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Subject: Re: [OMPI users] undefined symbol error when built as a sharedlibrary
From: Jeff Squyres (jsquyres_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-09-11 06:14:01

On Sep 10, 2009, at 9:42 PM, Ashika Umanga Umagiliya wrote:

> That fixed the problem !
> You are indeed a voodoo master... could you explain the spell behind
> your magic :)

The problem has to do with how plugins (aka dynamic shared objects,
DSO's) are loaded. When a DSO is loaded into a Linux process, it has
the option of making all the public symbols in that DSO public to the
rest of the process or private within its own scope.

Let's back up. Remember that Open MPI is based on plugins (DSO's).
It loads lots and lots of plugins during execution (mostly during
MPI_INIT). These plugins call functions in OMPI's public libraries
(e.g., they call functions in Hence, when the plugin
DSO's are loaded, they need to be able to resolve these symbols into
actual code that can be invoked. If the symbols cannot be resolved,
the DSO load fails.

If is loaded into a private scope, then its linked
libraries (e.g., are also loaded into that same private
scope. Hence, all of's public symbols are only public
within that single, private scope. Then, when OMPI goes to load its
own DSOs, since's public symbols are in a private scope,
OMPI's DSO's can't find them -- and therefore they refuse to load.
(private scopes are not inherited -- a new DSO load cannot "see"'s private scope).

It's an educated guess from your description that this is what was

OMPI's --disable-dlopen configure option has Open MPI build in a
different way. Instead of building all of OMPI's plugins as DSOs,
they are "slurped" up into (etc.). So there's no "loading"
of DSOs at MPI_INIT time -- the plugin code actually resides *in* itself. Hence, resolution of all symbols is done when loads Additionally, there's no secondary
private scope created when DSOs are loaded -- they're all self-
contained within (etc.). And therefore all the
symbols that are required for the plugins are all able to be found/
resolved at load time.

Does that make sense?

> Regards,
> umanga
> Jeff Squyres wrote:
> > I'm guessing that this has to do with deep, dark voodoo involved
> with
> > the run time linker.
> >
> > Can you try configuring/building Open MPI with --disable-dlopen
> > configure option, and rebuilding your against the new
> >
> >
> > See if that fixes the problem for you. If it does, I can explain in
> > more detail (if you care).
> >
> >
> > On Sep 10, 2009, at 3:24 AM, Ashika Umanga Umagiliya wrote:
> >
> >> Greetings all,
> >>
> >> My parallel application is build as a shared library
> (
> >> (I use Debian Lenny 64bit).
> >> A webservice is used to dynamically load and inturn
> >> execute the parallel process .
> >>
> >> But during runtime I get the error :
> >>
> >> webservicestub: symbol lookup error:
> >> /usr/local/lib/openmpi/ undefined symbol:
> >> mca_base_param_reg_int
> >>
> >> which I cannot figure out.I followed every 'ldd' and 'nm' seems
> >> everything is fine.
> >> So I compiled and tested my parallel code as an executable and
> then it
> >> worked fine.
> >>
> >> What could be the reason for this?
> >>
> >> Thanks in advance,
> >> umanga
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> users mailing list
> >> users_at_[hidden]
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> users mailing list
> users_at_[hidden]

Jeff Squyres