R-beta: dyn.load() on a Linux Red Hat 3.0.3 system

Douglas Bates bates at stat.wisc.edu
Thu Oct 1 16:12:23 CEST 1998

>>>>> "FG" == Fredrik Glockner <fredrigl at math.uio.no> writes:

  FG> I'm trying to install R on a Red Hat 3.0.3 system, but cannot
  FG> seem to get dyn.load() to fuction.

  FG> The configure script says:

  FG>     checking for dlopen in -ldl...  no

  FG> And compiling fails at

  FG>     ../lib/libunix.a

  FG> Any suggestions?  What should I do to be able to use dyn.load()?

The binary format for RedHat 3 was the "a.out" format, I believe.
Since RedHat 4 the binary format has been ELF.  The dlopen and related
functions depend on the ELF format.  I don't think you have a chance
of using dyn.load() in R unless you re-write all the dynload utilities
in the src/unix section of the R source code to use the older style of
dynamic loading under Linux.

  FG> I cannot upgrade the system to a higher version of Red Hat, but
  FG> I will probably get away with installing some new libraries.

Upgrading to a later version would be the easiest way of getting
dyn.load().  All the other methods of trying to use dyn.load() are
very difficult.  Mixing ELF libraries with a.out libraries on the same
system is quite tricky.  You would need to install new compilers, a
new loader, a new ld.so, ... to be able to use the new libraries.  You
would end up doing as much work as is involved in the upgrade.  It is
easy to make your system unusable while trying to use an ELF ld.so on
an a.out system.  (I know because I've done it. I had to reinstall
from scratch.)

If the reason that you do not want to upgrade is because you have
programs compiled for "a.out" libraries that you need to continue to
run, you should realize that it is possible to do that on ELF

Douglas Bates                            bates at stat.wisc.edu
Statistics Department                    608/262-2598
University of Wisconsin - Madison        http://www.stat.wisc.edu/~bates/
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