I'm going from Building a toolchain for use with eCos and I've got to the point where I'm configuring and building the tools for binutils:

./configure --target=arm-elf --prefix=../gnutools -v &> configure.out2
make -w all install &> make.out

but when I run the make, I get this error:

libtool: link: only absolute run-paths are allowed

It looks like libtool is trying to build the /bfd/libbfd.a library using an -rpath that doesn't exist:

libtool --mode=link gcc -W -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -Wmissing-prototypes -g -O2  -o libopcodes.la -rpath ../gnutools/x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu/arm-elf/lib -release 2.13.1  dis-buf.lo disassemble.lo arm-dis.lo  

so to get around that I set and env var LIBDIR to the lib directory I assume its looking for:


and run a bash script which calls libtool with the above parameters except -rpath is set to $LIBDIR and it makes the libbfd.a library fine. Then I run make and it gets to trying to make the library for the opcodes directory and has the same problem. How to I set the -rpath in the configure script? Or even set it by editing the Makefile?

  • In your ./configure you've got --prefix=../gnutools and shouldn't it be --prefix=/gnutools? It wants a absolute path, not ..relative.
    – heynnema
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 15:19
  • heynnema - that fixed it. I was doing my directories a little different than what the 'Building a toolchain..." page said. Now I'm having a different problem but I guess technically I have to start a new thread. Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


In your ./configure you've got --prefix=../gnutools and it should be --prefix=/gnutools. It wants an absolute path, not ..relative.

  • /gnutools should target a folder at file system root, this doesn't make much sense
    – xeruf
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 8:54
  • @Xerus What doesn't make much sense? /gnutools is at file system root. My answer did solve the problem for the OP.
    – heynnema
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 15:08
  • I have never heard or seen such a folder at file system root.
    – xeruf
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 16:14
  • @Xerus Correct. /gnutools normally doesn't exist... but without researching this old 2016 answer any further, I'd assume that the installer would create it. As I mentioned, my answer did solve the OP's question.
    – heynnema
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 17:02
  • sure, I was merely curious. I have never seen a program that is not on OS/kernel-level create a new root folder.
    – xeruf
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 17:43

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