These instructions explain how to use VLFeat from the command line (shell).

Download and unpack the latest VLFeat binary distribution in a directory of your choice (e.g. ~/src/vlfeat). Let VLFEATROOT denote this directory.

The command line tools are located in VLFEATROOT/bin/ARCH. Here ARCH denotes the subdirectory relative to your architecture (e.g. mac for Mac OS X PPC, maci for Mac OS X Intel, glnx86 for Linux, and so on). For the sake of illustration, the following table gives the path to the SIFT feature extraction program for the varius architectures:

Platform ARCH Path to command
Windows 32 win32 VLFEATROOT\bin\w32\sift.exe
Windows 64 win64 VLFEATROOT\bin\w64\sift.exe
Mac Intel 32 maci VLFEATROOT/bin/maci/sift
Mac Intel 64 maci64 VLFEATROOT/bin/maci64/sift
Linux 32 glnx86 VLFEATROOT/bin/glnx86/sift
Linux 64 glnxa64 VLFEATROOT/bin/glnxa64/sift

All commands have a corresponding man page found in VLFEATROOT/src. For UNIX based systems, the man pages can be viewed with the man utility. For instance

> man VLFEATROOT/src/sift.1


It might be convenient to add VLFeat to the system search paths. In Linux and Mac OS X this involves modifying the PATH and MANPATH environment variables. The exact details may vary, but it should be enough to add the following to your ~/.bash_profile:

export PATH=VLFEATROOT/bin/ARCH:$PATH export MANPATH=VLFEATROOT/src:$MANPATH


Alternatively, you can copy the executables and man pages to appropriate system-wide directories.