vtpp2014 / installTensorFlowTX1

Scripts to install TensorFlow on the NVIDIA Jetson TX1 Development Kit

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December 28, 2016

Last modified Jan 15, 2017

Install TensorFlow r0.11 on NVIDIA Jetson TX1 Development Kit

Full article and video on installation available at: http://www.jetsonhacks.com/2016/12/30/tensorflow-nvidia-jetson-tx1-development-kit/

Jetson TX1 is flashed with JetPack 2.3.1 which installs:

  • L4T 24.2.1 an Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit variant (aarch64)
  • CUDA 8.0
  • cuDNN 5.1.5


Before installing TensorFlow, a swap file should be created (minimum of 8GB recommended). The Jetson TX1 does not have enough physical memory to compile TensorFlow. Also, if TensorFlow is being compiled on the built-in 16GB flash drive, a standard JetPack installation may consume too much room on the drive to successfully build TensorFlow. Extraneous files will need to be removed. Eliminating the .deb files in the home directory appears to be enough to allow TensorFlow to build. Successful builds tend to have more than 5.5GB free. Also, for a successful build it is recommended to set local lib using the included script setLocalLib.sh, as grpc-java in particular seems to run into issues if it /usr/local/lib is not in the path.

Note: Most of this procedure was derived from the thread: tensorflow/tensorflow#851

TensorFlow should be built in the following order:


Installs Java and other dependencies needed. Also builds:


Two versions of protobuf are compiled. The first (v3.1.0) is needed to build grpc-java. This version ends up being installed in $HOME/lib and $HOME/bin. The second version (v3.0.0-beta-2) is used to build bazel


grpc-java v0.15.0 requires > v3.0.0-beta-3 of protobuf. A patch is applied for aarch64.


Builds version 0.3.2. Includes patches for compiling under aarch64.


Git clones r0.11 from the TensorFlow repository and patches the source code for aarch64


Sets up the TensorFlow environment variables. This script will ask for the default python library path.


Builds TensorFlow.


Once TensorFlow has finished building, this script may be used to create a 'wheel' file, a package for installing with Python. The wheel file will be in the $HOME directory, tensorflow-0.11.0-py2-none-any.whl

Install wheel file

$ pip install $HOME/tensorflow-0.11.0-py2-none-any.whl


Run a simple TensorFlow example for the initial sanity check:

$ cd $HOME/tensorflow

$ time python tensorflow/models/image/mnist/convolutional.py

Build Issues

For various reasons, the build may fail. The 'debug' folder contains a version of the buildTensorFlow.sh script which is more verbose in the way that it describes both what it is doing and errors it encounters. See the debug directory for more details.


As of this writing (Jan 15, 2017) the TensorFlow repository has an issue which does not allow incremental compilation to work correctly. This is due to an issue in the file:


Where the rule:

cuda_configure = repository_rule( implementation = _cuda_autoconf_impl, local = True, )

forces Bazel to always rebuild the CUDA configuration, which in turn foobars the incremental build process. The cloneTensorFlow.sh script patches the file to remove the local = True statement. Additionally, buildTensorFlow.sh sets TensorFlow environment variables to reflect the CUDA structure of the Jetson TX1.

Since v0.11 was published, the location of the zlib library being used has moved. This is also taken into account by the cloneTensorFlow.sh script, which patches the library location.

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Scripts to install TensorFlow on the NVIDIA Jetson TX1 Development Kit

License:MIT License


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