pkg-config search path

Sven Neumann sven at
Mon Sep 22 14:18:38 EEST 2003


Keith Packard <keithp at> writes:

> I'm pretty sure this is the wrong list, but I didn't see a pointer to an 
> appropriate list from the pkg-config wiki page :-)
> I'm wondering if pkg-config should have a longer default search path for
> .pc files; in particular, we're installing quite a few X libaries in /usr/
> X11R6 with .pc files in /usr/X11R6/lib/pkgconfig; that leaves everyone who 
> uses pkg-config having to set a custom path to locate those files.
> I suggest we either hard-code /usr/X11R6/lib/pkgconfig into the pkg-config 
> search path or use the system libary path to locate .pc files -- looking 
> in on Linux systems, and wherever necessary on other systems.  
> This would make the location of the .pc files follow the location of the 
> .so files, which seems like a good idea in some ways.

IMO it was already a mistake to extend the default search path beyond
the ${prefix} pkg-config was installed to. The more hardcoded default
search paths the more confusing and the less flexible the tool
becomes.  Please don't add more hardcoded paths. If you think that the
PKG_CONFIG_PATH variable is to complex for the casual user, please
consider to add a configuration file instead. Abusing the (Linux
specific) file also seems like a rather bad idea since it
will make pkg-config behave differently depending on the configuration
of another (largely unrelated) tool. IMO you should try to make the
pkg-config default search path as straight-forward as possible instead
of confusing people with hidden side-effects.


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