The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 6
IEEE Std 1003.1, 2004 Edition
Copyright © 2001-2004 The IEEE and The Open Group, All Rights reserved.
A newer edition of this document exists here


dlclose - close a dlopen object


[XSI] [Option Start] #include <dlfcn.h>

int dlclose(void *
handle); [Option End]


The dlclose() function shall inform the system that the object referenced by a handle returned from a previous dlopen() invocation is no longer needed by the application.

The use of dlclose() reflects a statement of intent on the part of the process, but does not create any requirement upon the implementation, such as removal of the code or symbols referenced by handle. Once an object has been closed using dlclose() an application should assume that its symbols are no longer available to dlsym(). All objects loaded automatically as a result of invoking dlopen() on the referenced object shall also be closed if this is the last reference to it.

Although a dlclose() operation is not required to remove structures from an address space, neither is an implementation prohibited from doing so. The only restriction on such a removal is that no object shall be removed to which references have been relocated, until or unless all such references are removed. For instance, an object that had been loaded with a dlopen() operation specifying the RTLD_GLOBAL flag might provide a target for dynamic relocations performed in the processing of other objects-in such environments, an application may assume that no relocation, once made, shall be undone or remade unless the object requiring the relocation has itself been removed.


If the referenced object was successfully closed, dlclose() shall return 0. If the object could not be closed, or if handle does not refer to an open object, dlclose() shall return a non-zero value. More detailed diagnostic information shall be available through dlerror().


No errors are defined.

The following sections are informative.


The following example illustrates use of dlopen() and dlclose():

/* Open a dynamic library and then close it ... */

#include <dlfcn.h> void *mylib; int eret;
mylib = dlopen("", RTLD_LOCAL | RTLD_LAZY); ... eret = dlclose(mylib); ...


A conforming application should employ a handle returned from a dlopen() invocation only within a given scope bracketed by the dlopen() and dlclose() operations. Implementations are free to use reference counting or other techniques such that multiple calls to dlopen() referencing the same object may return the same object for handle. Implementations are also free to reuse a handle. For these reasons, the value of a handle must be treated as an opaque object by the application, used only in calls to dlsym() and dlclose().






dlerror(), dlopen(), dlsym(), the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, <dlfcn.h>


First released in Issue 5.

Issue 6

The DESCRIPTION is updated to say that the referenced object is closed "if this is the last reference to it".

End of informative text.

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