Installing Kaldi with MKL support without root access

Kaldi has recently switched to Intel Math Kernel Libraries (MKL) for linear algebra operations (as of April 2019). However, installing MKL (by running tools/extras/ requires root access. This post details how kaldi (with MKL) can be installed without root access.

  1. Download Kaldi
  2. Download the MKL standalone installer from here.
    • Extract the contents and launch the installer by running
    • When asked for the path to install, specify a location where you have write access (e.g., /home/<username>/intel)
    • Complete the installation of MKL libraries
  3. Navigate to the kaldi folder kaldi/tools
  4. Typically the first step is to run extras/ This will complain about the missing MKL libraries. This is because the script expects the MKL libraries to be located under /opt/intel directory. As of now (May 2019), there is no option to pass the mkl-root directory to this script. Therefore we will edit the extras/ script by changing /opt/intel/mkl/include/mkl.h to /home/<username>/intel/mkl/include/mkl.h. Then running extras/ should work fine without any MKL related warnings.
  5. Then run make -j <numcpu> to install the tools required by kaldi
  6. Navigate to the kaldi/src folder.
  7. Run ./configure with the --mkl-root option.
    ./configure --shared --mkl-root=/home/<username>/intel/mkl
  8. Then install kaldi using the usual steps
    make depend -j <numcpu>       
    make -j <numcpu>

This will install Kaldi with MKL support without requiring any root privileges.

Deepak Baby
Deepak Baby
Applied Scientist

My research interests include speech recognition, enhancement and deep learning.

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