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The following error occurs when ArcSDE gsrvr startup fails. In the sde service log, sde_[sde_service_name] log, an error similar to the following is reported:
/data1/sde/sdeexe90/bin/gsrvr: error while loading shared libraries:
libsdeora10gsrvr93.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
[Thu Jan 1 00:00:00 2009]  [GIOMGR] Error (-1):Couldn't Start Server Task.
Variable substitution in the path of variables defined in the dbinit.sde file is not permitted.
For example, consider the following dbinit.sde file:
set LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$SDEHOME/lib: $ORACLE_HOME/lib
% sdemon -o info -I vars | grep LD_LIBRARY_PATH
When setting up ArcSDE on a UNIX/Linux platform, variables can be set in the dbinit.sde file, but be aware that variable substitution cannot be used.