Linux why not fully dynamic?

Mitch Chapman chapman at
Fri Aug 6 16:40:21 CEST 1999

Gordon McMillan wrote:
> Robin Becker asks:
> > Why doesn't ./configure set up for a or whatever?
> Don't know. Maybe because this kind of scheme doesn't work on
> some other Unixen?

This question (or something similar to it) is answered in the Python

3.30. Why is the Python interpreter not built as a shared

(This is a Unix question; on Mac and Windows, it is a shared library.) 

It's just a nightmare to get this to work on all different
platforms. Shared library portability is a pain. And yes, I know about
GNU libtool -- but it requires me to use its conventions for filenames
etc, and it would require a complete and utter rewrite of all the
makefile and config tools I'm currently using.

In practice, few applications embed Python -- it's much more common to
have Python extensions, which already are shared libraries. Also,
serious embedders often want total control over which Python version
and configuration they use so they wouldn't want to use a standard
shared library anyway. So while the motivation of saving space when
lots of apps embed Python is nice in theory, I doubt that it will save
much in practice.  (Hence the low priority I give to making a shared

Mitch Chapman
chapman at

More information about the Python-list mailing list