Sorry, this is such a beginner question, but I've recently begun programming with C++ on Ubuntu 12.10 and I've installed a few libraries I need to work with, for example PCL and I can't find them to add them to my project. I'm using Qt Creator as the IDE and qmake which comes with it.

For example, with PCL, I followed the instructions on their site:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:v-launchpad-jochen-sprickerhof-de/pcl
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libpcl-all

And as no problems occurred I have to assume they are correctly installed.

Most of the tutorials dealing with adding external libraries I've found on the web assume you're on Windows and know where you downloaded the library.

Since I don't have experience with adding external libraries in C++, could someone please tell me in what file, if there is one, are libraries installed by default in Ubuntu?

What is the extension of these library files?

Is there a script/command which can help detect a library or all the libraries installed?

2 Answers 2


By default libraries are installed in /usr/lib and header files will be in /usr/include

Usually extension of the library file is .so and corresponding header file will be .h

gui method for finding installed libraries is open software center->Developer tools-> Libraries

  • But it's the .so files you need to add, for example in qmake, and not the individual headers right? Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 22:07
  • Those headerfiles will be in '/usr/include'
    – Tachyons
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 7:16

The brute strength approach is:

sudo updatedb
locate libpcl

Updatedb takes a few moments; please be patient. The library you're looking for is likely in /usr/lib.

  • 1
    Besides this taking a bit longer are there any other draw backs which lead you to dubbing this the "brute strength" approach ? Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 17:03
  • Also this turns up a lot of files are not libraries, documentation etc about pcl, what is the extension files for libraries proper? Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 17:12
  • No real drawbacks. Documentation, you say?
    – chili555
    Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 21:48
  • Yes documentation related to PCL I filtered it out but a bit of a hassle. Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 22:49
  • 3
    I thought maybe the documentation might be helpful.
    – chili555
    Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 23:00

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