Deep learning framework developed by Yangqing Jia / BVLC


Prior to installing, it is best to read through this guide and take note of the details for your platform. We have installed Caffe on Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 12.04, OS X 10.9, and OS X 10.8.


Caffe depends on several software packages.

cuDNN Caffe: for fastest operation Caffe is accelerated by drop-in integration of NVIDIA cuDNN. To speed up your Caffe models, install cuDNN then uncomment the USE_CUDNN := 1 flag in Makefile.config when installing Caffe. Acceleration is automatic.

CPU-only Caffe: for cold-brewed CPU-only Caffe uncomment the CPU_ONLY := 1 flag in Makefile.config to configure and build Caffe without CUDA. This is helpful for cloud or cluster deployment.


Caffe requires the CUDA nvcc compiler to compile its GPU code and CUDA driver for GPU operation. To install CUDA, go to the NVIDIA CUDA website and follow installation instructions there. Install the library and the latest standalone driver separately; the driver bundled with the library is usually out-of-date. Warning! The 331.* CUDA driver series has a critical performance issue: do not use it.

For best performance, Caffe can be accelerated by NVIDIA cuDNN. Register for free at the cuDNN site, install it, then continue with these installation instructions. To compile with cuDNN set the USE_CUDNN := 1 flag set in your Makefile.config.

Caffe requires BLAS as the backend of its matrix and vector computations. There are several implementations of this library. The choice is yours:

Python and/or MATLAB wrappers (optional)


The main requirements are numpy and boost.python (provided by boost). pandas is useful too and needed for some examples.

You can install the dependencies with

pip install -r /path/to/caffe/python/requirements.txt

but we highly recommend first installing the Anaconda Python distribution, which provides most of the necessary packages, as well as the hdf5 library dependency.

For Ubuntu, if you use the default Python you will need to sudo apt-get install the python-dev package to have the Python headers for building the wrapper.

For Fedora, if you use the default Python you will need to sudo yum install the python-devel package to have the Python headers for building the wrapper.

For OS X, Anaconda is the preferred Python. If you decide against it, please use Homebrew – but beware of potential linking errors!

To import the caffe Python module after completing the installation, add the module directory to your $PYTHONPATH by export PYTHONPATH=/path/to/caffe/python:$PYTHONPATH or the like. You should not import the module in the caffe/python/caffe directory!

Caffe’s Python interface works with Python 2.7. Python 3 or earlier Pythons are your own adventure.


Install MATLAB, and make sure that its mex is in your $PATH.

Caffe’s MATLAB interface works with versions 2012b, 2013a/b, and 2014a.

The rest of the dependencies


On Ubuntu, most of the dependencies can be installed with

sudo apt-get install libprotobuf-dev libleveldb-dev libsnappy-dev libopencv-dev libboost-all-dev libhdf5-serial-dev

and for Ubuntu 14.04 the rest of the dependencies can be installed with

sudo apt-get install libgflags-dev libgoogle-glog-dev liblmdb-dev protobuf-compiler

Keep reading to find out how to manually build and install the Google flags library, Google logging library and LMDB on Ubuntu 12.04.

On CentOS / RHEL / Fedora, most of the dependencies can be installed with

sudo yum install protobuf-devel leveldb-devel snappy-devel opencv-devel boost-devel hdf5-devel

The Google flags library, Google logging library and LMDB already made their ways into newer versions of CentOS / RHEL / Fedora so it is better to first attempt to install them using yum

sudo yum install gflags-devel glog-devel lmdb-devel

Finally in case you couldn’t find those extra libraries mentioned above in your distribution’s repositories, here are the instructions to follow for manually building and installing them on Ubuntu 12.04 / CentOS / RHEL / Fedora (or practically on any Linux distribution)

# glog
tar zxvf glog-0.3.3.tar.gz
cd glog-0.3.3
make && make install
# gflags
cd gflags-master
mkdir build && cd build
export CXXFLAGS="-fPIC" && cmake .. && make VERBOSE=1
make && make install
# lmdb
git clone git://
cd mdb/libraries/liblmdb
make && make install

Note that glog does not compile with the most recent gflags version (2.1), so before that is resolved you will need to build with glog first.


On OS X, we highly recommend using the Homebrew package manager, and ideally starting from a clean install of the OS (or from a wiped /usr/local) to avoid conflicts. In the following, we assume that you’re using Anaconda Python and Homebrew.

To install the OpenCV dependency, we’ll need to provide an additional source for Homebrew:

brew tap homebrew/science

If using Anaconda Python, a modification is required to the OpenCV formula. Do brew edit opencv and change the lines that look like the two lines below to exactly the two lines below.


NOTE: We find that everything compiles successfully if $LD_LIBRARY_PATH is not set at all, and $DYLD_FALLBACK_LIBRARY_PATH is set to to provide CUDA, Python, and other relevant libraries (e.g. /usr/local/cuda/lib:$HOME/anaconda/lib:/usr/local/lib:/usr/lib). In other ENV settings, things may not work as expected.

10.8-specific Instructions

Simply run the following:

brew install --build-from-source --with-python boost
brew install --with-python protobuf
for x in snappy leveldb gflags glog szip lmdb homebrew/science/opencv; do brew install $x; done

Building boost from source is needed to link against your local Python (exceptions might be raised during some OS X installs, but ignore these and continue). If you do not need the Python wrapper, simply doing brew install boost is fine.

Note that the HDF5 dependency is provided by Anaconda Python in this case. If you’re not using Anaconda, include hdf5 in the list above.

10.9-specific Instructions

In OS X 10.9, clang++ is the default C++ compiler and uses libc++ as the standard library. However, NVIDIA CUDA (even version 6.0) currently links only with libstdc++. This makes it necessary to change the compilation settings for each of the dependencies.

We do this by modifying the Homebrew formulae before installing any packages. Make sure that Homebrew doesn’t install any software dependencies in the background; all packages must be linked to libstdc++.

The prerequisite Homebrew formulae are

boost snappy leveldb protobuf gflags glog szip lmdb homebrew/science/opencv

For each of these formulas, brew edit FORMULA, and add the ENV definitions as shown:

  def install
      ENV.append "CXXFLAGS", "-stdlib=libstdc++"
      ENV.append "CFLAGS", "-stdlib=libstdc++"
      ENV.append "LDFLAGS", "-stdlib=libstdc++ -lstdc++"
      # The following is necessary because libtool likes to strip LDFLAGS:
      ENV["CXX"] = "/usr/bin/clang++ -stdlib=libstdc++"

To edit the formulae in turn, run

for x in snappy leveldb protobuf gflags glog szip boost lmdb homebrew/science/opencv; do brew edit $x; done

After this, run

for x in snappy leveldb gflags glog szip lmdb homebrew/science/opencv; do brew uninstall $x; brew install --build-from-source --fresh -vd $x; done
brew uninstall protobuf; brew install --build-from-source --with-python --fresh -vd protobuf
brew install --build-from-source --with-python --fresh -vd boost

Note that brew install --build-from-source --fresh -vd boost is fine if you do not need the Caffe Python wrapper.

Note that the HDF5 dependency is provided by Anaconda Python in this case. If you’re not using Anaconda, include hdf5 in the list above.

Note that in order to build the caffe python wrappers you must install boost using the –with-python option:

brew install --build-from-source --with-python --fresh -vd boost

Note that Homebrew maintains itself as a separate git repository and making the above brew edit FORMULA changes will change files in your local copy of homebrew’s master branch. By default, this will prevent you from updating Homebrew using brew update, as you will get an error message like the following:

$ brew update
error: Your local changes to the following files would be overwritten by merge:
Please, commit your changes or stash them before you can merge.
Error: Failure while executing: git pull -q origin refs/heads/master:refs/remotes/origin/master

One solution is to commit your changes to a separate Homebrew branch, run brew update, and rebase your changes onto the updated master, as follows:

cd /usr/local
git checkout -b caffe
git add .
git commit -m "Update Caffe dependencies to use libstdc++"
git checkout master
brew update
git rebase master caffe
# Resolve any merge conflicts here
git checkout caffe

At this point, you should be running the latest Homebrew packages and your Caffe-related modifications will remain in place. You may still get the following error:

$ brew update
error: Your local changes to the following files would be overwritten by merge:
Please, commit your changes or stash them before you can merge.
Error: Failed to update tap: homebrew/science

but non-OpenCV packages will still update as expected.


There is an unofficial Windows port of Caffe at niuzhiheng/caffe:windows. Thanks @niuzhiheng!


Now that you have the prerequisites, edit your Makefile.config to change the paths for your setup (you should especially uncomment and set BLAS_LIB accordingly on distributions like CentOS / RHEL / Fedora where ATLAS is installed under /usr/lib[64]/atlas) The defaults should work, but uncomment the relevant lines if using Anaconda Python.

cp Makefile.config.example Makefile.config
# Adjust Makefile.config (for example, if using Anaconda Python)
make all
make test
make runtest

To compile with cuDNN acceleration, you should uncomment the USE_CUDNN := 1 switch in Makefile.config.

If there is no GPU in your machine, you should switch to CPU-only Caffe by uncommenting CPU_ONLY := 1 in Makefile.config.

To compile the Python and MATLAB wrappers do make pycaffe and make matcaffe respectively. Be sure to set your MATLAB and Python paths in Makefile.config first!

Distribution: run make distribute to create a distribute directory with all the Caffe headers, compiled libraries, binaries, etc. needed for distribution to other machines.

Speed: for a faster build, compile in parallel by doing make all -j8 where 8 is the number of parallel threads for compilation (a good choice for the number of threads is the number of cores in your machine).

Now that you have installed Caffe, check out the MNIST tutorial and the reference ImageNet model tutorial.

Compilation using CMake (beta)

In lieu of manually editing Makefile.config to tell Caffe where dependencies are located, Caffe also provides a CMake-based build system (currently in “beta”). It requires CMake version >= 2.8.8. The basic installation steps are as follows:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
make all
make runtest

Ubuntu 12.04

Note that in Ubuntu 12.04, Aptitude will install version CMake 2.8.7 by default, which is not supported by Caffe’s CMake build (requires at least 2.8.8). As a workaround, if you are using Ubuntu 12.04 you can try the following steps to install (or upgrade to) CMake 2.8.9:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-sdk-team/ppa -y
sudo apt-get -y update
sudo apt-get install cmake

Hardware Questions

Laboratory Tested Hardware: Berkeley Vision runs Caffe with K40s, K20s, and Titans including models at ImageNet/ILSVRC scale. We also run on GTX series cards and GPU-equipped MacBook Pros. We have not encountered any trouble in-house with devices with CUDA capability >= 3.0. All reported hardware issues thus-far have been due to GPU configuration, overheating, and the like.

CUDA compute capability: devices with compute capability <= 2.0 may have to reduce CUDA thread numbers and batch sizes due to hardware constraints. Your mileage may vary.

Once installed, check your times against our reference performance numbers to make sure everything is configured properly.

Refer to the project’s issue tracker for hardware/compatibility.