Saturday, August 27, 2016

Installation Quickstart: TensorFlow, Anaconda, Jupyter

What better way to start getting into TensorFlow than with a notebook technology like Jupyter, the successor to IPython Notebook? There are two little hurdles to achieve this:
  1. Choice of OS. Trying to use Windows with TensorFlow is as painful as trying to use Windows with Spark. But even within Linux, it turns out you need a recent version. CentOS 7 works a lot better than CentOS 6 because it has a more recent glibc.
  2. A step is missing from the TensorFlow installation page. From StackOverflow:
    conda install notebook ipykernel
Here then are the complete set of steps to achieve Hello World in Tensorflow on Jupyter via Anaconda:
  1. Use CentOS 7.2 (aka 1511), for example using VirtualBox if under Windows. This step may be unnecessary if you use OSX, but I just haven't tried it.
  2. Download and install Anaconda for Python 3.5.
  3. From the TensorFlow installation instructions:
    conda create -n tensorflow python=3.5
    source activate tensorflow
    conda install -c conda-forge tensorflow
  4. From StackOverflow:
    conda install notebook ipykernel
  5. Launch Jupyter:
    jupyter notebook
  6. Create a notebook and type in Hello World:
    import tensorflow as tf
    hello = tf.constant('Hello, TensorFlow!')
    sess = tf.Session()