How to Install Tensorflow with Anaconda on Ubuntu

Published:31 July 2023 - 5 min. read

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Nicholas Xuan Nguyen

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Have you wished to say goodbye to complicated configurations and endless source code compilation? Why not install TensorFlow with Anaconda on Ubuntu?

In this tutorial, you will install TensorFlow and take advantage of this machine-learning platform.

Read on and supercharge your skills in the world of machine learning with TensorFlow!

Prerequisites

This tutorial houses hands-on demonstrations. Ensure you have the following in place to follow along in this tutorial.

  • A system running Ubuntu 16.04 or later – This tutorial uses Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
  • A user with sudo privileges.

Setting Up a Local Development Environment

TensorFlow is an open-source machine learning platform that offers a flexible ecosystem of tools, libraries, and community resources. But before learning how to install TensorFlow with Anaconda, you must prepare your system with the necessary tools and configurations.

The first step is setting up your local development environment to work with TensorFlow and Anaconda. Doing so ensures you have the software and permissions to install and use TensorFlow effectively.

To set up a local development environment, follow these steps:

1. Open your terminal, and run the below apt update command to update the system package list.

sudo apt update -y
install tensorflow anaconda - Updating the system package list
Updating the system package list

2. Once updated, execute the apt install command below to install the necessary Python packages as follows:

  • python3-dev – Provides the header files and libraries needed for Python development.
  • python3-pip – Provides the pip package manager for Python 3.
sudo apt install python3-dev python3-pip -y
Installing the necessary Python packages
Installing the necessary Python packages

3. Lastly, run the following commands to verify you have installed Python3 and Pip successfully.

python3 -V
pip -V
Verifying installed Python3 and Pip versions
Verifying installed Python3 and Pip versions

Downloading and Installing Anaconda on Ubuntu

With a local development environment, you can start setting up Anaconda and TensorFlow on your Ubuntu system. Anaconda is a widespread open-source distribution of the Python and R programming languages for data science and machine learning tasks.

Anaconda simplifies managing and deploying various packages, libraries, and so on with its comprehensive package manager called Conda.

To install Anaconda on your Ubuntu system:

1. Open your preferred web browser, navigate to Anaconda’s download page, and copy the URL of the latest version of the Anaconda installer script for your system.

At this time of writing, the latest version is Anaconda3-2023.07-1-Linux-x86_64.sh.

Copying the URL of the latest version of the Anaconda installer
Copying the URL of the latest version of the Anaconda installer

2. Next, switch to your terminal, and run the below wget command to download the installer script and save it in the current directory.

Be sure you replace the URL below with the one you copied in step one.

wget https://repo.anaconda.com/archive/Anaconda3-2023.07-1-Linux-x86_64.sh
Downloading the Anaconda installer script
Downloading the Anaconda installer script

3. Once downloaded, execute the following sha256sum command to view the installer script’s (Anaconda3-2023.07-1-Linux-x86_64.sh) checksum.

sha256sum Anaconda3-2023.07-1-Linux-x86_64.sh

Note the checksum in the output, as shown below, as you will need it to verify the installer script’s integrity in the following step.

Verifying the installer script file’s integrity
Verifying the installer script file’s integrity

4. Now, compare the checksum you noted in step three with the one on the Anaconda’s download page. If the integrity check fails, you must redownload the installer script.

Verifying the integrity of the installer script
Verifying the integrity of the installer script

5. If the checksums match, execute the below bash command to run the Anaconda installer script (Anaconda3-2023.07-1-Linux-x86_64.sh)

bash ./Anaconda3-2023.07-1-Linux-x86_64.sh

Press Enter when prompted to continue and read through the terms.

Confirming running the Anaconda installer script
Confirming running the Anaconda installer script

6. Type yes, and press Enter to accept the license terms.

Accepting the license terms
Accepting the license terms

7. Press Enter to accept the default location for Anaconda installation.

Accepting the default Anaconda installation location
Accepting the default Anaconda installation location

As shown below, the Anaconda installation process begins.

Overviewing the Anaconda installation progress
Overviewing the Anaconda installation progress

8. Once installed, input yes and press Enter to initialize Anaconda, which runs the conda init command, as shown below.

The conda init command sets up your shell to enable using Anaconda and the conda command. Initializing Anaconda modifies your shell’s configuration file (such as .bashrc or .bash_profile) to include the necessary settings and environment variables.

Initializing Anaconda eliminates manually setting up the environment variables each time you open a new shell session.

Confirming initializing Anaconda
Confirming initializing Anaconda

9. Now, run the below source command to apply the changes. This command enables your shell to access Anaconda and the conda command.

source ~/.bashrc

Your shell prompt changes to the one below reflecting the changes, and the base environment will be activated.

Applying the changes
Applying the changes

10. Run the conda command below to update Conda to the latest version. Updating conda to the latest version ensures you have the most recent features and bug fixes.

At this point, you have successfully downloaded and installed Anaconda on your Ubuntu system.

conda update --all

Type y and press Enter when prompted to confirm updating listed packages.

Updating packages
Updating packages

11. Lastly, execute the below command to check the installed version (-v) of conda in your system.

conda -V
Checking the installed Conda version
Checking the installed Conda version

Creating a Conda Environment to Install TensorFlow with Anaconda

With Anaconda installed, you will need a separate and isolated environment for your TensorFlow projects. Specifically, you will create a Conda environment for TensorFlow and later install TensorFlow.

Anaconda eliminates the need for manual installation of TensorFlow and its dependencies. You can use the comprehensive conda package manager to install TensorFlow with a single command. This capability resolves dependencies and ensures compatibility.

To create a Conda environment for TensorFlow:

1. Run the following command to create a new Conda environment named tensorflow with Python version 3.9.

You can choose any name for your environment and a different Python version.

conda create --name tensorflow python=3.9
Creating a Conda environment for TensorFlow
Creating a Conda environment for TensorFlow

2. When prompted, input y and press Enter to confirm installing the new packages listed.

Confirming installing new packages
Confirming installing new packages

3. Next, execute the below command to activate the newly created environment (tensorflow).

Any subsequent Python or package installations will be specific to this environment.

conda activate tensorflow

As you can see below, the shell prompt changes to the newly-created environment (tensorflow).

Activating the newly created environment (tensorflow)
Activating the newly created environment (tensorflow)

4. Run the pip install command below to update pip to the latest version. TensorFlow requires the recent version of pip to install correctly.

pip install --upgrade pip
Updating pip to the latest version
Updating pip to the latest version

5. Now, run the following command to install tensorflow.

pip install tensorflow
Installing Tensorflow with Anaconda
Installing TensorFlow

Upgrading TensorFlow

You have just installed TensorFlow, but when it comes to developing TensorFlow applications, keeping all packages up-to-date, including TensorFlow itself, is crucial.

Regular updates ensure access to the latest features, bug fixes, and improvements and help maintain compatibility with other packages and libraries in your environment.

Execute the following pip install command to --upgrade TensorFlow.

pip install --upgrade tensorflow

Since you have just installed TensorFlow, you will see messages saying Requirement already satisfied. These messages indicate the packages are already up-to-date.

Upgrading TensorFlow
Upgrading TensorFlow

Verifying the TensorFlow Installation

After installing and upgrading TensorFlow, you must verify if your TensorFlow installation works. There are many ways to test out TensorFlow, but for this tutorial, you will invoke the Python interpreter to execute a script.

Execute the following python command to execute a short Python script. This script utilizes (import) TensorFlow to generate a random matrix of shape (100, 100) with normally distributed values.

python -c "import tensorflow as tf; print(tf.random.normal([100,100]))"

As a result, you will see the randomly generated matrix printed in the console similar to the one below.

Verifying the TensorFlow installation
Verifying the TensorFlow installation

Conclusion

Throughout this tutorial, you have learned to install TensorFlow with Anaconda on your Ubuntu system. At this point, building and deploying machine learning models becomes a quick process with TensorFlow.

Now, why not consider installing Jupyter Notebook, which works seamlessly with TensorFlow? This computing platform provides an interactive data analysis, experimentation, and collaborative coding environment.

Start creating and sharing notebooks containing code, visualizations, and explanatory text!

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