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I am trying to compile libmemcached (1.0.7) on CentOS6, and keep getting the following warning:

checking for event.h... no
configure: WARNING: Unable to find libevent

I manually compiled libevent (2.0.19) and built it using the following configure line:


Everything compiled and installed fine, but I couldn't figure out how to make the system aware that the lib files are in the custom /usr/local/_custom/app/libevent/libdir. I stumbled upon an article and read that I can make the system aware of custom lib paths by adding a custom file to /etc/ directory:

# /etc/

Then I issued the ldconfig command and was able to confirm that libevent was included by issuing this command:

ldconfig -p | ack -i libevent

Seeing that libevent was now included in the ldconfig output, I figured I would be able to compile libmemcached and satisfy the aforementioned warning. Unfortunately it did not. So I took another look at the ldconfig output and noticed this: (libc6,x86-64) => /usr/local/_custom/app/libevent/lib/ (libc6,x86-64) => /usr/local/_custom/app/libevent/lib/ (libc6,x86-64) => /usr/local/_custom/app/libevent/lib/ (libc6,x86-64) => /usr/local/_custom/app/libevent/lib/ (libc6,x86-64) => /usr/local/_custom/app/libevent/lib/

There are no references to the base links, for example, I would expect to see links to these (ls -la /usr/local/_custom/app/libevent/lib): -> -> ->

So either I am doing something wrong, or the system still does not know where to look to find

-- Update #1 --

I wasn't able to get libmemcached to compile without the warning notice, even after trying to compile using the following configure command:

./configure --prefix=/usr/local/_custom/app/libmemcached CFLAGS="-I/usr/local/_custom/app/libevent/include" LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/_custom/app/libevent/lib"

I thought for sure this would work because I am directly passing the include and lib directories to the configure command. But it did not.

share|improve this question
you need to tell where the source files are - not the so lib files. into your script you see that event.h - tell to configure where the you put that file (the directory) – silviud May 11 '12 at 2:37
As another data point, I was able to build libmemcached 1.10 on Centos 6.3 by installing libevent-devel. – neal Aug 3 '12 at 15:35
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I had the same issue and was about to give up on libmemcached when I noticed that the configure flag should be


instead of

share|improve this answer
Whoa, and this worked? – Mike Purcell Aug 22 '12 at 0:03
Yes, this worked. – janjaapdriessen Aug 22 '12 at 20:41
Cool, thanks for the update! Accepted this answer. – Mike Purcell Aug 22 '12 at 21:10

Sorry for my english first. my os: CentOS 6.3 mini without desktop x86_64, i haven't yum install libevent i met same problem many times in different environment Here is my installation process of libevent:

tar zxvf libevent-2.0.20-stable.tar.gz
cd libevent-2.0.20-stable
./configure --prefix=/usr/local/libevent
make install

before my install libmemcached-1.0.10 i tried

./configure --prefix=/usr/local/libmemcached --with-lib-prefix=/usr/local/libevent --with-memcached=/usr/local/bin/



the problem also happend. then i do some link like here:

ln -s /usr/local/libevent/include/* /usr/include/
ln -s /usr/local/libevent/lib/libevent* /usr/lib64/

it's done! i think libmemcached locate and event.h has some hard code. wish my solution can help u.

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I was going to suggest installing the libevent-devel package on the system. That will provide the header file listed in the error you posted, but the version may be older (1.4.13-1) than what you need for your libmemcached.

Looking at your sequence, I'd actually recommend removing the config.cache file in your libmemcached source directory, then rerunning the ./configure for libmemcached. That should allow the process to recognize the changes you made to the library search paths.

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Thanks I'll give it a shot. – Mike Purcell May 11 '12 at 2:43
Did this work for you? – ewwhite May 11 '12 at 15:24
Haven't tried it yet, going to try it today. Just curious, before I run the ./configure command I always run the make clean command, shouldn't make clean clear out any remnants of previous make attempts, i.e. the config.cache file? – Mike Purcell May 11 '12 at 16:29
Except in situations where the makefile hasn't been generated yet... Or if your configure fails on a dependency... – ewwhite May 11 '12 at 16:31
Ok, I tried the config.cache solution, but before/after ./configure there was no config.cache file to be found. I think you are correct, the header file need to be available, and did find it, but it is located in /usr/src/_custom/app/libevent/include which the system doesn't appear to be aware of, so maybe that's the problem. – Mike Purcell May 11 '12 at 19:57

After speaking with a few seasoned Sysadmin guys from work, I opted to just do a yum install memcached. As with CentOS, one of the trade-offs is working with older versions of apps/libs, but CentOS maintainers will backport security fixes etc, so I figured I'll just go with the upstream version and save myself some headache.

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Well, I don't have a proper answer, but I did notice when my freshly compiled tmux on CentOS told me

tmux: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

I tried this, and it worked:

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib tmux

I'm not sure what the canonical/standard way of setting the system's LD_LIBRARY_PATH is, but it does not appear to be "horrible" per se if I stuck it into bashrc/zshrc.

Edit: Ah, here is one answer that elucidates the way to tell your system where the libraries live.

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