Compiling Voikko With Hfst


These instructions are based on LibVoikko 3.6 on Lion (MacOS X 10.7.5). Other systems and older versions of LibVoikko have not been tested!

There are also somewhat older & outdated build instrcuctions on the Voikko home pages. These were made for LibVoikko 2.x on Leopard (MacOS 10.5.x).

If you are looking for usage info, that can be found here.

Install dependencies

Using MacPorts, install the following dependencies for hfst-ospell and libvoikko:

  • pkg-config ≥ 0.23
  • gettext ≥ 0.17
  • libxml++ 2
  • libarchive
  • libz

They can all be installed at once using this command:

sudo port install pkgconfig gettext libxmlxx2 libarchive zlib

The following is most likely not necesary anymore:

  • Malaga
  • Suomimalaga - part of the libvoikko checkout, see here for details


hfst-ospell is a speller library (and testing frontent) to use hfst-based transducers as spellers. It is required for the hfst backend for Voikko to work. You get it as follows:

svn co svn://

Configure hfst-ospell with the following options (the enable options are required by Voikko):

./configure --enable-zhfst --enable-xml

followed by the usual:

sudo make install

Build and install LibVoikko

These installation instructions assume we're using the git codebase. Start the build process by cloning corevoikko from git:

git clone

The build receipt is the standard one, with one additional flag to enable support for loading dictionaries shared by all users and for backwards and Unix/Linux compatibility.

NB! This configuration is for OSX! For Windows and Linux/Unix dictionary paths, see the Libvoikko documenation!

NOTE! These directories come in addition to the user-only directories (e.g. ~/.voikko etc.).

cd corevoikko/libvoikko
./configure --with-dictionary-path=/Library/Spelling/voikko:/usr/local/share/voikko:/usr/local/lib/voikko
sudo make install

Installation in other locations using --prefix is not recommended, especially for the dependent components. I have not been able to get it to work.

If you get configure errors about libvoikko being unble to find hfstospell, use this configure command line instead:

PKG_CONFIG_PATH=:/opt/local/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig ./configure --enable-hfst

Gory details - how to compile hfst-ospell and libvoikko as universal binaries for the LibreOffice extension

There is a separate document for building the libs as universal binaries and finally building the LibreOffice extension.