How to install Tensorflow GPU with CUDA 10.0 for python on Ubuntu

This tutorial is for building tensorflow 1.12 GPU from source along with CUDA 10 and cuDNN 7.3.1

This is going to be a tutorial on how to install tensorflow 1.12 GPU version. We will also be installing CUDA 10.0 and cuDNN 7.3.1 along with the GPU version of tensorflow 1.12. At the time of writing this blog post, the latest version of tensorflow is 1.12. This tutorial is for building tensorflow from source. If you want to use the official pre-built pip package instead, I recommend another post, How to install Tensorflow using official pip package.

Tensorflow is an open source software library developed and used by Google that is fairly common among students, researchers, and developers for deep learning applications such as neural networks. It has both the CPU as well as GPU version available and although the CPU version works quite well, realistically, if you are going for deep learning, you will need GPU. In order to use the GPU version of TensorFlow, you will need an NVIDIA GPU with a compute capability > 3.0

Using latest version of Tensorflow provides you latest features and optimization, using latest CUDA Toolkit provides you speed improvement with latest gpu support and using latest CUDNN greatly improves deep learing training time.

There must be 64-bit python installed tensorflow does not work on 32-bit python installation.

Step 1: Update and Upgrade your system:

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2: Verify You Have a CUDA-Capable GPU:

lspci | grep -i nvidia

Note GPU model. eg. GeForce 840M

If you do not see any settings, update the PCI hardware database that Linux maintains by entering update-pciids (generally found in /sbin) at the command line and rerun the previous lspci command.

If your graphics card is from NVIDIA then goto and verify if listed in CUDA enabled gpu list.

Note down its Compute Capability. eg. GeForce 840M 5.0

Step 3: Verify You Have a Supported Version of Linux:

To determine which distribution and release number you’re running, type the following at the command line:

uname -m && cat /etc/*release

The x86_64 line indicates you are running on a 64-bit system which is supported by cuda 9.1

Step 4: Install Dependencies:

Required to compile from source:

sudo apt-get install build-essential 
sudo apt-get install cmake git unzip zip
sudo apt-get install python-dev python3-dev python-pip python3-pip

Step 5: Install linux kernel header:

Goto terminal and type:

uname -r

You can get like “4.15.0-36-generic”. Note down linux kernel version.

To install linux header supported by your linux kernel do following:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Step 6: Install NVIDIA CUDA 10.0:

Remove previous cuda installation:

sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo rm -rf /usr/local/cuda*

Install cuda :

For Ubuntu 16.04 :

sudo apt-key adv --fetch-keys
echo "deb /" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/cuda.list

For Ubuntu 18.04 :

sudo apt-key adv --fetch-keys
echo "deb /" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/cuda.list

For Both Options:

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-overwrite" install cuda-10-0 cuda-drivers

You can also install cuda toolkit following instructions from here and it is recommended to use deb[network].

Step 7: Reboot the system to load the NVIDIA drivers.

Step 8: Go to terminal and type:

echo 'export PATH=/usr/local/cuda-10.0/bin${PATH:+:${PATH}}' >> ~/.bashrc
echo 'export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/cuda-10.0/lib64${LD_LIBRARY_PATH:+:${LD_LIBRARY_PATH}}' >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc
sudo ldconfig

Check driver version probably Driver Version: 396.26

(not likely) If you got nvidia-smi is not found then you have unsupported linux kernel installed. Comment your linux kernel version noted in step 5.

You can check your cuda installation using following sample: ~
cd ~/NVIDIA_CUDA-10.0_Samples/5_Simulations/nbody

12 Comments on How to install Tensorflow GPU with CUDA 10.0 for python on Ubuntu

  1. hello,
    thank you for the tutorial.
    I have the following problem when importing TF
    do you know how to fix? Thanks

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “”, line 1, in
    File “/home/lia/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/”, line 24, in
    from tensorflow.python import pywrap_tensorflow # pylint: disable=unused-import
    File “/home/lia/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/python/”, line 88, in
    from tensorflow.python import keras
    File “/home/lia/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/python/keras/”, line 24, in
    from tensorflow.python.keras import activations
    File “/home/lia/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/python/keras/activations/”, line 22, in
    from tensorflow.python.keras._impl.keras.activations import elu
    File “/home/lia/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/python/keras/_impl/keras/”, line 21, in
    from tensorflow.python.keras._impl.keras import activations
    File “/home/lia/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/python/keras/_impl/keras/”, line 23, in
    from tensorflow.python.keras._impl.keras import backend as K
    File “/home/lia/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/python/keras/_impl/keras/”, line 36, in
    from tensorflow.python.layers import base as tf_base_layers
    File “/home/lia/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/python/layers/”, line 25, in
    from tensorflow.python.keras.engine import base_layer
    File “/home/lia/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/python/keras/engine/”, line 23, in
    from tensorflow.python.keras.engine.base_layer import InputSpec
    File “/home/lia/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/python/keras/engine/”, line 35, in
    from tensorflow.python.keras import backend
    File “/home/lia/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/python/keras/backend/”, line 22, in
    from tensorflow.python.keras._impl.keras.backend import abs
    ImportError: cannot import name ‘abs’

    • Try to downgrade linux kernel from boot menu -> advanced options. Also disable secure boot from Bios.

  2. Thank you!
    Having tried many nvidia-docker and other solutions that fail for one reason or another.
    These build steps has me up and running, native on my machine, with cuda-10.0, cudnn- and nccl_2.3.7

  3. Very nice tutorial.

    Using your tutorial I got Tensorflow running on a RTX 2070.
    My setup: Linux Mint 19, Python 3.6, Tensorflow 1.12.0, Cuda 10.0, cudNN 7.4.1, NCCL 2.3.7, Keras 2.2.4.
    The build using Bazel 0.17.2 took about 2 hours.

    For Linux Mint users: to build the Cuda example and test the Cuda installation, modify the file /NVIDIA_CUDA-10.0_Samples/5_Simulations/nbody/
    replace: UBUNTU = $(shell echo $(DISTRO) | grep -i ubuntu >/dev/null 2>&1; echo $?)
    with: UBUNTU = $(shell echo $(DISTRO) | grep -i linuxmint >/dev/null 2>&1; echo $?)
    Otherwise the Open GL libraries can’t be found ( and

    Thank you!

  4. Oh wow this worked like a miracle, thanks so much!

    Just a tip to others, use the Bazel version the author says to use. And before you run the bazel command, do: export TMP=”/tmp”. Make sure to also install protobuf first following the steps here:

    sudo apt-get install autoconf automake libtool curl make g++ unzip -y
    git clone
    cd protobuf
    git submodule update –init –recursive
    make check
    sudo make install
    sudo ldconfig


  5. bazel-out/host/bin/_solib_local/_U_S_Stensorflow_Scc_Cops_Slogging_Uops_Ugen_Ucc___Utensorflow/ undefined reference to `[email protected]
    bazel-out/host/bin/_solib_local/_U_S_Stensorflow_Scc_Cops_Slogging_Uops_Ugen_Ucc___Utensorflow/ undefined reference to `[email protected]
    collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status
    Target //tensorflow/tools/pip_package:build_pip_package failed to build
    Use –verbose_failures to see the command lines of failed build steps.
    INFO: Elapsed time: 1.186s, Critical Path: 0.48s
    INFO: 0 processes.
    FAILED: Build did NOT complete successfully

    Someont know why this happen?

  6. Thanks for this tutorial. I am unable to get it to work though, with 7.41 CUDA and 2.3.7 NCCL. What does the following error message mean?

    bazel build –config=opt –config=cuda //tensorflow/tools/pip_package:build_pip_package
    WARNING: The following configs were expanded more than once: [cuda]. For repeatable flags, repeats are counted twice and may lead to unexpected behavior.
    ERROR: /home/hegerber/.cache/bazel/_bazel_kontron/8a1cf3c7d840757bff354f793f430a39/external/local_config_cc/BUILD:57:1: in cc_toolchain rule @local_config_cc//:cc-compiler-k8: Error while selecting cc_toolchain: Toolchain identifier ‘local’ was not found, valid identifiers are [local_linux, local_darwin, local_windows]
    ERROR: Analysis of target ‘//tensorflow/tools/pip_package:build_pip_package’ failed; build aborted: Analysis of target ‘@local_config_cc//:cc-compiler-k8’ failed; build aborted
    INFO: Elapsed time: 0.344s
    INFO: 0 processes.
    FAILED: Build did NOT complete successfully (0 packages loaded, 0 targets conf\
    currently loading: @protobuf_archive// … (2 packages)

    Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  7. Thanks a lot !! Great tutorial, previous descriptions I found missed the initial cleanup steps

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