Installation Instructions

As noted before, this package is part of the packages, which in turn are part of the signal-processing and machine learning toolbox Bob. To install Bob, please read the Installation Instructions.

Then, to install the packages and in turn maybe the database packages that you want to use, use conda to install them:

$ conda search "*"  # searching
$ conda search "bob.db.*"  # searching
$ conda install<bioname> bob.db.<dbname>

where you would replace <bioname> and <dbname> with the name of packages that you want to use.

An example installation

For example, you might want to run a video face recognition experiments using the and the feature extractor defined in, the algorithm defined in and the video extensions defined in, using the YouTube faces database interface defined in Running the command line below will install all the required packages:

$ source activate <bob_conda_environment>
$ conda install \


With you will run biometric recognition experiments using biometric recognition databases. Though the verification protocols are implemented in, the raw data are not included. To download the raw data of the databases, please refer to the according Web-pages. For a list of supported databases including their download URLs, please refer to the biometric recognition databases.

After downloading the raw data for the databases, you will need to tell, where these databases can be found. There are two methods for this purpose. The older method is deprecated but some old databases may still be using it.

Old Databases

A special file, where you can set your directories, is used. By default, this file is located in ~/.bob_bio_databases.txt, and it contains several lines, each line looking somewhat like:

[YOUR_ATNT_DIRECTORY] = /path/to/atnt/directory


If this file does not exist, feel free to create and populate it yourself.

Please use for a list of known databases, where you can see the raw [YOUR_DATABASE_PATH] entries for all databases that you haven’t updated, and the corrected paths for those you have.


If you have installed only, there is no database listed – as all databases are included in other packages, such as or Also, please don’t forget that you need to install the corresponding bob.db.<name> package as well.

New Databases

Most new databses in bob use the Global Configuration System to find the location of the raw data. Please refer to the documentation of the database package to find out if they use this feature or not. If they do, the location can be configured using the bob config command. For example:

$ bob config set /path/to/atnt/directory

Test your Installation

You can install the nose package to test your installation and use that to verify your installation:

$ conda install nose  # install nose
$ nosetests -vs
$ nosetests -vs

You should run the script running the nose tests for each of the packages separately.

$ nosetests -vs
$ nosetests -vs

Some of the tests that are run require the images of the AT&T database database. If the database is not found on your system, it will automatically download and extract the AT&T database a temporary directory, which will not be erased.

To avoid the download to happen each time you call the nose tests, please:

  1. Download the AT&T database database and extract it to the directory of your choice.

  2. Set an environment variable ATNT_DATABASE_DIRECTORY to the directory, where you extracted the database to. For example, in a bash you can call:

$ export ATNT_DATABASE_DIRECTORY=/path/to/your/copy/of/atnt

In case any of the tests fail for unexplainable reasons, please send a report through our mailing list.


Usually, all tests should pass with the latest stable versions of Bob packages. In other versions, some of the tests may fail.