Creating and Using Static Libraries in Linux C Programming

Static libraries are an essential part of almost every software project, especially in the Linux C programming world. They are used to save time and space by storing commonly used code in one place, allowing for easy reuse in various parts of the codebase. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of creating and using static libraries in Linux C programming.

What is a Static Library?

A static library, also known as an archive, is a collection of object files that are linked together in order to provide functionality to a program. It is called “static” because the library is linked to the program at compile-time, meaning that the code it contains is physically copied into the final executable binary.

Creating a Static Library

To create a static library in Linux C programming, follow these simple steps:

  1. Create the object files for your library using the following command:
gcc -c file1.c file2.c file3.c

This will compile each of your source code files into their corresponding object files. You can also compile each file separately if you prefer.

  1. Archive the object files into your library using the following command:
ar rcs libyourlibrary.a file1.o file2.o file3.o

This will create a static library called “libyourlibrary.a” that contains the object files you compiled in step 1.

Using a Static Library

To use the static library in your project, you must link it with your executable at compile-time. To do this, you’ll need to include the library file during the linking process. Here’s an example:

gcc main.c -o myprogram -L/path/to/library -lyourlibrary

This will compile main.c and link it with the static library “libyourlibrary.a” located in the /path/to/library directory.


Static libraries are a powerful tool for any Linux C programmer. By following the steps in this post, you should be able to create and use static libraries in your own projects. Remember that static libraries are just one of the many tools available to you, and that you should always choose the right tool for the job at hand. Happy coding!

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