This page explains how to install Shark and run the test suite.
There is a dedicated installation troubleshooting page. For clarity, we here only describe the usual, out-of-the-box installation procedure. If you experience any problems, please also look there. If you are a more experienced or thorough user, you might skim through all items there as well. We however did not want to clutter this page too much. Also see the FAQ if something goes wrong in general.
Once done installing, verify your Shark installation by running the Shark test suite (see below). After successful installation and validation, there is a guide to the documentation available here.
At the moment, the only way to install Shark is from the source.
Either download and unpack the latest official Shark source-code release from here, or check out the current SVN version via (a Shark directory will be created as a subfolder – if you want the tree contents directly in the current directory, add a space and period . to the end of the command):
svn co https://svn.code.sf.net/p/shark-project/code/trunk/Shark
In the following, <SHARK_SRC_DIR> will denote the main Shark directory, which will usually be the Shark/ folder in the directory into which you checked out the SVN snapshot, or extracted the Shark source package. It should contain a CMakeLists.txt file as well as an include/ and src/ directory.
Installation: 1. Configure the build using ccmake <SHARK_SRC_DIR> . 2. Call make 3. Call make test to verify the build 4. Optionally call make install.
Time requirements: Building plus testing can take between 15 and 120 minutes, depending on your architecture and build options. You can pass the -jN flag to both make and make test to use N cores and speed things up.
Space requirements: A full installation (with debug and release libraries, examples, tests, and documentation) can take up around 4.5 GB. This reduces dramatically when not building the tests and examples, and/or when only building the release variant of Shark (but we still strongly encourage you to use the debug version with your newly written code).
The first step is to configure the build. In all of the below we use the command ccmake for this.
Note on CMake command
If ccmake is not installed on your system, either consider adding it (sometimes in a package called cmake-curses-gui or similar), or fall back to the wizard mode of CMake: instead of the above command, simply use the alternative cmake -i, which will query you on the command line. If you already know well the relevant configuration options, you can also pass them directly to cmake (without the -i), as in for example cmake -D CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug -D OPT_COMPILE_DOCUMENTATION:BOOL=OFF -DBoost_NO_SYSTEM_PATHS=TRUE ..., etc. Of course, you can also use the QT GUI-version of CMake (cmake-gui); and of course, you can also pass options directly to ccmake in the above way.
Starting notes on in-place vs. out-of-source builds: Shark supports both in-place builds (where the generated files are put in the Shark directory) and out-of-source builds (where the generated files are put in a completely different directory and the source tree remains unchanged). This choice is handled by the CMake build system (for full details, see their documentation here ).
In short, ccmake should be called from the directory in which you want the build files to end up. The argument to ccmake should be the path to your Shark source directory (<SHARK_SRC_DIR>), which contains the main CMakeLists.txt file for Shark. When calling ccmake from an outside directory (i.e., when building out-of-source) after previous in-place builds, you must first delete any leftover CMakeCache.txt file from the Shark source directory.
In general, out-of-source builds have the advantage that you can have e.g. one folder for Debug and one for Release builds. In the following, the generic placeholder <SHARK_SRC_DIR> can either be just the current directory (e.g., just the dot or period “.”) in case of in-place builds, or the path to your Shark main directory in case of out-of-source builds. In-place builds will not mess with the SVN repository, because all corresponding svn:ignore properties are set in the repository by default. In addition to the build tree location, you also have the opportunity to specify an installation directory to which the library will be installed upon issueing make install after compilation (see below).
In our view, the most recommendable setup is to have two out-of-source build directories for one debug and one release build, but configure both of these not to build the documentation. The documentation can instead be conveniently built in-place in <SHARK_SRC_DIR>/doc by issuing ccmake . there. See the documentation tutorial for more information.
Configuring the build using CMake: Regardless if from a separate build directory or the main Shark folder, to enter the curses-based configuration menu of CMake, simply issue:
If you have a custom/manual Boost installation, please identify your boost include and library directories and use instead:
ccmake -DBoost_NO_SYSTEM_PATHS=TRUE -DBOOST_INCLUDEDIR=/path/to/boost/include/ -DBOOST_LIBRARYDIR=/path/to/boost/lib/ <SHARK_SRC_DIR>
If ccmake is installed, the above command will produce a console-style menu in which you can easily change those installation options you wish to alter. First, you may have to press c to configure the system and populate the menu. Next, navigate through the rows with your arrow keys, press enter to change those options you wish to, and then press c twice to configure the installation, followed by g to generate the according makefile, and q to quit ccmake.
There are several different build options (see bottom of page) you will encounter in the ccmake menu, and the (arguably) three most important ones are:
If unsure, leave everything as is (perhaps put the build type to ``Debug``), and see the troubleshooting page if things go awry. But, even if no options are changed, the CMake configuration system must still be configured in this way once.
Besides the Boost installation path, the most important build option will be CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE, which defines your build type (Debug or Release).
Note on Shark build type (CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE)
Choosing the Debug build type for CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE enables a lot of type, size, and safety checks, but makes Shark much slower. An empty value for the CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE, or the value Release will build the fast release version of the library, but without many safety checks. Whatever option you choose, you can repeat the build process choosing the other option and get both a release as well as a debug version of the library on your system. If you are new to Shark and want to try some existing examples to see how fast Shark is, please use or link to the release version. If you are new to Shark and want to write your own programs using Shark, it might make your life a lot easier if you start by linking to the debug version until you are sure your code is sane.
For a detailed explanation of all other optional Shark build options (starting with OPT_), please see the section Shark CMake Options below.
Run make (or e.g. make -j4 to distribute the build on 4 cores).
That’s it: you are done and have a working Shark installation at your disposal! Now preferably enter make test (or ctest) to verify that everything works fine.
When you are happy with the outcome, you can run make install to install Shark at the previously chosen prefix/path. If you don’t install Shark this way, the library files will simply linger in the lib/ subdirectory, which is fine. Note however, that there might be some additional commands carried out as part of make install (e.g., data files needed for the example tutorials may not get copied to the proper location), but this can also be done manually as needed. That is, you are fine using and linking to files in the build directory for most tasks - just remember to manually copy any data files that are reported as missing when running certain examples. locate may be your friend here.
There are several ways to compile Shark under Windows. If you are using Microsoft Visual Studio, the perhaps easiest way is to download CMake. Navigate with the GUI into the Shark directory and generate the required project files. Then open the project with Visual Studio. The simple procedure is explained in the following tutorial video:
In general, Windows users are advised to add NOMINMAX to their pre-processor defines in order to prevent windows.h from polluting the global namespace with min and max macros.
Alternatively, you can use a Unix/GNU-like framework under Microsoft Windows. The installation in general works as described in Building Shark with Linux, MacOS, and other Unix-based Systems, but also see Getting Shark to find Boost for instructions for MinGW.
ATLAS is an optimized linear algebra library. Using it as a backend to the shark routines can give speed-ups of factor 5-10 for big problems. Enabling ATLAS is simple. On most Unix systems, only the option “OPT_ENABLE_ATLAS” must be set to true. If ATLAS is not placed in a standard path, you will have to tell Shark where the libraries can be found. For this, the ccmake call above must be changed to:
ccmake -DBoost_NO_SYSTEM_PATHS=TRUE -DBOOST_INCLUDEDIR=/path/to/boost/include/ -DBOOST_LIBRARYDIR=/path/to/boost/lib/ -DATLAS_ROOT:Path=/path/to/ATLAS/ -DOPT_ENABLE_ATLAS=ON <SHARK_SRC_DIR>
Enabling ATLAS support will change the auto-generated CMake files for projects using Shark to automatically use the ATLAS library as well.
See the troubleshooting page for information on how to verify that Shark is using Atlas.
The Shark machine learning library relies on CMake as primary build system. CMake takes a file CMakeLists.txt as input and produces compiler- and IDE-specific projects. The range of supported compilers and IDEs includes but is not limited to:
The Shark CMake setup generates the following targets (where target means that you can add the corresponding keyword to the make command, e.g., make doc etc.):
To build a specific target, see your favorite IDE’s documentation. In case of Makefiles, add the target name after the make command.
Note that the documentation has its own CMake project in the doc/ subfolder. It can be built by issuing make doc there (in-place build of the documentation), and we recommend separating the library build process from the documentation build process. See the documentation tutorial for more information.