compile error on 2.1.2: library libltdl/

John Dennis jdennis at
Thu Dec 4 21:22:09 CET 2008

John Dennis wrote:
> rgreiner wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I just downloaded the new version for testing, but I got a compile
>> error. Di somebody get something similar?
>> I'm building debian packages, on Debian Lenny-RC1. To compile, I had to
>> remove "--with-system-libtool" from debian/rules.
>> Running dpkg-buildpackage -b -uc, I got the following error bellow after
>> some time. Any ideas about how to proceed?
> I'm getting an error that I suspect is related, however I'm building 
> with --with-system-libtool and --disable-ltdl-install
> error: conditional "INSTALL_LTDL" was never defined.
> I'm in the process of trying to track this down, but it's slow going 
> because the machine generated autotools scripts are just plain nasty ;-)
O.K. I give up. I've begun to truly despise libtool. There are too many 
layers, obsurcifications, and poorly documented configuration options to 
wrap my poor little brain around.

I figured out that the reason why INSTALL_LTDL was never defined is 
because it's defined deep inside the code which only gets turned on when 
--with-system-libtool is not specified.

However if one removes this option then linking fails because libtool 
cannot find libltdl/ in the root of the build tree.

With the prior release (2.1.1) if I didn't define --with-system-libtool 
then I would get an unresolved reference to 
lt__PROGRAM__LTX_preloaded_symbols and I was told by our libtool 
maintainer this is due to incompatibilities with the files included in 
the tarball and the right solution is to specify --with-system-libtool 
so that local files are used but if I do that then it barfs on 

Googling all of this did not provide much help other than discovering 
I'm not the only who thinks libtool is too hard to use. If anyone truly 
understands this stuff I'd love an explanation.

John Dennis <jdennis at>

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