RTLD(1) BSD General Commands Manual RTLD(1)
ld-elf.so.1, ld.so, rtld -- run-time link-editor
The ld-elf.so.1 utility is a self-contained shared object providing run-time support for loading and link-editing shared objects into a
process' address space. It is also commonly known as the dynamic linker. It uses the data structures contained within dynamically linked
programs to determine which shared libraries are needed and loads them using the mmap(2) system call.
After all shared libraries have been successfully loaded, ld-elf.so.1 proceeds to resolve external references from both the main program and
all objects loaded. A mechanism is provided for initialization routines to be called on a per-object basis, giving a shared object an oppor-
tunity to perform any extra set-up before execution of the program proper begins. This is useful for C++ libraries that contain static con-
When resolving dependencies for the loaded objects, ld-elf.so.1 may be allowed to translate dynamic token strings in rpath and soname by set-
ting -z origin option of the static linker ld(1). The following strings are recognized now:
$ORIGIN Translated to the full path of the loaded object.
$OSNAME Translated to the name of the operating system implementation.
$OSREL Translated to the release level of the operating system.
$PLATFORM Translated to the machine hardware platform.
The ld-elf.so.1 utility itself is loaded by the kernel together with any dynamically-linked program that is to be executed. The kernel
transfers control to the dynamic linker. After the dynamic linker has finished loading, relocating, and initializing the program and its
required shared objects, it transfers control to the entry point of the program. The following search order is used to locate required
1. DT_RPATH of the referencing object unless that object also contains a DT_RUNPATH tag
2. DT_RPATH of the program unless the referencing object contains a DT_RUNPATH tag
3. Path indicated by LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable
4. DT_RUNPATH of the referencing object
5. Hints file produced by the ldconfig(8) utility
6. The /lib and /usr/lib directories, unless the referencing object was linked using the ``-z nodefaultlib'' option
The ld-elf.so.1 utility recognizes a number of environment variables that can be used to modify its behaviour. On 64-bit architectures, the
linker for 32-bit objects recognizes all the environment variables listed below, but is being prefixed with LD_32_, for example:
LD_DUMP_REL_POST If set, ld-elf.so.1 will print a table containing all relocations after symbol binding and relocation.
LD_DUMP_REL_PRE If set, ld-elf.so.1 will print a table containing all relocations before symbol binding and relocation.
LD_LIBMAP A library replacement list in the same format as libmap.conf(5). For convenience, the characters '=' and ',' can be used
instead of a space and a newline. This variable is parsed after libmap.conf(5), and will override its entries. This
variable is unset for set-user-ID and set-group-ID programs.
LD_LIBMAP_DISABLE If set, disables the use of libmap.conf(5) and LD_LIBMAP. This variable is unset for set-user-ID and set-group-ID pro-
LD_ELF_HINTS_PATH This variable will override the default location of ``hints'' file. This variable is unset for set-user-ID and set-group-
LD_LIBRARY_PATH A colon separated list of directories, overriding the default search path for shared libraries. This variable is unset
for set-user-ID and set-group-ID programs.
If the variable is specified and has a value starting with any of 'y', 'Y' or '1' symbols, the path specified by
LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable is allowed to override the path from DT_RPATH for binaries which does not contain DT_RUNPATH tag.
For such binaries, when the variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH_RPATH is set, ``-z nodefaultlib'' link-time option is ignored as
LD_PRELOAD A list of shared libraries, separated by colons and/or white space, to be linked in before any other shared libraries. If
the directory is not specified then the directories specified by LD_LIBRARY_PATH will be searched first followed by the
set of built-in standard directories. This variable is unset for set-user-ID and set-group-ID programs.
LD_LIBRARY_PATH_FDS A colon separated list of file descriptor numbers for library directories. This is intended for use
within capsicum(4) sandboxes, when global namespaces such as the filesystem are unavailable. It is consulted just after
LD_LIBRARY_PATH. This variable is unset for set-user-ID and set-group-ID programs.
LD_BIND_NOW When set to a nonempty string, causes ld-elf.so.1 to relocate all external function calls before starting execution of the
program. Normally, function calls are bound lazily, at the first call of each function. LD_BIND_NOW increases the start-
up time of a program, but it avoids run-time surprises caused by unexpectedly undefined functions.
When set to a nonempty string, causes ld-elf.so.1 to exit after loading the shared objects and printing a summary which
includes the absolute pathnames of all objects, to standard output.
When set to a nonempty string, causes ld-elf.so.1 to expand the summary to indicate which objects caused each object to be
When set, these variables are interpreted as format strings a la printf(3) to customize the trace output and are used by
ldd(1)'s -f option and allows ldd(1) to be operated as a filter more conveniently. If the dependency name starts with
string lib, LD_TRACE_LOADED_OBJECTS_FMT1 is used, otherwise LD_TRACE_LOADED_OBJECTS_FMT2 is used. The following conver-
sions can be used:
%a The main program's name (also known as ``__progname'').
%A The value of the environment variable LD_TRACE_LOADED_OBJECTS_PROGNAME. Typically used to print both the names of
programs and shared libraries being inspected using ldd(1).
%o The library name.
%p The full pathname as determined by rtld's library search rules.
%x The library's load address.
' and ' ' are recognized and have their usual meaning.
LD_UTRACE If set, ld-elf.so.1 will log events such as the loading and unloading of shared objects via utrace(2).
LD_LOADFLTR If set, ld-elf.so.1 will process the filtee dependencies of the loaded objects immediately, instead of postponing it until
required. Normally, the filtees are opened at the time of the first symbol resolution from the filter object.
/var/run/ld-elf.so.hints Hints file.
/var/run/ld-elf32.so.hints Hints file for 32-bit binaries on 64-bit system.
/etc/libmap.conf The libmap configuration file.
/etc/libmap32.conf The libmap configuration file for 32-bit binaries on 64-bit system.
ld(1), ldd(1), capsicum(4), elf(5), libmap.conf(5), ldconfig(8)
June 20, 2014 BSD