In this tutorial we install the Caffe version 1.0.0-rc5 from source (check the Makefile for the Caffe version).


CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5960X CPU @ 3.00GHz


LSB Version:	core-9.20160110ubuntu0.2-amd64:core-9.20160110ubuntu0.2-noarch:printing-9.20160110ubuntu0.2-amd64:printing-9.20160110ubuntu0.2-noarch:security-9.20160110ubuntu0.2-amd64:security-9.20160110ubuntu0.2-noarch
Distributor ID:	Ubuntu
Description:	Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS
Release:	16.04
Codename:	xenial

Compiler and python environment

Remove anaconda path from $PATH (we haven’t been able to build with anaconda). Make sure we have gcc-5 and g++-5.

$ echo $PATH  # Should not contain anaconda
$ gcc --version  # 5.4.0
$ g++ --version  # 5.4.0
$ which python   # /usr/bin/python

Install Nvidia driver, cuda-8.0 and cudnn

nvidia-375 is the latest driver as of March 2017.

$ sudo apt-get install nvidia-375

Download cuda-8.0 from Nvidia’s site: runfile. Change directory to the downloaded file and run with sudo (filename might be different).

$ cd ~/Download
$ sudo sh

After installation, run nvcc --version to quickly check if everything works so far. Sign-up for an Nvidia Developer accound and download cuDNN-v6.0. Extract the downloaded file and copy the contents to the corresponding cuda-8.0 folder.

$ sudo cp cudnn/cudnn.h /usr/local/cuda-8.0/include/
$ sudo cp cudnn/libcudnn* /usr/local/cuda-8.0/lib64/

Install build tools

We use Python2.7 in this tutorial.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake git pkg-config
sudo apt-get install libleveldb-dev libsnappy-dev libhdf5-serial-dev
sudo apt-get install libatlas-base-dev
sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends libboost-all-dev
sudo apt-get install libgflags-dev libgoogle-glog-dev liblmdb-dev
sudo apt-get install python-dev  # Python 2.7
sudo apt-get install python-numpy python-scipy python-pip
sudo apt-get install libopencv-dev

We build protobuf-3.2.0 from source. Extract the downloaded tarball and cd to the extracted folder.

$ sudo apt-get install autoconf automake libtool curl make unzip
$ ./
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/ CC=/usr/bin/gcc
$ make
$ make check
$ sudo make install
$ sudo ldconfig  # refresh shared library cache

Note: Add -j8 flag to make for 8 compile jobs running. Check the installation:

$ protoc --version

Download Caffe source code

$ sudo apt-get install git  # Run this if git is not installed
$ sudo apt-get install vim  # Run this if vim is not installed (optional)
$ git clone

Setting up Makefile.configure

$ cd caffe
$ cp Makefile.config.example Makefile.config
$ vim Makefile.config  # Replace vim by any text editor

For GPU build, make sure these fields are correct in Makefile.config:

CUDA_DIR := /usr/local/cuda
CUDA_ARCH := -gencode arch=compute_20,code=sm_20 \
        -gencode arch=compute_20,code=sm_21 \
        -gencode arch=compute_30,code=sm_30 \
        -gencode arch=compute_35,code=sm_35 \
        -gencode arch=compute_50,code=sm_50 \
        -gencode arch=compute_52,code=sm_52 \
        -gencode arch=compute_60,code=sm_60 \
        -gencode arch=compute_61,code=sm_61 \
        -gencode arch=compute_61,code=compute_61
BLAS := atlas
PYTHON_INCLUDE := /usr/include/python2.7 \
                /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/numpy/core/include \
PYTHON_LIB := /usr/lib
INCLUDE_DIRS := $(PYTHON_INCLUDE) /usr/local/include /usr/include/hdf5/serial/
LIBRARY_DIRS := $(PYTHON_LIB) /usr/local/lib /usr/lib /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/hdf5/serial/
BUILD_DIR := build
DISTRIBUTE_DIR := distribute
Q ?= @

Create symbolic links for hdf5:

$ cd /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
$ sudo ln -s
$ sudo ln -s

It is possible to build with Anaconda by modifying PYTHON_INCLUDE and PYTHON_LIB.

Run build

$ make all -j8
$ make test
$ make runtest
$ make distribute  # To use with python

There are few possible errors we have encountered:

  • undefined reference to google::protobuf. This error was possibly caused by the protobuf-2.6 installed with Ubuntu’s apt-get. Pay attention to the version of gcc and g++. We solved this problem by building protobuf-3.2.0 using gcc-5.4.0 and g++-5.4.0. The compiler version should be the same for protobuf and caffe.
  • If cuda version is 7.5 (check with nvcc --version), it is a better idea to use gcc-4.9 and g++-4.9. Another solution (keep using gcc-5 and g++-5) is to modify gcc version fence, NVCCFLAG and CXXFLAGS (check the reference).
  • If make distribute failed to run. It is possibly because some Python components are missing. Install python-pip and use sudo pip install <missing_component> to fix. Also check PYTHON_INCLUDE in Makefile.config to see if all paths is correct.
  • After make distribute succeed, include the folder caffe/python/ into PYTHONPATH to use with Python. Install related python packages: sudo pip install protobuf scikit-image.