mono-shlib-cop - Man Page

Shared Library Usage Checker


mono-shlib-cop [Options]* [ASSEMBLY-FILE-NAME]*


-p,  --prefixes=PREFIX

Mono installation prefixes.  This is to find $prefix/etc/mono/config. The default is based upon the location of mscorlib.dll, and is normally correct.


mono-shlib-cop is a tool that inspects a managed assembly looking for erroneous or suspecious usage of shared libraries.

The tool takes one or more assembly filenames, and inspects each assembly specified.

The errors checked for include:

The warnings checked for include:

In general, only versioned libraries such as are present on the  user's machine, and efforts to load will result in a System.DllNotFoundException. There are three solutions to this:

  1. Require that the user install any -devel packages which provide the  unversioned library.  This usually requires that the user install a large number of additional packages, complicating the installation process.
  2. Use a fully versioned name in your DllImport statements.  This requires editing your source code and recompiling whenever you need to target a different version of the shared library.
  3. Provide an assembly.config file which contains <dllmap/> elements to remap the shared library name used by your assembly to the actual versioned shared library present on the users system.  Mono provides a number of pre-existing <dllmap/> entries, including ones for and


The following code contains examples of the above errors and warnings:

	using System.Runtime.InteropServices; // for DllImport
	class Demo {
		[DllImport ("bad-library-name")]
		private static extern void BadLibraryName ();

		[DllImport ("")]
		private static extern void BadSymbolName ();

		[DllImport ("")]
		private static extern int cap_clear (IntPtr cap_p);
Bad library name

Assuming that the library bad-library-name doesn't exist on your machine, Demo.BadLibraryName will generate an error, as it requires a shared library which cannot be loaded. This may be ignorable; see Bugs

Bad symbol name

Demo.BadSymbolName will generate an error, as (remapped to by mono's $prefix/etc/mono/config file) doesn't contain the function BadSymbolName

Unversioned library dependency

Assuming you have the file , Demo.cap_clear will generate a warning because, while could be loaded, might not exist on the users machine (on FC2, /lib/ is provided by libcap-devel , and you can't assume that end users will have any -devel packages installed).

Fixing Code

The fix depends on the warning or error:

Bad library names

Use a valid library name in the DllImport attribute, or provide a <dllmap/> entry to map your existing library name to a valid library name.

Bad symbol names

Reference a symbol that actually exists in the target library.

Unversioned library dependency

Provide a <dllmap/> entry to reference a properly versioned library, or ignore the warning (see Bugs ).

Dllmap Entries

Mono looks for an ASSEMBLY-NAME mapping information.  For example, with mcs.exe , Mono would read mcs.exe.config , and for Mono.Posix.dll , Mono would read Mono.Posix.dll.config

The .config file is an XML document containing a top-level <configuration/> section with nested <dllmap/> entries, which contains dll and target attributes.  The dll attribute should contain the same string used in your DllImport attribute value, and the target attribute specifies which shared library mono should actually load at runtime.

A sample .config file is:

		<dllmap dll="gtkembedmoz" target="" />


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