How do I add search paths to gcc

Chuck Robey chuckr at
Fri Mar 21 15:37:06 PDT 2008

Hash: SHA1

mdh wrote:
> --- Eduardo Cerejo <ejcerejo at> wrote:
>> My gcc is only looking in /usr/lib and /usr/include
>> for libraries and hearders and I added the paths
>> /usr/local/lib/ and /usr/local/include to my .cshrc
>> file:
>> set path = (/sbin /bin /usr/sbin /usr/bin /usr/games
>> /usr/local/sbin /usr/local/bin /usr/local/lib
>> /usr/local/include $HOME/bin)
> PATH in the environment is where your shell searches
> for programs to run from the command line, system(),
> etc.  This allows you to type, say, `sh` instead of
> having to type out `/bin/sh` or risking having
> `/home/somekiddie/sh` run instead when you type it.  
>> but I still have to use gcc with -I and -L switch
>> for a program to compile or else it will fail.  
>> I'm using tcsh.
> There are two ways to set up alternate places to find
> libraries.  The first is ldconfig, and you can see
> ports run this when you install a port containing
> shared libraries for example.  The other is to use the
> LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable to set alternate
> paths at run-time.  

Well, that might be taken as confusing, even though your info is technically
quite correct.  Both those methods WILL get those added dirs searched for
loading the libraries at run time, BUT it will NOT get your compiler to find the
new paths, when linking the program during the build.  I'm fairly sure that's
what the person wanted, don't you think so?

Because, if I'm wrong,  you can delete this email right here and now, read no more.

BUT you were quite correct, there are definitely *at least* two methods to set
up your *compiler* library search paths.  In fact, I think I can show you 3
methods right now.

First, you can list the full path of the library on the command line, when you
use your compiler to link your program.
Second, you can (as the person suggested himself) you can use the -l/-L options
to bring in libraries & paths.  The -L should come first, it adds the path, and
the -l afterwards adds the specific library.

The 3rd method is the use the variables LDFLAGS and LDADD.  These variables are
NOT 100% reliable to use, although they are fairly reliable on BSD systems.  The
 LDFLAGS is where  you put your "-LExtraPath" and the LDADD is where you stick
the -lExtraLibrary, like this (from a Makefile example):

If you are using the BSD make util, the you use "+=" to add to your variables,
instead of replacing them, in case they had some values in them to begin with.
"Make" automatically adds in the obvious spaces, so your definitions don't have
a train wreck for you.

> The 'ldconfig(1)' man page has more info for you.  
> Take care, mdh
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