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Fix for "undefined reference to dlopen" in CMake projects

Suppose you get this error with the main.cpp file below:

 Linking CXX executable testlink
 CMakeFiles/testlink.dir/main.cpp.o: In function `main':
 main.cpp:(.text+0x1a): undefined reference to `dlopen'
 main.cpp:(.text+0x2a): undefined reference to `dlclose'
 collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
 make[2]: *** [testlink] Error 1
 make[1]: *** [CMakeFiles/testlink.dir/all] Error 2
 make: *** [all] Error 2

All you need to do is add ${CMAKE_DL_LIBS} to the target_link_libraries() call:

 target_link_libraries(testlink ${CMAKE_DL_LIBS})
add_executable(testlink main.cpp)
#include <dlfcn.h>
int main(int argc, char* argv[]) {
void *handle = dlopen("/usr/lib/", 0);
return 0;
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paulsapps commented Mar 26, 2017

${CMAKE_DL_LIBS} is old but gold!

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kishorekanala commented Apr 12, 2017

I faced same problem while building cmake. This problem was during linking of cmcurl.
I included /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ in Utilities/cmcurl/CMakeFiles/LIBCURL.dir/link.txt
gcc picked this up while linking and cmake is built

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tungduonghgg123 commented Sep 17, 2018

You saved my day!

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mlevkov commented Mar 5, 2019

You saved my day!!!!

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liuli9203 commented Mar 7, 2019

Take my knee. Thanks, Buddy

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Fegoist commented Mar 12, 2019

Definitely saved my day! THX.

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jking777 commented Apr 26, 2019


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dktapps commented May 3, 2019

Thank you sir. 💯

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marisancans commented Jul 2, 2019

Saved my day!

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rqds12 commented Jul 6, 2019

save the day again

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emabello42 commented Aug 5, 2019

Thank you!! You saved my day too :)

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kwk commented Aug 8, 2019

Haha, I'm glad this snippet has helped so many people already. I mean, it is seven years old already :)

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gyzdmgqy commented Sep 18, 2019

Thank you so much this really worked for me.

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ruipacheco commented Sep 19, 2019

Take my knee. Thanks, Buddy


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kamranrad1993 commented Dec 4, 2020

its a shortcut for :
find_library(dl NAMES dl PATH /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/
target_link_libraries(${PROJECT_NAME} ${dl})

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FreePhoenix888 commented Mar 7, 2022

You saved my time! Thank you!

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PGoski commented Apr 15, 2022

Saved my time also! Thank you!

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Alireza67 commented May 15, 2022


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taovc commented May 16, 2022


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