You can install ACE from an official pre-built binary (recommended), or from the source code (to get unreleased features or bug fixes, to compile for another system architecture, etc.).

Installing pre-built binaries

First download ACE from its home page.

When you download ACE, you can typically expand the archive by simply double clicking on it.

When you download the corresponding ERG image, you might not be able to automatically extract that if your system isn't configured to recognize the bz2 extension.

In this case, open the Terminal application (use the Search (looking glass icon in the upper right corner) option to find it).

Note where you put the ERG bz2 file. Let's say it is on your Desktop. Navigate to that directory, i.e., in the Terminal, type:

cd ~/Desktop

Then call the proper utility directly to expand the archive:

bunzip2 erg-1212-osx-0.9.22.dat.bz2

Now hopefully you have the ERG image to test ACE on.

Navigate to the directory that you put ACE in:

cd ~/Desktop/ace-0.9-22

Now you can start ACE:

./ace -g ~/Desktop/erg-1212-osx-0.9.22.dat

You should add ace to your path, so you can run it from anywhere.

You may also want to install yzlui for a graphical interface which allows interactive unification.

Compiling and installing from source

These are instructions on how to configure a build environment for compiling the ACE software from source. For using ACE to compile grammar images, see AceUse.


Before you can compile ACE, you will need to satisfy some dependencies. Some of these should be available from your package manager. E.g., on Ubuntu Linux, use the following commands:

sudo apt install build-essential libboost-regex-dev

Next compile and install REPP by downloading repp-0.2.2.tar.gz and extracting it, then by executing the following commands from the extracted directory:

./configure && make all
sudo make install

If you want [incr tsdb()] support, download the LOGON distribution (see LogonInstallation) and make sure the LOGONROOT environment variable is set. If you don't want [incr tsdb()] support, inspect ACE's Makefile (after checkout out the code; see below) and comment out the lines it says to comment out.

Building ace

With the dependencies satisfied you can now build ACE. First check out the repository. Read-only access is available via SVN:

svn co ace

Enter the ace/ directory and run the following command:

make all

The binary should be available as ace in the current directory. It can be used as is, but if you want to install this binary so it is available system-wide as the ace command, run the following command:

sudo make install

It's a good idea to only install official releases, and if you compile (e.g., to experiment with new features or to fix a bug), just call the compiled binary with its full path. This way you won't be surprised if you forget which version is being used (note that the version given by ace -V won't change until a new release is generated, but the compilation timestamp will).


Missing itsdb.h

You might see the following:

itsdb.c:10:10: fatal error: itsdb.h: No such file or directory
   10 | #include <itsdb.h>
      |          ^~~~~~~~~
compilation terminated.
make: *** [<builtin>: itsdb.o] Error 1

You have a few choices here. First, you comment out the following two lines from ACE's Makefile:

DELPHIN_CFLAGS=-isystem ${LOGONROOT}/lingo/lkb/include -DTSDB
DELPHIN_LIBS=-L ${LOGONROOT}/lingo/lkb/lib/linux.x86.64 -Wl,-Bstatic -litsdb -lpvm3 -Wl,-Bdynamic

Doing so, however, means you lose [incr tsdb()] support with ACE. Second, you can ensure you have the Logon distribution checked out (see LogonInstallation) and the LOGONROOT environment variable appropriately set. If you don't already have the whole LOGON tree on your computer, this may be too much for just some library files. The third option is to only download those files and copy them to the appropriate directories:

   1 $ mkdir itsdb_libraries
   2 $ pushd itsdb_libraries
   3 $ wget
   4 $ tar xf itsdb_libraries.tgz
   5 $ sudo cp include/* /usr/local/include/
   6 $ sudo cp lib/linux.x86.64/* /usr/local/lib/
   7 $ popd

libutil.a not compiled with -fPIC

You may see an error like the following at the linking stage of compilation:

    /usr/bin/ld: /usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-linux-gnu/6/../../../x86_64-linux-gnu/libutil.a(login_tty.o): relocation R_X86_64_PC32 against symbol `setsid@@GLIBC_2.2.5' can not be used when making a shared object; recompile with -fPIC
    /usr/bin/ld: final link failed: Bad value
    collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status
    Makefile:43: recipe for target 'ace' failed
    make: *** [ace] Error 1

If so, try changing the following line in the Makefile:

POST_LIBS=-Wl,-Bstatic -lutil -Wl,-Bdynamic

to this:

POST_LIBS=-Wl,-Bdynamic -lutil

Installing from Package Managers

Homebrew on macOS

ACE can be installed via Homebrew on macOS using the following command:

brew install delph-in/delphin/ace

See for the Homebrew tap.

AceInstall (last edited 2020-06-07 03:02:22 by TJTrimble)

(The DELPH-IN infrastructure is hosted at the University of Oslo)