Difference: LkbInstallation (6 vs. 7)

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Grammar Engineering Frequently Asked Questions

I want to install the LKB on my local machine, what should I do?

The LKB can downloaded from the DELPH-IN website, for both Windows and Linux. (There is a Mac version as well, but with only limited support.) If you want the full functionality, including [incr tsdb()], you need to install the Linux version. If you don't want to install linux, you could use KNOPPIX+LKB instead.
The LKB can downloaded from the DELPH-IN website, for both Windows and Linux. (There is a Mac version as well, but with only limited support.) If you want the full functionality, including [incr tsdb()], you need to install the Linux version. There are at least three options for doing this:

Option 1: Install Ubuntu (or another Linux distribution)

Here is what worked in 2008:
This gives you a full Linux installation, and may be the best choice if you want to learn Linux or plan to do a lot of linguistics work on your machine. There is far more linguistics software for Linux than for any other operating system.
  1. Install ubuntu

You can either buy a book that comes with a Ubuntu disk or burn a disk yourself from the official Ubuntu website. If you want to get a linux-only machine, back up all your system before installing Ubuntu, and install Ubuntu. If you want to get a dual-boot machine, first, defragment your disk a couple of times to get a good chunk of free space on your disk before installing Ubuntu. In case you don't know how to defragment your disk, go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Deframgenter. It might say that you don't need to defragment, but defragment it anyway. You may also want to look into Wubi, although I don't really recommend it. It messes up your computer... FYI, It takes about 30 minutes to install Ubuntu.

If you wanted a dual-boot machine, it seems to work best if you partition your drive with the Windows utility (without formatting the new partition). Then boot from the Ubuntu CD and install to the largest continuous free space (the partition you just created). I strongly recommend also making sure all the drivers work (and maybe even being somewhere that you can have a wired Internet connectoin) before doing your Ubuntu install.

  1. After installing Ubuntu, install emacs if you don't have it.

Any linux distribution comes with Emacs, but it might not be pre-installed. Go to Applications -> Add/Remove, and look for Emacs.

  1. Install LKB (automatic installation.)

Open your terminal, follow the LKB instructions.

  1. At the end of the LKB installation, it'll ask you to put some lines in your .emacs file, so do that.

You may have to create your .emacs file first. Open your emacs, and press Ctrl-x-f, and type ~/.emacs at the bottom of your emacs window.

  1. In your .bashrc (which is in your home directory), put the following lines:



export DELPHINHOME=/home/mayo/delphin


export DELPHINHOME=~/delphin

NOTE: "/home/mayo/" should be replaced with yours, obviously... The automatic LKB installation would tell you what your path is.

  1. Edit your dot.emacs file

Go to ~/delphin/lkb/etc, and open dot.emacs. Change Line 63.

(load "fi-site-init" nil t)


(load "~/delphin/eli/fi-site-int" nil t)

(Thanks to Mayo Kudo for documenting her experience.)

  • [gslayden 12/13/2008] After installing as above on ubuntu x64, I got an error that libXm.so.4 couldn't be found when loading LKB in emacs. This appears to be fixed by creating a symbolic link in the ~/delphin/lkb/lib/linux.x86.64 directory as follows:

    • ln -s libXm.so.3 libXm.so.4
Mayo Kudo and Emily Bender have put together a guide to installing Ubuntu and LKB.


  • Gives you a full Linux installation to work with.
  • Fast, stable, and well-supported.
  • Works on PCs and Intel Macs (including under Parallels).


  • Requires repartitioning your hard disk (unless running under Parallels)
  • Switching between Linux and Windows requires a reboot.

Option 2: Install andLinux

andLinux is a special Linux version that runs in parallel with Windows. For step-by-step instructions on installing it and getting LKB running, see this tutorial.


  • No need to repartition.
  • Linux LKB can be run alongside Windows applications.


  • Beta-test software; does not always install cleanly.
  • Requires a lot of RAM, since you're running Windows and Linux alongside each other.
  • Requires Windows.

Option 3: Knoppix+LKB

Knoppix+LKB is a bootable CD with Emacs and LKB pre-installed.


  • No partitioning or installation required.
  • LKB is pre-installed -- just boot and go.
  • Works on PCs and Intel Macs.


  • Limited hardware support. Laptop touchpad mice and wireless network adapters seem to be the main sore points.
  • Slower than a "real" Linux installation, due to the relatively sluggish speed of a CD drive compared to a hard disk.
  • Can't install your own software.

Back to FAQs page

Back to main course page

-- EmilyBender - 12 Jan 2008
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-- brodbd - 13 Jan 2009
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