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Can't compile OpenLDAP with Berkekey DB: File format not recognized

This is my first openldap install.   

I am installing by compiling from source on a debian box logged in as myself in my home directory.  Berkeley DB is not installed systemwide.  LDAP libraries are installed systemwide, but I want to install the whole openldap tarball in my home directory and use that/run an ldap server etc.  Only libraries are installed systemwide.  No ldap server software is installed systemwide.

I do have root access, but I don't think I should need it.  

If I can get it installed under /home/ben, after some experimentation, I'll install it in /home/openldap after creating an openldap user.

I don't know what the debian system uses the ldap libraries it came with for, but I should be able to use my own local version without dealing with that I would think.

This is what I do :

1) Install Berkeley DB 4.6.21 in /home/ben/opt/bdb

$ cd db-4.6.21/build_unix
$ ../dist/configure --prefix=/home/ben/opt/bdb
$ make && make install
$ export LD_RUN_PATH=/home/ben/opt/bdb/lib
$ export CPPFLAGS='-I /home/ben/opt/bdb/include'
$ export LDFLAGS='-L /home/ben/opt/bdb/lib'
$ cd 

2) Install OpenLDAP 
$ cd openldap-2.4.6
$ ./configure --prefix=/home/ben/opt/openldap
$ make depend
$ make 

Making all in /home/ben/src/openldap/openldap-2.4.6
  Entering subdirectory include
make[1]: Entering directory `/home/ben/src/openldap/openldap-2.4.6/include'
make[1]: Nothing to be done for `all'.
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/ben/src/openldap/openldap-2.4.6/include'
  Entering subdirectory libraries
make[1]: Entering directory `/home/ben/src/openldap/openldap-2.4.6/libraries'
Making all in /home/ben/src/openldap/openldap-2.4.6/libraries
  Entering subdirectory liblutil
make[2]: Entering directory `/home/ben/src/openldap/openldap-2.4.6/libraries/liblutil'
make[2]: Nothing to be done for `all'.
make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/ben/src/openldap/openldap-2.4.6/libraries/liblutil'
  Entering subdirectory liblber
make[2]: Entering directory `/home/ben/src/openldap/openldap-2.4.6/libraries/liblber'
/bin/sh ../..//libtool --mode=link cc -static -g -O2  -L /home/ben/opt/bdb/lib   -o dtest dtest.o liblber.la ../../libraries/liblutil/liblutil.a  -lresolv  
cc -g -O2 /home/ben/opt/bdb/lib -o dtest dtest.o  -L/home/ben/src/openldap/openldap-2.4.6/libraries/liblber ./.libs/liblber.a ../../libraries/liblutil/liblutil.a -lresolv
/usr/bin/ld: /home/ben/opt/bdb/lib: No such file: File format not recognized
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
make[2]: *** [dtest] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/ben/src/openldap/openldap-2.4.6/libraries/liblber'
make[1]: *** [all-common] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/ben/src/openldap/openldap-2.4.6/libraries'
make: *** [all-common] Error 1

3) Let's investigate:
$ ls /home/ben/opt/bdb
bin	docs	include	lib
$ ls -l /home/ben/opt/bdb/lib
-rw-r--r-- 1 ben ben 1571838 Nov 28 21:44 libdb-4.6.a
-rw-r--r-- 1 ben ben     813 Nov 28 21:44 libdb-4.6.la
-rwxr-xr-x 1 ben ben 1248813 Nov 28 21:44 libdb-4.6.so
lrwxrwxrwx 1 ben ben      12 Nov 28 21:44 libdb-4.so -> libdb-4.6.so
-rw-r--r-- 1 ben ben 1571838 Nov 28 21:44 libdb.a
lrwxrwxrwx 1 ben ben      12 Nov 28 21:44 libdb.so -> libdb-4.6.so

$ vi libdb-4.6.a

The first bit looks like:

/               1196286289  0     0     0       27970     `

Not sure what that means, but someone might...

$ vi libdb-4.so

The first bit looks like:

@ ^@^D^@(^@^_^@^\^@^A^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@\xe8\x85^Q^@\xe8

Hey! more nonsense, but ELF is familiar and seems like a plausable for a linux library... 

I also get this error with openldap-2.3.39 and db-4.5.20 

I could not use openldap-2.3.39 with db-4.6.21 because I get incompatible version.  The configure scripts looks for db versions 4.2 though 4.5 and spits out that error otherwise.

Anyway, thanks for any help.