What is the difference between dynamic loading and dynamic linking?

Both systems seem to allow shared libraries, but I am struggling to differentiate between them.

  • $\begingroup$ Although it is very late to put in any answer to question, but I found a very good explanation of this on quora. Following is the link for anybody's reference who has the same question. quora.com/… $\endgroup$
    – user47302
    Dec 10, 2017 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


Dynamic linking is performed at the time of program loading only and uses compile-time established names. Dynamic loading can be done at any point in program execution.

From wikipedia:

Unlike static linking and loadtime linking, this mechanism allows a computer program to startup in the absence of these libraries, to discover available libraries, and to potentially gain additional functionality.


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