/* Copyright (c) by respective owners including Yahoo!, Microsoft, and individual contributors. All rights reserved. Released under a BSD (revised) license as described in the file LICENSE. */
This is the vowpal wabbit fast online learning code. For Windows, look at README.windows.txt
These prerequisites are usually pre-installed on many platforms. However, you may need to consult your favorite package manager (yum, apt, MacPorts, brew, ...) to install missing software.
- Boost library, with the
Boost::Program_Optionslibrary option enabled.
- GNU autotools: autoconf, automake, libtool, autoheader, et. al. This is not a strict prereq. On many systems (notably Ubuntu with
libboost-program-options-devinstalled), the provided
- (optional) git if you want to check out the latest version of vowpal wabbit, work on the code, or even contribute code to the main project.
Getting the code
You can download the latest version from here. The very latest version is always available via 'github' by invoking one of the following:
## For the traditional ssh-based Git interaction: $ git clone git://github.com/JohnLangford/vowpal_wabbit.git ## For HTTP-based Git interaction $ git clone https://github.com/JohnLangford/vowpal_wabbit.git
You should be able to build the vowpal wabbit on most systems with:
$ make $ make test # (optional)
If that fails, try:
$ ./autogen.sh $ make $ make test # (optional) $ make install
./autogen.sh requires automake (see the prerequisites, above.)
./autogen.sh's command line arguments are passed directly to
if they were
configure arguments and flags.
./autogen.sh will overwrite the supplied
keeping a copy of
Makefile may be a good idea before running
Be sure to read the wiki: https://github.com/JohnLangford/vowpal_wabbit/wiki for the tutorial, command line options, etc.
The 'cluster' directory has it's own documentation for cluster parallel use, and the examples at the end of test/Runtests give some example flags.
The default C++ compiler optimization flags are very aggressive. If you should run into a problem, consider running
configure with the
--enable-debug option, e.g.:
$ ./configure --enable-debug
or passing your own compiler flags via the
CXXOPTIMIZE make variable:
$ make CXXOPTIMIZE="-O0 -g"
Ubuntu/Debian specific info
On Ubuntu/Debian/Mint and similar the following sequence should work for building the latest from github:
# -- Get libboost program-options: apt-get install libboost-program-options-dev # -- Get the python libboost bindings (python subdir) - optional: apt-get install libboost-python-dev # -- Get the vw source: git clone git://github.com/JohnLangford/vowpal_wabbit.git # -- Build: cd vowpal_wabbit make make test # (optional) make install
Ubuntu advanced build options (clang and static)
If you prefer building with
clang instead of
gcc (much faster build
and slighly faster executable), install
clang and change the
apt-get install clang make CXX=clang++
A statically linked
vw executable that is not sensitive to boost
version upgrades and can be safely copied between different Linux
versions (e.g. even from Ubuntu to Red-Hat) can be built and tested with:
make CXX='clang++ -static' clean vw test # ignore warnings
Mac OS X-specific info
Complete brew install of 7.10
brew install vowpal-wabbit
brew install dependencies + manual install of vowpal wabbit
brew install libtool brew install boost --with-python
## Install glibtool and other GNU autotool friends: $ port install libtool autoconf automake ## Build Boost for Mac OS X 10.8 and below $ port install boost +no_single +no_static +openmpi +python27 configure.cxx_stdlib=libc++ configure.cxx=clang++ ## Build Boost for Mac OS X 10.9 and above $ port install boost +no_single +no_static +openmpi +python27
Mac OS X 10.8 and below:
configure.cxx=clang++ ensure that
the correct C++11 functionality while building Boost. Ordinarily,
clang++ relies on the older GNU
g++ 4.2 series
header files and
libc++ is the
clang replacement that provides newer C++11 functionality. If
these flags aren't present, you will likely encounter compilation errors when compiling vowpalrabbit/cbify.cc. These
error messages generally contain complaints about
std::unique_ptr types missing.
$ sh autogen.sh --enable-libc++ $ make $ make test # (optional)