Build situations that may need a linker runpath

In older PL/Java versions, it was common to build PL/Java with a RUNPATH embedded by the linker, so that it could find the Java library at run time. The configuration variable pljava.libjvm_location now takes care of locating Java, and in most cases, there is no longer any need to pass the linker a run path.

There are some exceptions, however, where it may still be useful to build PL/Java with a RUNPATH that matches the pg_config --libdir output.

EnterpriseDB PostgreSQL distributions that bundle system libraries

EnterpriseDB’s pre-built distributions of PostgreSQL may include not only PostgreSQL’s own libraries in the pg_config --libdir directory, but also specific versions of common system libraries. You are in this situation if you run ldd postgres and the list includes common system libraries like libxml2, libssl, libcrypto, libcom_err, libldap, etc., but shows them found in PostgreSQL’s libdir instead of the standard system location, as in this example:

$ ldd /u/pgsql/95/bin/postgres
... => /u/pgsql/95/bin/../lib/

In this case, if PL/Java is not built with a RUNPATH, it might find the system-provided versions of these standard libraries at run time, instead of the ones that came from EnterpriseDB. Signs of a problem include failure to load PL/Java, reporting undefined symbol errors against standard system libraries:

ERROR: could not load library ...:
/lib64/ undefined symbol: ber_sockbuf_io_udp

If this is your situation, you can find the PostgreSQL libdir by running pg_config --libdir, and build PL/Java with a RUNPATH naming the same directory, as described below. Note that if you do this, you lose the ability to install your built PL/Java on several systems with different PostgreSQL installed locations.

Building PL/Java with a RUNPATH

You can specify a RUNPATH by defining the pgsql.runpath property on the Maven command line. For example, if pg_config --libdir outputs /usr/lib/postgresql, add this to the mvn command:


By default, this produces a linker option -Wl,-rpath=/usr/lib/postgresql which is the expected form for GNU linkers. If a different prefix is needed for your linker, it can be given as the pgsql.runpathpfx property:

-Dpgsql.runpath=/usr/lib/postgresql -Dpgsql.runpathpfx=-Xfoo=

would place -Xfoo=/usr/lib/postgresql on the linker command line.

If these two properties are not flexible enough to produce the right options for your linker, you can directly add whatever options are necessary by editing pljava-so/pom.xml.

Note that building PL/Java with a RUNPATH forfeits the ability to use the the built PL/Java on several systems with different PostgreSQL installed locations.

Solving the same problem without rebuilding anything

If you have a situation where PL/Java is finding different libraries than came with PostgreSQL, but practical considerations weigh against rebuilding PL/Java (or you prefer to be able to use the same built PL/Java on several systems with different PostgreSQL installed locations), you can edit whatever script starts your PostgreSQL server to add an environment variable (LD_LIBRARY_PATH on Linux and typical Unices) to the server’s environment, which all backend sessions will inherit. The variable should include the value shown by pg_config --libdir.

A restart of the server is needed for such a change to take effect.

Other platform-specific options for solving the same problem, such as ldconfig on Linux, may be available. Before there was pljava.libjvm_location, it used to be common to have to know these tricks. Now it should be uncommon, but in rare cases can still be useful.