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Copy dependencies required by a Linux executable.

Project description



copydeps is a tool to analyze and copy the dependencies of ELF binaries, as used on Linux and other UNIX systems. It is useful to create light, self-contained installers.

It works on both executables and libraries.


  • A Linux system (copydeps might work on BSD systems, but this has not been tested)
  • Python 3
  • pyelftools
  • ldd


Install with ./ install or just run from the source tree.


Copying dependencies

Assuming you want to copy all dependencies of the foo binary to the current directory, run:

copydeps /path/to/foo -d .

The list probably includes way too many libraries you can assume to be installed on the destination system. To tell copydeps to ignore them, create a exclude list file (you can have a look at exclude-list.sample for inspiration) and run it like this:

copydeps --exclude your/exclude-list /path/to/foo -d .

Analyzing dependencies

You can tell copydeps to generate a dependency diagram using the --dot option. If you just want to look at the dependency diagram, add the --dry-run option to prevent copying:

copydeps --exclude your/exclude-list /path/to/foo --dry-run --dot

You can now view the diagram using any Graphviz viewer, such as xdot.

As an example, here is the dependency diagram of Qt5QuickControls2:

Qt5QuickControls2 dependencies


copydeps does not detect libraries loaded with dlopen().

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