build(3) Building MLPACK


MLPACK uses CMake as a build system and allows several flexible build configuration options. One can consult any of numerous CMake tutorials for further documentation, but this tutorial should be enough to get MLPACK built and installed.

latest mlpack build

Download latest mlpack build from here : mlpack-1.0.9

Creating Build Directory

Once the MLPACK source is unpacked, you should create a build directory.

$ cd mlpack-1.0.9
$ mkdir build

The directory can have any name, not just 'build', but 'build' is sufficient enough.

Dependencies of MLPACK

MLPACK depends on the following libraries, which need to be installed on the system and have headers present:

  • Armadillo >= 3.6.0 (with LAPACK support)
  • LibXML2 >= 2.6.0
  • Boost (math_c99, program_options, unit_test_framework, random, heap) >= 1.49

In Ubuntu and Debian, you can get all of these dependencies through apt:

# apt-get install libboost-math-dev libboost-program-options-dev
  libboost-random-dev libboost-test-dev libxml2-dev libarmadillo-dev

If you are using an Ubuntu version older than 13.10 ('Saucy Salamander') or Debian older than Jessie, you will have to compile Armadillo from source. See the README.txt distributed with Armadillo for more information.

On Fedora, Red Hat, or CentOS, these same dependencies can be obtained via yum:

# yum install boost-devel boost-random boost-test boost-program-options
  boost-math libxml2-devel armadillo-devel

On Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and older (as well as CentOS 5), the Armadillo version available is too old and must be compiled by hand. The same applies for Fedora 16 and older.

Configuring CMake

Running CMake is the equivalent to running ./configure with autotools. If you run CMake with no options, it will configure the project to build with debugging symbols and profiling information:

$ cd build
$ cmake ../

You can specify options to compile without debugging information and profiling information (i.e. as fast as possible):

$ cd build

The full list of options MLPACK allows:

  • DEBUG=(ON/OFF): compile with debugging symbols (default ON)
  • PROFILE=(ON/OFF): compile with profiling symbols (default ON)
  • ARMA_EXTRA_DEBUG=(ON/OFF): compile with extra Armadillo debugging symbols (default OFF)

Each option can be specified to CMake with the '-D' flag. Other tools can also be used to configure CMake, but those are not documented here.

Building MLPACK

Once CMake is configured, building the library is as simple as typing 'make'. This will build all library components as well as 'mlpack_test'.

$ make
Scanning dependencies of target mlpack
[  1%] Building CXX object

You can specify individual components which you want to build, if you do not want to build everything in the library:

$ make pca allknn allkfn

If the build fails and you cannot figure out why, register an account on Trac and submit a ticket and the MLPACK developers will quickly help you figure it out:

Alternately, MLPACK help can be found in IRC at #mlpack on

Installing MLPACK

If you wish to install MLPACK to /usr/include/mlpack/ and /usr/lib/ and /usr/bin/, once it has built, make sure you have root privileges (or write permissions to those two directories), and simply type

# make install

You can now run the executables by name; you can link against MLPACK with -lmlpack, and the MLPACK headers are found in /usr/include/mlpack/.