I was please wandering if it is possible to upgrade glibc version on centos 7.5 for a newer version than 2.18. I am trying to install Dropbox which requires it - but the answer should either be specifically for Dropbox or generally.

My question is not regarding a containerized solution but of how to acctually upgrade my CentOS to run with a newer version if possible or how to install it in a different location and set any app or perhaps only dropbox app to use that location instead of the default if possible.

Thank you,



glibc is the C standard library, which provides bindings to the most low-level operating system calls for virtually every program on your system. It is generally not possible to replace it without also recompiling every program on the system. Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, some Linux distributions did experiment with upgrading glibc in place. The result was always broken, unbootable systems. So nobody tries that anymore. This is why you've been advised to containerize the application which requires a newer version of glibc. On that note, we're all waiting impatiently for the long overdue RHEL 8....

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  • Building and then runnign statically linked binary can be one of solutions, as you could run it on any ABI-compatible system. You could run older glibc binaries on newer systems and run newer binaries on older with some limitations, of course. – KonstantinYu Nov 10 '18 at 1:12
  • @KonstantinYu For any program for which you have the source code, yes. The Dropbox client is proprietary and they have not released the source. – Michael Hampton Nov 10 '18 at 1:20

In short: You can't!

longer answer: as glib is a core part of the whole system, you have to rebuild-recompile whole distribution with a new version of glibc and then reinstall. Attempts to replace glibc on "live system" are known to fail leading to non-booting system.

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  • I have no idea why this was down-voted - it is the correct answer. – guzzijason Nov 8 '18 at 22:46
  • So the only solution, if perhaps I want to run dropbox on centos is to containerized it with another OS ? (e.g Fedora?) – James Roeiter Nov 8 '18 at 23:48
  • @guzzijason Among other things, glib and glibc are different things. And it's not really clear whether the OP is referring to either of them. Nobody really should have attempted to answer this question without clarification... – Michael Hampton Nov 9 '18 at 0:05
  • @JamesRoeiter you should update this question to indicate that you are referring to glibc and not glib, which is something different. I think you're a tough situation, as the CentOS (and Redhat) distributions do not make major changes to their software version for the lifetime of a major release; however, they do backport critical fixes to the older packages. And every time they do a minor release (e.g. 7.4 -> 7.5) the new release is built on a specific updated version of glibc. Replacing glibc is incredibly dangerous, as pretty much every binary on the system is built on that version. – guzzijason Nov 9 '18 at 15:03
  • I see there is more discussion about it at this link. I'm afraid what the dropbox folks are saying is that they are essentially not supporting use on CentOS, and you may need to find a different distribution if you want to keep using it, or consider some of the hacks discussed in the linked thread. – guzzijason Nov 9 '18 at 15:04

If your app needs to be built with other version of glibc you can use other computer with a required version and link your binary files statically, to have no external dependancies. Then copy to target host or package your software (IMHO, the most right way) and install.

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