Well, I certainly didn't mean to flame anyone in particular, so I'm sorry that Frank was offended. I suppose I got irritated when I tried to solve one problem and simply created one that was harder to solve. I don't think any of us quite appreciated how bad the situation is. No good deed goes unpunished. I tried yesterday to help someone internally with an SGI system. They had two new wrinkles on this: a. They had their own blas but not their own lapack, in /usr/lib. Well, I had allowed for that in my second version, but of course the imprecision of the -L stuff makes it possible to get the wrong one that way. b. I did get the /usr/lib version of the blas, and boy was it the wrong one, since apparently there are two binary modes on an SGI and it was not -n32 like Python expected. Neither was the lapack_lite one. I had to edit the Makefile. That problem could be avoided using distutils to do the compile. The solution was to edit setup.py to remove /usr/lib from the search list. The problem with simply using the desired library as a binary instead of a library is that you would load all of it. I do not know how much control you can get with the -l -L paradigm, especially in a portable way.