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Nginx error while loading shared libraries – How to fix

by | Apr 27, 2021

Wondering how to fix Nginx error while loading shared libraries? We can help you.

Often Nginx users report that they end up with this error while trying to start Nginx. Nginx is open-source software for web serving, reverse proxying, caching, load balancing, media streaming, etc.

Here at Bobcares, we handle requests from our customers using Nginx servers to fix similar issues as a part of Server Management Services.

Today, let us see how our Support techs resolve this issue for our customers.

What causes ‘Nginx error while loading shared libraries’

A typical error looks like the one given below:

Starting nginx: /opt/nginx/sbin/nginx: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

The Nginx executable was compiled to expect the PCRE (Perl-compatible Regular Expression) shared library to be available somewhere on LD_LIBRARY_PATH or specified in /etc/ or whatever equivalent library-locating mechanisms apply to our operating system and it cannot find the library.

Common causes for this error is given below:

1. PCRE library not available

2. Nginx compiled installation did not specify the correct PCRE address

3. Did not add PCRE library to LD_LIBRARY_PATH

How to fix ‘Nginx error while loading shared libraries’

To fix this error we need to install PCRE.

Nginx is looking for a file which comes under the PCRE library and usually installed on UNIX.

We can find using the following find command:

$find / -name

If this file is present, it means that PCRE is already installed.

In case, if we do not get find results, we will have to install PCRE using the following command:

yum install pcre

Now, we have to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH, as we could see is available under /usr/local/lib.

$export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

Start Nginx using either of the following commands:

sudo systemctl start nginx or sudo service nginx start

If Nginx does not specify the correct PCRE address, we need to recompile and install Nginx and specify PCRE.

We do this using the following commands:

./configure –prefix=/usr/local/nginx –with-pcre=../pcre-8.38
sudo make install

[Need assistance? We can help you]


In short, we saw how our Support Techs fix ‘Nginx error while loading shared libraries’ for our customers.


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