When I tried to build Python 2.4.1 on doublehelix I ran into two problems:

  • configure wouldn’t complete, saying that it couldn’t run compiled C programs.  I looked at the configure script and right before this it had something about not removing this section with autoconf 3.0:
# FIXME: These cross compiler hacks should be removed for Autoconf 3.0
# If not cross compiling, check that we can run a simple program.

So I went ahead and commented out that section and it ran.  I suspect that this was actually caused by the second problem.
  • make ran fine until it tried to use python to build the extension modules (or if I tried to run python manually once it was built).  I got “./python: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory”

There’s a lot of stuff online about this problem, and generally the solution is to either modify /etc/ to include a path to the library, or put the path on LD_LIBRARY_PATH.  I don’t have access to /etc/, so the second seemed like the best plan.  A simple ‘find / -name’ found three files with the right name, so I put the first one (/usr/local/lib) into LD_LIBRARY_PATH.

Unfortunately, this didn’t work – nothing seemed to change at all. I tried lots of other things, but nothing worked.

The problem turned out to be that although they all had the same name, the three files were not the same (I imagine that one is specific to 64 bit compiling).  If I put the one in /lib64/ssa on LD_LIBRARY_PATH, all worked nicely (what normally goes into /lib64/ssa, I do not know).

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