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Using a GPU

In this tutorial we're going to: - Start an instance - Install NVIDIA drivers - Run a Tensorflow becnhmark

Start an Instance

We are going to create an Ubuntu 20.04 based Virtual Machine instance. You can start an instance either using the OpenStack CLI, or using the Horizon web interface.

On the CLI:

nova boot --flavor eg1.a30x1.V8-32 --key-name my_key --nic net-name=external my-gpu-instance --block-device source=image,dest=volume,size=30,id=0e98efbf-de1e-4e58-bf77-1ca80668e305,shutdown=preserve,bootindex=0

Replace my_key with the name of a key pair from your account.

This will start a new Ubuntu 20.04 VM, with 8 CPU cores, 32GB of RAM and a single NVIDIA A30 Tensor Core GPU. We have flavors with up to 8 of these GPUs.

You can obtain your IP address by running:

openstack server show my-gpu-instance

We SSH into our VM:

ssh ubuntu@<ip_address>

Replace <ip_address> with the ip address of your VM.

Install drivers

The next step is to install the NVIDIA drivers. To make sure we install the correct version of the drivers, we will check the current Tensorflow CUDA and cuDNN compatibility: We will use CUDA 11.2 and cuDNN 8.1

Then we will install the GPU drivers and CUDA on the VM:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install gcc make
sudo sh

Only install the cuda toolkit

Install the nvidia driver:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-460-server

Add the libraries to environment variables. At the bottom of the ~/.bashrc file add

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/cuda-11.2/lib64
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/cuda-11.2/bin
nano ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

We will download cuDNN 8.1 runtime library from Then we SCP it to our server:

scp ./libcudnn8_8.1.1.33-1+cuda11.2_amd64.deb ubuntu@

There we will install it:

sudo apt install ./libcudnn8_8.1.1.33-1+cuda11.2_amd64.deb

and reboot the VM

sudo reboot

Check that the drivers are correctly installed and active:


Run a Tensorflow benchmark

First we'll create a virtual env

sudo apt install python3-venv
python3 -m venv venv
source venv/bin/activate

Then we'll install the tensorflow package.

pip install wheel
pip install tensorflow

clone the becnhmarks repo:

git clone
cd benchmarks/scripts/tf_cnn_benchmarks

run the benchmark:

python --num_gpus=1 --batch_size=32 --model=resnet50 --variable_update=parameter_server