The INSTALL instructions that come with Vowpal Wabbit appear not to work on Mac OS X Lion. Here's what I did to get it to compile. You will need the developer tools that come with the XCode installation.
The only dependency VW has is the boost C++ library. So first, download and install Boost
To install Boost, do the following:
$ cp ~/Downloads/boost_1_48_0.tar.bz2 ./ $ tar xfj boost_1_48_0.tar.bz2 $ cd boost_1_48_0 $ ./bootstrap.sh # Install defaults to /usr/local $ sudo ./b2 install
To install VW, do the following:
$ git clone https://github.com/JohnLangford/vowpal_wabbit.git $ autoreconf --force --install # Options copy any needed autoconf files to local $ ./configure $ make $ make install $ vw --help
I had to install some stuff to get autoreconf to run. I used brew:
brew install automake
brew install libtool
I also used brew to install boost:
brew install boost
brew install boost-build
Then worked great -- thanks!