In this tutorial, we show how to get started with Strada and run it with the GPU backend.

Setting up Amazon's GPU instances

These steps are from the Caffe wiki. First, start one of Amazon's GPU instances (g2.2xlarge or g2.8xlarge) using Ubuntu 14.04 64 bit as the AMI. We also recommend to increase the root /dev/sda1 device size to something larger than 8 GiB.

First update the system and install build-essential:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install build-essential

Next, download the NVIDIA driver

wget http://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/7_0/Prod/local_installers/cuda_7.0.28_linux.run

Extract the installers using

chmod +x cuda_7.0.28_linux.run
mkdir nvidia_installers
./cuda_7.0.28_linux.run -extract=`pwd`/nvidia_installers

Then update the linux image to be compatible with NVIDIA's drivers:

sudo apt-get install linux-image-extra-virtual

While installing the linux-image-extra-virtual, you may be prompted "What would you like to do about menu.lst?". I selected "keep the local version currently installed".

Now we have to disable nouveau since it conflicts with NVIDIA's kernel module. Open

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nouveau.conf

and add the following lines to this file:

blacklist nouveau
blacklist lbm-nouveau
options nouveau modeset=0
alias nouveau off
alias lbm-nouveau off

Back in the shell, execute the commands:

echo options nouveau modeset=0 | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/nouveau-kms.conf
sudo update-initramfs -u
sudo reboot

After the reboot, we can finally install the driver:

sudo apt-get install linux-source
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`

cd nvidia_installers
sudo ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-346.46.run

Just select the defaults for all the questions that pop up.

Now we can install CUDA

sudo modprobe nvidia
sudo ./cuda-linux64-rel-7.0.28-19326674.run
sudo ./cuda-samples-linux-7.0.28-19326674.run

Follow the suggestion to add the following to your .bashrc

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/cuda-7.0/bin
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=:/usr/local/cuda-7.0/lib64

and activate it by running source ~/.bashrc.

Installing Julia and Strada

Install Julia with

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:staticfloat/juliareleases
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:staticfloat/julia-deps
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install julia

To install Strada, call julia and run


Trying out models

First, download the MNIST data set from Yann LeCun's website by running the commands

cd ~/.julia/v0.3/Strada/data/
bash get-mnist.sh

Now you can train the model on the CPU by running

cd ~/.julia/v0.3/Strada/examples
julia train-mnist.jl

To train the models on a GPU, you should open train-mnist.jl and uncomment the line set_gpu_mode(net).