I'm trying to use tensorflow with a GPU on Google Colab.

I followed the steps listed at https://www.tensorflow.org/install/gpu

I confirmed that gpu is visible and CUDA is installed with the commands -

!nvcc --version

This works as expected giving -

nvcc: NVIDIA (R) Cuda compiler driver
Copyright (c) 2005-2019 NVIDIA Corporation
Built on Sun_Jul_28_19:07:16_PDT_2019
Cuda compilation tools, release 10.1, V10.1.243
Wed Nov 20 10:58:14 2019       
| NVIDIA-SMI 430.50       Driver Version: 418.67       CUDA Version: 10.1     |
| GPU  Name        Persistence-M| Bus-Id        Disp.A | Volatile Uncorr. ECC |
| Fan  Temp  Perf  Pwr:Usage/Cap|         Memory-Usage | GPU-Util  Compute M. |
|   0  Tesla T4            Off  | 00000000:00:04.0 Off |                    0 |
| N/A   53C    P8    10W /  70W |      0MiB / 15079MiB |      0%      Default |

| Processes:                                                       GPU Memory |
|  GPU       PID   Type   Process name                             Usage      |
|  No running processes found                                                 |

So far so good. I next try to see if it is visible to tensorflow -

from tensorflow.python.client import device_lib

[name: "/device:CPU:0"
 device_type: "CPU"
 memory_limit: 268435456
 locality {
 incarnation: 16436294862263048894, name: "/device:XLA_CPU:0"
 device_type: "XLA_CPU"
 memory_limit: 17179869184
 locality {
 incarnation: 18399082617569983288
 physical_device_desc: "device: XLA_CPU device", name: "/device:XLA_GPU:0"
 device_type: "XLA_GPU"
 memory_limit: 17179869184
 locality {
 incarnation: 1461835910630192838
 physical_device_desc: "device: XLA_GPU device"]

However when I try to run even a simple operation on the GPU with tensorflow it throws an error. When I checked if the GPU is visible to tensorflow it returns False -


What am I doing wrong and how do I fix this ?


1 Answer 1


In Google Colab you just need to specify the use of GPUs in the menu above. Click:

Edit > Notebook settings > 

and then select Hardware accelerator to GPU.

At that point, if you type in a cell:

import tensorflow as tf

It should return True.


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