The title says it all, and I've included the relevant sections of my file below. I'm trying to create a src block that uses some functionality of the boost libraries, the first src block sets up the compiler, including the libraries to link to. The second src block is just a test function, but it quits with a linker error.

#+begin_src elisp :exports results
   (setq org-babel-C++-compiler
       (concat "g++ -std=c++0x"
               " -lboost_system -lboost_filesystem"
               " -I"
               (expand-file-name ".")

#+begin_src C++ :exports both :includes (list "\"boost/filesystem.hpp\"" "<stdio.h>")

The error:

/tmp/ccvz9bRM.o: In function __static_initialization_and_destruction_0(int, int)': C-src-2374gem.cpp:(.text+0x51): undefined reference toboost::system::generic_category()' C-src-2374gem.cpp:(.text+0x5d): undefined reference to boost::system::generic_category()' C-src-2374gem.cpp:(.text+0x69): undefined reference toboost::system::system_category()' collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status /bin/bash: /tmp/babel-2374l5F/C-bin-2374tos: No such file or directory

  • Perhaps the directory containing the boost library is not in the path searched by ld. Try adding -L/path/to/boost before -lboost_system
    – deprecated
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 18:35
  • I tried adding the path and the error still occurred. Judging by stackoverflow.com/questions/11893996/…, it's the order it's being linked in that's causing the problem.
    – user2699
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 19:35
  • Hmm yes. I see what the problem is now. You need the -lboost_system argument to go after the name of the source file in the compilation command. Looking at the source for org-babel-C-execute, there seems to be no provision for doing that. There is a :flags argument, but that gets put before the source file name. If my understanding is right you will have to hack that function by hand, or send a feature request to the orgmode mailing list.
    – deprecated
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 1:48
  • It's an easy enough fix, it's only two lines that need to be switched. I sent a bug report, and I've changed it in my own file. @deprecated, thanks for looking at it. Should this question be closed then?
    – user2699
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 15:31
  • Great! I suggest that you write up a summary of your fix as an answer below, which you can then accept.
    – deprecated
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 16:41

2 Answers 2


Use :libs to specify libraries.

((or `c `cpp)
  (format "%s -o %s %s %s %s"
    (pcase org-babel-c-variant
      (`c org-babel-C-compiler)
      (`cpp org-babel-C++-compiler))
    (org-babel-process-file-name tmp-src-file)

As we can see, org-babel-C-execute will inserts :flags in front of the source file and :libs behind it.


First off, it's not necessary to use the elisp code included. The flags property lets compiler flags be passed,

:flags "-lboost_system -std=c++0x"

Unfortunately, due to the order the flags are passed in it's necessary to do some lisp hacking in order to allow linking.

  1. Open the file with the definition of org-babel-C-execute: C-h f org-babel-C-execute, then click on the source file to open it.
  2. Switch the last two arguments to format. It should be (format "%s -o %s %s %s" (cond ((equal org-babel-c-variant 'c) org-babel-C-compiler) ((equal org-babel-c-variant 'cpp) org-babel-C++-compiler)) (org-babel-process-file-name tmp-bin-file) (org-babel-process-file-name tmp-src-file) (mapconcat 'identity (if (listp flags) flags (list flags)) " ") ) ""))))
  3. Load the new function with M-x compile-defun
  4. If you had the file byte compiled, recompile the file with byte-compile-file.

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