TensorFlow and Go on Raspberry Pi (Outdated)

Note: This post is outdated. If you’re looking for a guide for Raspbian Stretch or Tensorflow 1.3+, check this post.

Updated on 2017-06-19, for Tensorflow 1.2.0

TensorFlow 1.0 now supports Golang, so I gave it a try on Raspberry Pi:

0. Used Hardware and Software Versions

All steps were taken on my Raspberry Pi 3 B model with:

  • Minimum GPU memory allocated (16MB)
  • 1GB of swap memory
  • External USB HDD (as root partition)

and software versions were:

  • raspbian (jessie)
  • tensorflow 1.2.0
  • protobuf 3.1.0
  • bazel 0.5.1

Before the beginning, I had to install dependencies:

for python

$ sudo apt-get install python-pip python-numpy swig python-dev
$ sudo pip install wheel

for protobuf

$ sudo apt-get install autoconf automake libtool

for bazel

$ sudo apt-get install pkg-config zip g++ zlib1g-dev unzip oracle-java8-jdk

for compiler optimization and avoiding possible errors

It is said that both protobuf and tensorflow should be built with gcc-4.8, so… :

$ sudo apt-get install gcc-4.8 g++-4.8
$ sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-4.8 100
$ sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-4.8 100

1. Install Protobuf

I cloned the repository:

$ git clone https://github.com/google/protobuf.git

and built it:

$ cd protobuf
$ git checkout v3.1.0
$ ./autogen.sh
$ ./configure
$ make CXX=g++-4.8 -j 4
$ sudo make install
$ sudo ldconfig

The build took less than 1 hour to finish.

I could see the version of installed protobuf like:

$ protoc --version

libprotoc 3.1.0

2. Install Bazel

a. download

I got the latest release from here, and unzipped it:

$ wget https://github.com/bazelbuild/bazel/releases/download/0.5.1/bazel-0.5.1-dist.zip
$ unzip -d bazel bazel-0.5.1-dist.zip

b. edit bootstrap files

In the unzipped directory, I opened the scripts/bootstrap/compile.sh file:

$ cd bazel
$ vi scripts/bootstrap/compile.sh

searched for lines that looked like following:

run "${JAVAC}" -classpath "${classpath}" -sourcepath "${sourcepath}" \
      -d "${output}/classes" -source "$JAVA_VERSION" -target "$JAVA_VERSION" \
      -encoding UTF-8 "@${paramfile}"

and appended -J-Xmx500M to the last line so that the whole lines would look like:

run "${JAVAC}" -classpath "${classpath}" -sourcepath "${sourcepath}" \
      -d "${output}/classes" -source "$JAVA_VERSION" -target "$JAVA_VERSION" \
      -encoding UTF-8 "@${paramfile}" -J-Xmx500M

It was for enlarging the max heap size of Java.

c. compile

After that, started building with:

$ chmod u+w ./* -R
$ ./compile.sh

This compilation took about an hour.

d. install

After the compilation had finished, I could find the compiled binary in output directory.

Copied it into /usr/local/bin directory:

$ sudo cp output/bazel /usr/local/bin/

3. Build libtensorflow.so

(I referenced this document for following processes)

a. download

Got the tensorflow go code with:

$ go get -d github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/tensorflow/go

b. edit files

In the downloaded directory, I checked out the latest tag and replaced lib64 to lib in the files with:

$ cd ${GOPATH}/src/github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow
$ git fetch --all --tags --prune
$ git checkout tags/v1.2.0
$ grep -Rl 'lib64' | xargs sed -i 's/lib64/lib/g'

Raspberry Pi still runs on 32bit OS, so they had to be changed like this.

After that, I commented #define IS_MOBILE_PLATFORM in tensorflow/core/platform/platform.h:

// Since there's no macro for the Raspberry Pi, assume we're on a mobile
// platform if we're compiling for the ARM CPU.
//#define IS_MOBILE_PLATFORM	// <= commented this line

If it is not commented out, bazel will build for mobile platforms like iOS or Android, not Raspberry Pi.

To do this easily, just run:

$ sed -i "s|#define IS_MOBILE_PLATFORM|//#define IS_MOBILE_PLATFORM|g" tensorflow/core/platform/platform.h

Finally, it was time to build tensorflow.

c. build and install

Started building libtensorflow.so with:

$ ./configure
# (=> I answered to some questions here)
$ bazel build -c opt --copt="-mfpu=neon-vfpv4" --copt="-funsafe-math-optimizations" --copt="-ftree-vectorize" --copt="-fomit-frame-pointer" --jobs 1 --local_resources 1024,1.0,1.0 --verbose_failures --genrule_strategy=standalone --spawn_strategy=standalone //tensorflow:libtensorflow.so

I could tweak the –local_resources option as this bazel manual,

but if set too agressively, bazel could freeze or even crash with error messages like:

Process exited with status 4.
gcc: internal compiler error: Killed (program cc1plus)

If this happens, just restart the build. It will resume from the point where it crashed.

My Pi became unresponsive many times, but I kept it going on.

After a long time of struggle, (it took nearly 7 hours for me!)

I finally got libtensorflow.so compiled in bazel-bin/tensorflow/.

So I copied it into /usr/local/lib/:

$ sudo cp ./bazel-bin/tensorflow/libtensorflow.so /usr/local/lib/
$ sudo chmod 644 /usr/local/lib/libtensorflow.so
$ sudo ldconfig

All done. Time to test!

4. Go Test

I ran a test for validating the installation:

$ go test github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/tensorflow/go

then I could see:

ok      github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/tensorflow/go  2.084s

Ok, it works!

Edit: As this instruction says, I had to regenerate operations before the test:

$ go generate github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/tensorflow/go/op

5. Further Test

Wanted to see a simple go program running, so I wrote:

// sample.go
package main

import (

    tf "github.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/tensorflow/go"

// Sorry - I don't have a good example yet :-P
func main() {
    tensor, _ := tf.NewTensor(int64(42))

    if v, ok := tensor.Value().(int64); ok {
        fmt.Printf("The answer is %v\n", v)

and ran it with go run sample.go:

The answer is 42

See the result?

From now on, I can write tensorflow applications in go, on Raspberry Pi! :-)

98. Trouble shooting

Build failure due to a problem with Eigen

With Tensorflow 1.2.0, I encountered this issue while building.

To work around this problem, I edited tensorflow/workspace.bzl from:

	name = "eigen_archive",
	urls = [
	sha256 = "ca7beac153d4059c02c8fc59816c82d54ea47fe58365e8aded4082ded0b820c4",
	strip_prefix = "eigen-eigen-f3a22f35b044",
	build_file = str(Label("//third_party:eigen.BUILD")),


	name = "eigen_archive",
	urls = [
	sha256 = "a34b208da6ec18fa8da963369e166e4a368612c14d956dd2f9d7072904675d9b",
	strip_prefix = "eigen-eigen-d781c1de9834",
	build_file = str(Label("//third_party:eigen.BUILD")),

then I could build it without further problems.

I hope it would be fixed on upcoming releases.

99. Wrap-up

Installing TensorFlow on Raspberry Pi is not easy yet. (There’s a kind project which makes it super easy though!)

Building libtensorflow.so is a lot more difficult, because it takes too much time.

But it is worth trying; managing TensorFlow graphs in golang will be handy for people who don’t love python - just like me.

999. If you need one,

Do you need the compiled file? Good, take it here.

I cannot promise, but will try keeping it up-to-date whenever a newer version of tensorflow comes out.