How to check what libraries are used by a program or process on Linux

Last updated on November 28, 2020 by Dan Nanni

Question: I would like to know which shared libraries are loaded at run-time when I invoke a particular executable. Is there any way to identify shared library dependencies of a program executable or a running process on Linux?

You can use the following methods to identiy which shared librariies a given program executable (e.g., /path/to/program) or a given running process (e.g., PID 1149) depends on.

Check Shared Library Dependencies of a Program Executable

To find out what libraries a particular executable depends on, you can use ldd command. This command invokes dynamic linker to find out library dependencies of an executable.

$ ldd /path/to/program

Note that it is not recommended to run ldd with any untrusted third-party executable because some versions of ldd may directly invoke the executable to identify its library dependencies, which can be security risk.

Instead, a safer way to show library dependencies of an unknown application binary is to use the following command.

$ objdump -p /path/to/program | grep NEEDED

Check Shared Library Dependencies of a Running Process

If you want to find out what shared libraries are loaded by a running process, you can use pldd command, which shows all shared objects loaded into a process at run-time.

$ sudo pldd <PID>

Note that you need root privilege to run pldd command.

Alternatively, a command line utility called pmap, which reports memory map of a process, can also show shared library dependencies of a running process.

$ sudo pmap <PID>

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