Could Not Resolve Symbol Ubuntu


I remember the frustration I felt when I encountered the dreaded “Could not resolve symbol” error on Ubuntu. It seemed to come out of nowhere and left me scratching my head for hours trying to figure out what went wrong.

For those who are not familiar, the “Could not resolve symbol” error occurs when the compiler cannot find the definition of a symbol, such as a function or a variable. This error can be caused by a variety of reasons, including missing libraries, incorrect include paths, or simple typos in the code.

One common scenario where this error occurs is when trying to compile a C or C++ program that uses external libraries. The program may fail to compile if the necessary header files are not properly included or if the linker cannot find the corresponding library files.

In my case, I was working on a project that required the use of the OpenSSL library. I had installed the library and its development headers using the package manager, but I still kept getting the “Could not resolve symbol” error. After hours of frustration, I finally realized that I had forgotten to add the appropriate include path to my compiler flags.

To resolve the issue, I added the following line to my Makefile:

CFLAGS += -I/usr/include/openssl

This told the compiler to look for the OpenSSL header files in the specified directory. After making this change, the “Could not resolve symbol” error disappeared, and I was able to successfully compile my program.

It’s important to note that the specific steps to resolve the “Could not resolve symbol” error will vary depending on the language and development environment you are using. However, the general approach remains the same – you need to identify the cause of the error and take appropriate action to fix it.

If you are encountering this error on Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution, here are some general steps you can follow:

  1. Check for typos: Double-check your code for any spelling mistakes or incorrect capitalization. Sometimes, a simple typo can lead to the “Could not resolve symbol” error.
  2. Verify library installation: Ensure that the required libraries and their development headers are installed on your system. You can use the package manager (e.g., apt-get on Ubuntu) to install missing libraries.
  3. Include the necessary header files: Make sure that you have included all the required header files in your code. If you are using external libraries, check the documentation for the correct include statements.
  4. Check include paths: If you are using custom include paths, make sure they are correctly specified in your compiler flags or build system configuration.
  5. Check linker flags: If you are using external libraries, ensure that the necessary linker flags are set correctly. This may include specifying library paths or linking against specific libraries.

By following these steps and investigating the root cause of the “Could not resolve symbol” error, you should be able to resolve the issue and get back on track with your development.


The “Could not resolve symbol” error can be a frustrating roadblock in your development process. However, with patience and perseverance, you can overcome it by carefully examining your code, checking for typos, verifying library installations, and ensuring correct include and linker paths. Remember to double-check your steps and consult the documentation or online resources if you need further assistance. Happy coding!