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Getting a laptop in fit shape for deep learning with Ubuntu

How is deep learning awful this time?

I want to do machine learning without the cloud, which as we learn previously, is awful.

But also I’m a vagabond with nowhere safe and high-bandwidth to store a giant GPU machine (campus IT don’t return my calls about it; I think they think I’m taking the piss.)

So, let’s buy a Razer Blade 2016, a nice portable, surprisingly cheap laptop with all the latest feature and a comparable performance to the kind of single-GPU desktop machine I could afford.

I don’t want to do anything fancy here, just process a few gigabytes of MP3 data. My data is stored in the AARNET owncloud server. It’s all quite simple, but the algorithm is just too slow without a GPU and I don’t have a GPU machine I can leave running.


Miscellaneous Razerblade difficulties

See comfy razer.

The CUDA Bit

Installing CUDA etc on the laptop is straightforward. Making it run is not.

Get deps, by downloading the deb then installing.

sudo dpkg -i cuda-repo-ubuntu1604_9.1.85-1_amd64.deb
sudo apt-key adv --fetch-keys
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cuda-9-1

NVIDIA’s howto points out that you will need to care about Bumblebee to survive Ubuntu.

Confusing, because most sources seem to think you want to have NVIDIA graphics; but what if you merely want NVIDIA computing via CUDA, and don’t care about graphics?

In stark contrast to NVIDIA, they claim:

There is sometimes confusion about CUDA. You don’t need Bumblebee to run CUDA. Follow the How-to to get CUDA working under Ubuntu.

Lies! without Bumblebee the NVIDIA gets switched off.

Their second point is interesting though

There is however a new feature (--no-xorg option for optirun) in Bumblebee 3.2, which makes it possible to run CUDA / OpenCL applications that does not [sic] need the graphics rendering capabilities.

Bumblebee is its own small world. There is a walkthrough for a Razer Blade. It has a debugging page, which you will need. Daniel Teichmann’s Bumblebee instructions.

sudo apt install nvidia-prime
sudo prime-select intel

Install bumblebee via the ppa (NB the stable version is too old. as of 2018-03)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo modprobe nvidia-uvm nvidia
primusrun python -i jobs/
primusrun nvidia-smi
CUDA_VISIBLE_DEVICES= primusrun python jobs/

Tensorflow ACPI interaction.

Turn Off Discrete nVidia Optimus Graphics Card in Ubuntu

Tensorflow wants the whole GPU.

Webupd8 bumblebee howto

monitoring NVIDIA power without using the NVIDIA

Boot without graphics in Ubuntu.

bazel isntall:

sudo apt-get install pkg-config zip g++ zlib1g-dev unzip python  openjdk-8-jdk
echo "deb [arch=amd64] stable jdk1.8" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bazel.list
curl | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install bazel

Fixing kernel version because the NVIDIA drivers don’t always seem to exist

Fix grub default to boot the good kernel

Avoiding the fiddly bits with anaconda

Maybe this will work:

conda create -n tensorflow pip python=3.6
source activate tensorflow
conda install -c anaconda tensorflow-gpu

Other comforts

See [comfy ubuntu]({filename}/notebooks/