Installing MXNet on CentOS

NOTE: For MXNet with Python installation, please refer to the new install guide.

MXNet currently supports Python, R, Julia, Scala, and Perl. For users on CentOS with Docker environment, MXNet provides Docker installation guide. If you do not have a Docker environment set up, follow below-provided step by step instructions.

Minimum Requirements

Make sure you have the root permission, and yum is properly installed. Check it using the following command:

sudo yum check-update

If you don’t get an error message, then yum is installed.

To install MXNet on CentOS, you must have the following:

  1. gcc, g++ (4.8 or later)
  2. python2, python-numpy, python-pip, clang
  3. graphviz, jupyter (pip or yum install)
  4. OpenBLAS
  5. CUDA for GPU
  6. cmake and opencv (do not use yum to install opencv, some shared libs may not be installed)

Install Dependencies

Make sure your machine is connected to Internet. A few installations need to download (git clone or wget) some packages from Internet.

Install Basic Environment

    # Install gcc-4.8/make and other development tools
    sudo yum install -y gcc
    sudo yum install -y gcc-c++
    sudo yum install -y clang

    # Install Python, Numpy, pip and set up tools.
    sudo yum groupinstall -y "Development Tools"
    sudo yum install -y python27 python27-setuptools python27-tools python-pip
    sudo yum install -y python27-numpy

    # install graphviz, jupyter
    sudo pip install graphviz
    sudo pip install jupyter

Install OpenBLAS

Note that OpenBLAS can be replaced by other BLAS libs, e.g, Intel MKL.

    # Install OpenBLAS at /usr/local/openblas
    git clone
    cd OpenBLAS
    make -j $(($(nproc) + 1))
    sudo make PREFIX=/usr/local install
    cd ..

Install CUDA for GPU

Note: Setting up CUDA is optional for MXNet. If you do not have a GPU machine (or if you want to train with CPU), you can skip this section and proceed with installation of OpenCV.

If you plan to build with GPU, you need to set up the environment for CUDA and CUDNN.

First, download and install CUDA 8 toolkit.

Then download cudnn 5.

Unzip the file and change to the cudnn root directory. Move the header and libraries to your local CUDA Toolkit folder:

    tar xvzf cudnn-8.0-linux-x64-v5.1-ga.tgz
    sudo cp -P cuda/include/cudnn.h /usr/local/cuda/include
    sudo cp -P cuda/lib64/libcudnn* /usr/local/cuda/lib64
    sudo chmod a+r /usr/local/cuda/include/cudnn.h /usr/local/cuda/lib64/libcudnn*
    sudo ldconfig

Install opencv

Note: Setting up opencv is optional but strongly recommended for MXNet, unless you do not want to work on Computer Vision and Image Augmentation. If you are quite sure about that, skip this section and set USE_OPENCV = 0 in

The Open Source Computer Vision (OpenCV) library contains programming functions for computer vision and image augmentation. For more information, see OpenCV.

    # Install cmake for building opencv
    sudo yum install -y cmake
    # Install OpenCV at /usr/local/opencv
    git clone
    cd opencv
    mkdir -p build
    cd build
    sudo make PREFIX=/usr/local install

Install MXNet

Build MXNet shared library

After installing the dependencies, use the following command to pull the MXNet source code from GitHub.

    # Download MXNet source code to ~/mxnet directory
    git clone ~/mxnet --recursive
    # Move to source code parent directory
    cd ~/mxnet
    cp make/ .
    # Replace this line if you use other BLAS libs
    echo "USE_BLAS=openblas" >>
    echo "ADD_CFLAGS += -I/usr/include/openblas" >>
    echo "ADD_LDFLAGS += -lopencv_core -lopencv_imgproc -lopencv_imgcodecs" >>

If building with GPU support, run below commands to add GPU dependency configurations to file:

    echo "USE_CUDA=1" >>
    echo "USE_CUDA_PATH=/usr/local/cuda" >>
    echo "USE_CUDNN=1" >>

Then build mxnet:

    make -j$(nproc)

Executing these commands creates a library called in ~/mxnet/lib/.

Install MXNet for R, Julia, Scala, and Perl.


Here is some information to help you troubleshoot, in case you encounter error messages:

1. Cannot build opencv from source code

This may be caused by download failure during building, e.g., ippicv.

Prepare some large packages by yourself, then copy them to the right place, e.g, opencv/3rdparty/ippicv/downloads/linux-808XXXXXXXXX/.

2. Link errors when building MXNet

/usr/bin/ld: /tmp/ccQ9qruP.o: undefined reference to symbol '_ZN2cv6String10deallocateEv'
/usr/local/lib/ error adding symbols: DSO missing from command line

This error occurs when you already have old opencv (e.g, 2.4) installed using yum (in /usr/lib64). When g++ tries to link opencv libs, it will first find and link old opencv libs in /usr/lib64.

Please modify in mxnet directory, and add -L/usr/local/lib to ADD_CFLAGS.

    ADD_CFLAGS += -I/usr/include/openblas -L/usr/local/lib

This solution solves this link error, but there are still lots of warnings.