.conf, so this *.old isn’t processed, and it refers to /usr/local/projectA/lib.

After a time tring I deleted all lib1 and lib2 (at some point I tested it on binary’s folder), the same error occurs.


I ran into this issue with the Oracle 11R2 client. Not sure if the Oracle installer did this or someone did it here before i arrived. It was not 64-bit vs 32-bit, all was 64-bit.

The error was that libexpat.so.1 was not a symbolic link.

It turned out that there were two identical files, libexpat.so.1.5.2 and libexpat.so.1. Removing the offending file and making it a symlink to the 1.5.2 version caused the error to go away.

Makes sense that you’d want the well-known name to be a symlink to the current version. If you do this, it’s less likely that you’ll end up with a stale library.


Solved, at least at the point of the question.

I searched in the web before asking, an there were no conclusive solution, the reason why this error is: lib1.so and lib2.so are not OK, very probably where not compiled for a 64 PC, but for a 32 bits machine otherwise lib3.so is a 64 bits lib. At least that is my hipothesis.

VERY unfortunately ldconfig doesn’t give a clean error message informing that it could not load the library, it only pumps:

ldconfig: /folder_where_the_wicked_lib_is/ is not a symbolic link

I solved this when I removed the libs not found by ldd over the binary. Now it’s easier that I know where lies the problem.

My ld version:
GNU ld version 2.20.51, and I don’t know if a most recent version has a better message for its users.



You need to include the path of the libraries inside /etc/ld.so.conf, and rerun ldconfig to upate the list

Other possibility is to include in the env variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH the path to your library, and rerun the executable.

check the symbolic links if they point to a valid library …

You can add the path directly in /etc/ld.so.conf, without include…

run ldconfig -p to see whether your library is well included in the cache.


I simply ran the command below:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/

Now it is working fine.