dlerror — obtain error diagnostic for functions in the dlopen API


#include <dlfcn.h>

char *dlerror(void);

Link with -ldl.


The dlerror() function returns a human-readable, null-terminated string describing the most recent error that occurred from a call to one of the functions in the dlopen API since the last call to dlerror(). The returned string does not include a trailing newline.

dlerror() returns NULL if no errors have occurred since initialization or since it was last called.


dlerror() is present in glibc 2.0 and later.


For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

Interface Attribute Value
dlerror() Thread safety MT-Safe

Conforming to



The message returned by dlerror() may reside in a statically allocated buffer that is overwritten by subsequent dlerror() calls.


This function is part of the dlopen API, derived from SunOS.


See dlopen(3).

See Also

dladdr(3), dlinfo(3), dlopen(3), dlsym(3)


This page is part of release 5.04 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be found at https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

Referenced By

dladdr(3), dlinfo(3), dlopen(3), dlsym(3).

2017-09-15 Linux Programmer's Manual