How to Install glibc on Ubuntu [22 Simple Steps]

Written by

Reviewed by

Last updated: July 26, 2023

Expert verified

SVG Image


To install glibc on Ubuntu, you can follow these steps:

  1. Clone the glibc repository from Git using the provided command, or download the latest stable release from the official GNU C Library website.
  2. Make a separate directory, such as build, to keep the build files organized and distinct from the source code.
  3. Change your current working directory to the newly created build directory to perform the subsequent configuration and build steps.
  4. Run the configure script within the build directory to set up the necessary configuration for building glibc.
  5. Execute the make command to compile the source code and generate the required files. Optionally, switch to the root user using the command provided to install glibc system-wide if needed.

Installing glibc on Ubuntu enhances performance, compatibility, and stability. Benefits include improved application compatibility, system stability, performance optimization, broad software compatibility, and access to latest features and security updates.

Read the guide below to learn the step-by-step guide to install glibc on Ubuntu and the benefits of installing glibc on Ubuntu.

The GNU C Library (glibc) serves as the core library for the C programming language in Ubuntu, providing essential functions and system calls. From improved application compatibility and enhanced system stability to performance optimization and access to the latest features, glibc empowers you to unlock the full potential of your Ubuntu system. In this comprehensive guide, I will explore the process to install glibc on Ubuntu, ensuring a seamless experience and unlocking its myriad benefits.

How to Install glibc on Ubuntu

To install glibc on Ubuntu, make sure you have a compatible version of Ubuntu, allocate sufficient disk space, install the necessary development tools, and ensure internet connectivity. These requirements will provide a smooth installation process and enable you to harness the power of glibc on your Ubuntu system. Follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. Before proceeding with the installation, it is essential to verify your Ubuntu version. Open a Terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.
opening terminal 28
  1. Enter the following command to display the Ubuntu version:
<strong>lsb_release -a</strong>
  1. The output will show your Ubuntu version, such as Ubuntu 20.04 or Ubuntu 22.04.
checking ubuntu version 1
  1. To install glibc, you need to set up the necessary development tools and packages. Execute the following command to install the required development packages:
<strong>sudo apt-get install build-essential</strong>
  1. This command installs the essential tools like compilers and libraries needed for building software.
installing required development packages
  1. To install Glibc, you can clone the glibc repository from Git using the following command:
<strong>git clone git://</strong>
  1. This command will clone the glibc repository from the specified Git URL, allowing you to obtain the source code.
clonning glibc repository from Git
  1. Now that you have the glibc source code, let’s configure and build it by navigating to the directory containing the extracted or cloned glibc source code.
navigating to glibc repository
  1. Create a build directory to keep the build files separate from the source:
<strong>mkdir build</strong>
  1. This command will create a directory named build in the current location.
creating build directory
  1. Change to the newly created build directory by running the command:
<strong>cd build</strong>
  1. This command will change your current working directory to the build directory. 
navigating to build directory
  1. Configure glibc by running the configure script:
<strong>../configure --disable-sanity-checks</strong>
  1. This command will execute the configure script within the build directory, which will set up the necessary configuration for building glibc.
configuring glibc
  1. After the configuration completes, build glibc by executing the following command:
  1. This command will start the build process, compiling the source code and generating the necessary files for installing glibc.
building glibc
  1. Once the build process is complete, it’s time to install glibc on Ubuntu. Switch to the root user by executing the command:
<strong>sudo -s</strong>
  1. This command will grant you root privileges, allowing you to proceed with the installation of glibc.
switching to root user to install glibc
  1. Install glibc by running the following command:
<strong>make install</strong>
  1. This command will install glibc to the default system directory.
installing glibc
  1. To ensure a successful installation of glibc, perform validation tests by entering the command:
<strong>ldd --version</strong>
  1. This command displays the version of the installed glibc library.
verifying glibc installation 1

5 Benefits of Installing glibc on Ubuntu

Installing glibc on Ubuntu brings numerous benefits that enhance system performance, compatibility, and stability. By incorporating the GNU C Library into your Ubuntu environment, you can unlock a wealth of advantages, ensuring a seamless experience and maximizing the potential of your system. Here are five benefits of installing glibc on Ubuntu:

  • 🚀 Improved Application Compatibility: Installing glibc on Ubuntu ensures better compatibility with a wide range of software applications. As the core library for the C programming language, glibc provides essential system calls and functions required by applications to interact with the operating system. By having the latest version of glibc installed, you can minimize compatibility issues and enjoy a smoother experience when running various software on your Ubuntu system.
  • Enhanced System Stability: With its long-standing history and extensive testing, glibc contributes to the stability of your Ubuntu system. The library undergoes rigorous development and quality assurance processes, ensuring that it meets high standards of reliability. By installing glibc, you can rely on a stable foundation that minimizes crashes, errors, and unexpected behavior, providing a solid platform for your everyday computing needs.
  • 🏋️‍♂️ Performance Optimization: By utilizing glibc on Ubuntu, you can benefit from performance improvements and optimizations. The library’s continuous development focuses on enhancing resource utilization and responsiveness, resulting in faster execution of applications and improved system efficiency. With glibc’s optimizations, you can experience a more streamlined and efficient Ubuntu environment, enabling you to make the most of your hardware capabilities and computing resources.
  • 🌐 Broad Software Compatibility: Installing glibc on Ubuntu expands software compatibility beyond the Ubuntu ecosystem. Many software packages and libraries are developed and tested with glibc as the reference, making it a widely supported standard. By having glibc installed, you can leverage a broader range of software applications, frameworks, and tools, regardless of their origin, ensuring that you can work with the software you need for your projects and tasks.
  • 💪 Access to Latest Features and Security Updates: Regularly updating glibc ensures that you have access to the latest features, bug fixes, and security updates. As an actively maintained project, glibc undergoes continuous development to address vulnerabilities, improve functionality, and introduce new features. By keeping glibc up to date, you can benefit from the latest advancements in the C programming language, security enhancements, and improved performance, ensuring a secure and up-to-date Ubuntu system.

In Conclusion

I hope this article has shed light on the importance of installing glibc on Ubuntu and the array of benefits it brings to your system. By incorporating glibc, you ensure improved application compatibility, enhanced system stability, performance optimization, broad software compatibility, and access to the latest features and security updates.

To expand your knowledge further, consider exploring these related articles: glibc Configuration Options for Performance Optimization, Upgrading glibc Safely on Production Environments, and Future Developments and Upcoming Features in glibc. By exploring deeper into these topics, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of Glibc’s capabilities and leverage its full potential within your Ubuntu environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I install glibc alongside another libc version on Ubuntu?

No, it is not recommended to have multiple libc versions installed simultaneously on the same Ubuntu system. Installing multiple libc versions can create conflicts and result in unpredictable behavior, leading to system instability. Each version of libc is designed to be the core library for the C programming language and interacts closely with the operating system. Mixing different libc versions can cause incompatible function calls, memory allocation issues, and other runtime errors. It is best to stick with the default glibc version provided by Ubuntu and avoid installing additional libc versions unless there is a specific and compelling need.

Do I need to reinstall glibc after upgrading Ubuntu to a new version?

In most cases, there is no need to reinstall glibc after upgrading Ubuntu to a new version. When you perform a successful upgrade, the new version of Ubuntu typically includes the latest version of glibc. The upgrade process ensures that all system components, including glibc, are updated to their respective compatible versions. However, it is always a good practice to verify the installed version of glibc after the upgrade to ensure that you are indeed using the latest version. You can check the glibc version by running the appropriate command in the Terminal.

Are there any alternatives to glibc for Ubuntu?

While glibc is the default and widely used libc (C library) in Ubuntu, there are alternative libc implementations available, such as musl libc. Musl libc is a lightweight, fast, and security-oriented libc implementation. However, it is important to note that glibc is the standard and extensively tested libc in Ubuntu, providing broad compatibility and robust functionality. Most Ubuntu applications and software packages are developed and tested with glibc as the reference libc. Therefore, unless you have specific requirements or reasons to use an alternative libc like musl, it is recommended to stick with glibc for optimal compatibility and support within the Ubuntu ecosystem.

Can I downgrade glibc on Ubuntu if needed?

Downgrading glibc on Ubuntu is highly discouraged and generally not recommended. Glibc is deeply integrated into the Ubuntu operating system and numerous software applications depend on its specific version and functionality. Downgrading glibc can lead to severe system instability, software incompatibilities, and potential security vulnerabilities. If you encounter issues or compatibility problems with a particular version of glibc, it is advisable to consult the official documentation, community forums, or seek assistance from Ubuntu support channels for guidance on resolving the specific issue. It is generally recommended to keep your Ubuntu system up to date with the latest version of glibc for optimal performance, compatibility, and security.

Is it possible to build a custom version of glibc with specific optimizations?

Yes, it is possible to customize the build process of glibc to enable specific optimizations tailored to your system’s requirements. However, customizing glibc requires a deep understanding of the library’s internals, as well as expertise in building and configuring it. Modifying glibc involves adjusting various build-time configuration options and potentially applying patches or modifications to the source code. It is essential to exercise caution and thoroughly test any custom-built glibc versions to ensure compatibility with your system and the software applications it interacts with. Consulting official documentation, community resources, or seeking guidance from experienced users can provide valuable insights into customizing glibc effectively.



Ojash is a skilled Linux expert and tech writer with over a decade of experience. He has extensive knowledge of Linux's file system, command-line interface, and software installations. Ojash is also an expert in shell scripting and automation, with experience in Bash, Python, and Perl. He has published numerous articles on Linux in various online publications, making him a valuable resource for both seasoned Linux users and beginners. Ojash is also an active member of the Linux community and participates in Linux forums.



Akshat is a software engineer, product designer and the co-founder of Scrutify. He's an experienced Linux professional and the senior editor of this blog. He is also an open-source contributor to many projects on Github and has written several technical guides on Linux. Apart from that, he’s also actively sharing his ideas and tutorials on Medium and Attirer. As the editor of this blog, Akshat brings his wealth of knowledge and experience to provide readers with valuable insights and advice on a wide range of Linux-related topics.

Share this article
Shareable URL
Prev Post

How to Install GNOME Disks Utility on Ubuntu and Configure It [5 Simple Steps]

Next Post

How to Configure a Static IP Address on Ubuntu [20 Easy Steps]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read next