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Joseph Basquin


Python + TensorFlow + GPU + CUDA + CUDNN setup with Ubuntu

Every time I setup Python + TensorFlow on a new machine with a fresh Ubuntu install, I have to spend some time again and again on this topic, and do some trial and error (yes I'm speaking about such issues). So here is a little HOWTO, once for all.

Important fact: we need to install the specific version number of CUDA and CUDNN relative to a particular version of TensorFlow, otherwise it will fail, with errors like libcudnn.so.7: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory.

For example, for TensorFlow 2.3, we have to use CUDA 10.1 and CUDNN 7.6 (see here).

Here is how to install on a Ubuntu 18.04:

pip3 install --upgrade pip   # it was mandatory to upgrade for me
pip3 install keras tensorflow==2.3.0

wget https://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/repos/ubuntu1804/x86_64/cuda-ubuntu1804.pin
sudo mv cuda-ubuntu1804.pin /etc/apt/preferences.d/cuda-repository-pin-600
sudo apt-key adv --fetch-keys https://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/repos/ubuntu1804/x86_64/7fa2af80.pub
sudo add-apt-repository "deb https://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/repos/ubuntu1804/x86_64/ /"
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install cuda-10-1 nvidia-driver-430

To test if the NVIDIA driver is properly installed, you can run nvidia-smi (I noticed a reboot was necessary).

Then download "Download cuDNN v7.6.5 (November 5th, 2019), for CUDA 10.1" on https://developer.nvidia.com/rdp/cudnn-archive (you need to create an account there), and then:

sudo dpkg -i libcudnn7_7.6.5.32-1+cuda10.1_amd64.deb     

That's it! Reboot the computer, launch Python 3 and do:

import tensorflow
tensorflow.test.gpu_device_name()     # also, tensorflow.test.is_gpu_available() should give True

The last line should display the right GPU device name. If you get an empty string instead, it means your GPU isn't used by TensorFlow!


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Joseph Basquin


Data / AI / Python consulting and freelancing.

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