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Compiling lxml/libxml2/libxslt for a virtualenv

Sometimes you need to ensure lxml is using the latest libxml2 and libxslt libraries. The easiest way to do this is to set up a virtualenv for your Python project and then install lxml with static dependencies. Here’s how to do it (I’m using virtualenvwrapper in my examples).

# workon myproject
# STATIC_DEPS=true easy_install lxml

This doesn’t always work. You may see an error such as:

...libexslt.a(exslt.o): relocation R_X86_64_32 against `a local symbol' can not be used when making a shared object; recompile with -fPIC
...libexslt.a: could not read symbols: Bad value
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
error: Setup script exited with error: command 'cc' failed with exit status 1

… usually on a 64bit platform. To work around this, do the following:

# easy_install cython
# CFLAGS="$CFLAGS -fPIC" STATIC_DEPS=true easy_install lxml

If you see an error like “lxml/ undefined symbol: gcry_check_version” try the following command in place of the last:

# CFLAGS="$CFLAGS -lgcrypt -fPIC" STATIC_DEPS=true easy_install lxml

This may disable some EXSLT functionality in libxslt, but there’s a chance you didn’t have that functionality anyway if you were working with an older libxslt binary.

Originally posted: Dec 02 2012