bin+lib dependency_runner

ldd for Windows - and more!

5 releases (3 stable)

1.2.2 Mar 5, 2023
1.1.0 Feb 5, 2023
1.0.0 Sep 24, 2022
0.2.0 Jun 5, 2021
0.1.0 Feb 23, 2021

#70 in Development tools

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crates.io Dependency Runner CI

Dependency runner

ldd for Windows - and more!


  • portable: debug Windows DLL loading issues from Linux or macOS!
  • ergonomic CLI
  • readable report of missing libraries and symbols
  • browsing of DLLs and symbols with fuzzy search (Unix targets only)
  • JSON output
  • support for API sets and KnownDLLs (Windows only, at least for now)
  • support for Dependency Walker's .dwp files
  • support for Microsoft Visual Studio's .vcxproj and .vcxproj.user files

Try it out:

dependency_runner> cargo run --bin deprun -- test_data\test_project1\DepRunTest\build\DepRunTest\Debug\DepRunTest.exe --check-symbols --userpath test_data\test_project1\DepRunTestLibWrong\build\Debug

DepRunTest.exe => C:\Users\Marco Esposito\Projects\personal\dependency_runner\test_data\test_project1\DepRunTest\build\DepRunTest\Debug
        DepRunTestLib.dll => C:\Users\Marco Esposito\Projects\personal\dependency_runner\test_data\test_project1\DepRunTestLibWrong\build\Debug

Checking symbols...

No missing libraries detected

Missing symbols detected!
[Importing executable, exporting executable, missing symbols]

		public: float TestClass::testMethod(int)

This repository contains tools to analyze the dependencies of a Windows Portable Executable (PE) file, usually in order to debug application startup problems.

These tools are:

  • wldd, a reimplementation of GNU ldd for Windows PE executables (exe and dll files). An effort is made in order to keep the output similar to that of the original tool, so that existing scripts targeting Linux executables can be reused easily. The current API may be extended in the future to include new features allowed by the Win32 executable format. However, priority will be given to avoiding breaking changes in the output format. While ldd invokes the loader and inspects the result in memory, wldd doesn't. The Windows loading process is emulated, thus the address at which each library is loaded is not included into the output. This may change in the future.
  • deprun, a further CLI tool that, in contrast to wldd, is not limited by the constraint of keeping compatibility with ldd. By default, dependencies are printed as a tree for better readability. It supports multiple lookup path specifications and output formats, including to a JSON file. It includes a DLL and symbol browser with fuzzy search integrated through skim. It can parse Dependency Walker's .dwp files, as well as Visual Studio .vcxproj and .vcxproj.user files to read the executable location, working directory and user path.
  • both tools are based on the same Rust library, which can be included in Rust applications. A C API is also planned to allow straightforward usage of the library from most other languages.

All these tools target Windows PE exe files, but are designed to be portable. The default behavior attempts to guess sane defaults to make it easy to inspect executables located on a neighboring Windows installation from another operating system, or to ignore missing system libraries if no such partition is available on the system. The example above should work on any operating system.

Getting started

Binary releases (any OS)

  • download the binaries for your OS from the GitHub Releases page
  • copy the binaries somewhere on your PATH
    • Linux: /usr/local/bin is a good place
    • Windows: create your own directory somewhere and add it to the PATH variable through the control panel

Installation from source with Cargo (any OS)

  • download and execute rustup
  • check out this repository and cd into it
  • cargo build --release
  • copy the statically linked binaries from target/release to somewhere on your PATH
    • Linux: /usr/local/bin is a good place
    • Windows: create your own directory somewhere and add it to the PATH variable through the control panel



Printing the dependency tree

deprun path/to/your/executable.exe

Default behavior:

  • Windows
    • C:\Windows and C:\Windows\System32 as "Windows" and "System" directories
    • the shell's current directory is also used as cwd
    • the content of the current shell's PATH is used as user path
  • Linux/macOS
    • if the executable is located in a mounted Windows partition, its C:\Windows and C:\Windows\System32 directories will be used
    • the shell's current directory is also used as cwd
    • the PATH is empty

Checking for missing symbols

deprun --check-symbols path/to/your/executable.exe

Limiting the scanning and output depth

deprun --depth 4 path/to/your/executable.exe

Saving the scan results to a JSON file

deprun --output-json-path path/to/output.json path/to/your/executable.exe

Each executable will be represented by a single object. The dependency tree can be reconstructed from the dependency list of each node.

Print recursively all system dependencies

deprun --print-system-dlls path/to/your/executable.exe

Browse the DLLs with fuzzy search, browse the symbols imported/exported by the selected DLLs (not supported yet on Windows)

deprun --skim path/to/your/executable.exe

Browse the symbols imported/exported by the all found DLLs (not supported yet on Windows)

deprun --skim-symbols path/to/your/executable.exe


a subset of the above, check with -h


Help is welcome in the form of issues and pull request!

  • v 0.1.0
    • minimal, non-parallelized PE dependency scanning library
    • implementation of a meaningful subset of ldd functionalities in wldd
      • compatible output for non-verbose mode
    • ergonomic CLI
    • JSON output
    • specification of lookup path through a .dwp file
    • specification of PATH through .vcxproj.user files, picking configuration
    • specification of executable and working directory through .vcxproj files, picking configuration
    • extraction of symbols from DLLs
    • check of imported/exported symbols correspondency down the dependency tree
    • release on package managers
      • crates.io
  • v 0.2.0
    • support of API sets
    • support of KnownDLLs
  • v 1.0.0
    • API refactor
    • documentation improvement
  • v 1.1.0
    • add goblin PE parser for robustness to alignment issues
  • v 1.2.0
    • add fuzzy search based on skim
  • v 1.3.0
    • support of manifests
    • visualization of library symbols with address/ordinal
    • release on package managers
      • Chocolatey
      • WinGet?
      • APT?
      • AUR?
    • implementation of the maximal possible subset of ldd functionalities in wldd
      • subset of verbose output
      • unused symbols?
      • relocation?
  • v 1.x.0
    • parallelization across multiple threads (if ever necessary)
    • dependency_runner GUI?
      • drag-and-drop input of executables
      • PATH editing
      • saving PATH to disk, association of each PATH to executables on disk
      • monitoring of file changes


  • LoadLibraryEx and similar mechanism can't be inspected without letting the program run. This limitation is common to other similar tools that recursively scan executables files and parse their import tables.
  • no support yet for application manifests. You can take a look at Dependencies instead
  • the dependencies of system DLLs are not recursed into, for performance reasons; however, you can usually take their correctness for granted


  • Dependencies (thanks to @lucasg for this awesome software, as well as for the amount of information and documentation on the personal website)
  • pelite and goblin, upon which all of this is built
  • skim for the great fuzzy search library




~159K SLoC