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Pylddwrap wraps ldd *nix utility to determine shared libraries required by a program.

We need to dynamically package subset of our system at deployment time. Consequently, we have to determine the dependencies on shared libraries of our binaries programmatically.

The output of ldd Linux command, while informative, is not structured enough to be easily integrated into a program. At the time of this writing, we only found two alternative ldd wrappers on Internet python-ldd and, but their output was either too basic for our use case or the project was still incipient.

Pylddwrap, in contrast, returns a well-structured list of the dependencies. The command-line tool outputs the dependencies either as a table (for visual inspection) or as a JSON-formatted string (for use with other tools). The included Python module lddwrap returns a Python object with type annotations so that it can be used readily by the deployment scripts and other modules.

For more information on the ldd tool, please see ldd manual.


Command-Line Tool pylddwrap

  • Assume we need the dependencies of the /bin/ls. The following command gives them as a table:
pylddwrap /bin/ls
  • The output of the command looks like this:
soname          | path                                  | found | mem_address        | unused
----------------+---------------------------------------+-------+--------------------+------- | None                                  | True  | 0x00007ffd8750f000 | False | /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ | True  | 0x00007f4e73dc3000 | True       | /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/       | True  | 0x00007f4e739f9000 | False    | /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/    | True  | 0x00007f4e73789000 | False      | /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/      | True  | 0x00007f4e73585000 | False
None            | /lib64/           | True  | 0x00007f4e73fe5000 | False | /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ | True  | 0x00007f4e73368000 | False
  • To obtain the dependencies as JSON, invoke:
pylddwrap --format json /bin/ls
  • The JSON output is structured like this:
    "soname": "",
    "path": "None",
    "found": true,
    "mem_address": "0x00007ffed857f000",
    "unused": false
  • You can also sort the table with --sorted which will sort by soname:
pylddwrap /bin/pwd --sorted
  • Pylddwrap gives the table sorted by soname:
soname          | path                            | found | mem_address        | unused
None            | /lib64/     | True  | 0x00007fd54894d000 | False       | /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ | True  | 0x00007fd548353000 | False | None                            | True  | 0x00007ffe0953f000 | False

Alternatively, you can sort by any other column. For example, to sort by path:

pylddwrap /bin/pwd --sorted path
  • The output will be:
soname          | path                            | found | mem_address        | unused
----------------+---------------------------------+-------+--------------------+------- | None                            | True  | 0x00007ffe0953f000 | False       | /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ | True  | 0x00007fd548353000 | False
None            | /lib64/     | True  | 0x00007fd54894d000 | False

ldwrap Python Module

We provide lddwrap Python module which you can integrate into your deployment scripts and other modules.

  • The following example shows how to list the dependencies of /bin/ls:
import pathlib
import lddwrap

path = pathlib.Path("/bin/ls")
deps = lddwrap.list_dependencies(path=path)
for dep in deps:

soname:, path: None, found: True, mem_address: (0x00007ffe8e2fb000), unused: None
soname:, path: /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/, found: True, mem_address: (0x00007f7759ccc000), unused: None
soname:, path: /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/, found: True, mem_address: (0x00007f7759902000), unused: None
  • List all dependencies of the /bin/ls utility and check if the direct dependencies are used. If unused for list_dependencies is set to False then the unused variable of the dependencies will not be determined and are therefore unknown and set to None. Otherwise information about direct usage will be retrieved and added to the dependencies.
import pathlib
import lddwrap

path = pathlib.Path("/bin/ls")
deps = lddwrap.list_dependencies(path=path, unused=True)
# soname:,
# path: /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/,
# found: True,
# mem_address: (0x00007f5a6064a000),
# unused: True
  • Lddwrap operates normally with the environment variables of the caller. In cases where your dependencies are determined differently than the current environment, you pass a separate environment (in form of a dictionary) as an argument:
import os
import pathlib
import lddwrap

env = os.environ.copy()
env['LD_LIBRARY_PATH'] = "some/important/path"
path = pathlib.Path("/bin/ls")
deps = lddwrap.list_dependencies(path=path, env=env)


  • Install pylddwrap with pip:
pip3 install pylddwrap


  • Check out the repository.
  • In the repository root, create the virtual environment:
python3 -m venv venv3
  • Activate the virtual environment:
source venv3/bin/activate
  • Install the development dependencies:
pip3 install -e .[dev]
  • Tests can be run directly using unittest:
python3 -m unittest discover tests/

Pre-commit Checks

We provide a set of pre-commit checks that lint and check code for formatting.

Namely, we use:

  • yapf to check the formatting.
  • The style of the docstrings is checked with pydocstyle.
  • Static type analysis is performed with mypy.
  • Various linter checks are done with pylint.

Apply the automatic formatting by running the format environment:

tox -e format

Run the pre-commit checks and tests using tox:



We follow Semantic Versioning. The version X.Y.Z indicates:

  • X is the major version (backward-incompatible),
  • Y is the minor version (backward-compatible), and
  • Z is the patch version (backward-compatible bug fix).