Missing Linux shared libraries

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This page is incomplete. More material to follow shortly.

What are shared libraries?

Shared libraries are often referred to as libs. They are modules that consist of code that many applications installed on your computer may need from time to time. If those modules were to be compiled into each and every application that needs them, several copies of the same code would exist in memory when only 1 shareable copy would suffice. Or several copies might get loaded into memory when no applications actually require it. Shared libraries thus conserve memory by loading only when needed and by being shared between several applications.

The applications BOINC projects download to your computer use several different shared libs. There are a few libs that almost every project's application needs and there are some libs that only certain project applications require.

The ldd command

Linux's ldd command reports the names of the libs required by an application plus the path to each lib. If ldd lists a lib but does not report a path for that lib then that lib is missing and needs to be installed. Ldd is run from the command line in a terminal.

Diagnosing missing libs

Installing missing libs