Using the Flipsta library

To use the library, the easiest thing to do is to clone the flipsta-build repository from GitHub. This contains the Flipsta library and its dependencies as Git submodules.

git clone
cd flipsta-build/
git submodule init
git submodule update

The Flipsta library should now be in flipsta-build/flipsta.


The first question to ask before trying to build the library is: do you really need to? You need to if

  • You would like to use the Python interface and it is not possible to get a precompiled version.
  • You would like to use C++ to read or write files in AT&T (OpenFst) format or HTK lattice format.

Otherwise, to use the library in C++, adding the include paths flipsta-build/*/include on the C++ command line will do. Note that if you use BJam, then this should be almost automatic.

Actually building the library

Building the Flipsta library uses Boost.Build, which comes with the Boost libraries, a well-known set of C++ libraries. Boost.Build is a joy to use if it works, and, regretfully, a pain if it does not. The main command this uses is bjam. Should you have this all set up, then go to the root directory of Flipsta distribution and say on the command line


This should build the library, and

bjam test

should run the unit tests.

Assuming this does not succeed, a number of dependencies need to be installed. First, make sure you’ve got a C++ compiler installed. Then, install the Boost libraries, and Boost.Build. On Ubuntu, this will install them:

sudo apt-get install libboost-all-dev bjam

If you are lucky, saying bjam should now work.

Quite likely, however, you need to edit ~/user-config.jam (create it if it does not exist) to say:

import boost ;
boost.use-project ;
using python ;

However, this requires the file boost.jam somewhere where bjam can find it. Ubuntu does not seem to ship the automatic configuration files that would make this happen. There are three ways to solve this:

  1. If you have administrator rights on your machine, this could be fixed as follows:

    sudo mkdir /usr/share/boost-build/contrib
    sudo cp ./boost.jam /usr/share/boost-build/contrib/boost.jam

    This allows Boost.Build to automatically find boost.jam when building the Flipsta library.

  2. Alternatively, download boost.jam to your home directory:

    wget -O ~/boost.jam

Now, the library should be built and tested when you say in the root directory of Flipsta:

bjam test

Table Of Contents

Previous topic

Flipsta library

Next topic

Python interface

This Page