Installing PyTorch on Ubuntu: A Guide

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Data analysis via machine learning is becoming increasingly important in the modern world. PyTorch is a machine learning Python library, developed by the Facebook AI Research (FAIR) group, that acts as a high-level interface for developers to create applications like natural language processors. In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to install PyTorch via Anaconda and PIP.

How to Install PyTorch on Ubuntu


  • These instructions are being performed on an Ubuntu dedicated cloud server as the root user.
  • This installation does not include support for GPU acceleration.
  • Python 3.6 or higher is recommended.

Step 1: Install Anaconda

Anaconda is a popular package management system for data scientists working with Python. The reason for this is because it comes pre-baked with full data science packages. This means developers have less work to do in the software dependency department. It is the recommended package management interface for PyTorch.

First, as a best practice, ensure all packages are up to date with the below command.

root@ubuntu1604:~# apt-get update -y

After this, you will need to download and run the bash installation script for Anaconda.

Running a bash script as root downloaded directly from the internet is not recommended. Be sure you trust the source providing the installation script before proceeding. The link in the below curl command is the latest version of the command line installer for Linux at the time this article was written.
root@ubuntu1604:~# curl -O

Once the installation script is finished downloading, run it and follow the prompts. You are going to use the defaults.

root@ubuntu1604:~# bash

To start using Anaconda, you will need to refresh the terminal.

root@ubuntu1604:~# source ~/.bashrc

You’ll notice (base) now precedes your normal command prompt. This means Anaconda’s base environment is active. By default, it is auto-activated each time you enter a new shell session. It is optional to turn this behavior off by using the following command.

(base) root@ubuntu1604:~# conda config --set auto_activate_base false

For the purposes of this tutorial, you want to allow Anaconda’s base environment to continue to be active.

Step 2: Install PyTorch

Now that you have Anaconda installed and activated, it’s time to install PyTorch Ubuntu.

(base) root@ubuntu1604:~# conda install pytorch torchvision cpuonly -c pytorch

You’ll notice a prompt during installation. Enter y to finish the installation.

Proceed ([y]/n)? y

Verify PyTorch is Installed

Finally, it’s time to verify that PyTorch is installed and available to use. To do so, you will need to drop into a Python REPL (Read–Eval–Print Loop).

(base) root@ubuntu1604:~# Python
Python 3.7.4 (default, Aug 13 2019, 20:35:49)
[GCC 7.3.0] :: Anaconda, Inc. on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

Once you are in the REPL, you can paste in the following snippet.

import torchPIP
x = torch.rand(3, 7)

The output should look something like this.

>>> import torch
>>> x = torch.rand(3, 7)
>>> print(x)
tensor([[0.2833, 0.7547, 0.1444, 0.6286, 0.4838, 0.1576, 0.3350],
    [0.8544, 0.5095, 0.0808, 0.4367, 0.4174, 0.4669, 0.6155],
    [0.4436, 0.7904, 0.8911, 0.2073, 0.5987, 0.3607, 0.4366]])

To exit the Python shell, hold the ctrl key and press the D key (Ctrl+D).

Now that you are back at the command prompt, you can deactivate the Anaconda base environment if you use the below command.

(base) root@ubuntu1604:~# conda deactivate

Install via PIP

Step 1: Install python3-venv

If you don’t need all of the additional packages that come along with Anaconda, you can install PyTorch Ubuntu using PIP, the Python package manager, in a virtual Python environment. To ensure that the installation of PyTorch, and its dependencies, has no adverse effect on your system’s Python installation, it’s advisable to install it in a virtual Python environment.First, you need to install the python3-venv package to make it possible to create a virtual Python environment.

root@ubuntu1604:~# apt-get install -y python3-venv

Step 2: Prepare the Environment

To start, make a directory to house your project and change into it using the cd command.

root@ubuntu1604:~# mkdir pytorch_awesome
root@ubuntu1604:~# cd pytorch_awesome

Now it’s time to create the virtual Python environment where you will install PyTorch Ubuntu.

root@ubuntu1604:~/pytorch_awesome# python3 -m venv pytorch-awesome

Next, you need to activate the virtual Python environment that you just created.

root@ubuntu1604:~/pytorch_awesome# source pytorch-awesome/bin/activate
(pytorch-awesome) root@ubuntu1604:~/pytorch_awesome#

You can now see (pytorch-awesome) precedes our normal shell prompt because our newly created virtual Python environment is activated.

Step 3: Install PyTorch

While the new Python virtual environment is active, you can install PyTorch Ubuntu.

(pytorch-awesome) root@ubuntu1604:~/pytorch_awesome# pip install torch==1.3.0+cpu torchvision==0.4.1+cpu -f

You can test if PyTorch is properly installed the same way you did with the Anaconda installation. First, drop into a Python shell.

The Python version you see within the initial output from the Python shell might be slightly different than shown below.
(pytorch-awesome) root@ubuntu1604:~/pytorch_awesome# Python
Python 3.5.2 (default, Oct 8 2019, 13:06:37)
[GCC 5.4.0 20160609] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

Now copy and paste this snippet into the Python shell and hit enter.

import torch
x = torch.rand(3, 7)

The output will look something like this.

>>> import torch
>>> import torch
>>> x = torch.rand(3, 7)
>>> print(x)
tensor([[0.0416, 0.9980, 0.2793, 0.8503, 0.0285, 0.8286, 0.8091],
    [0.8038, 0.7944, 0.0110, 0.1239, 0.0611, 0.9727, 0.6899],
    [0.3036, 0.0378, 0.1660, 0.7076, 0.5073, 0.0686, 0.9490]])

To exit the Python shell, hold the ctrl key and press the D key (Ctrl+D).

Once you are back at your command prompt, you can deactivate the Python virtual environment.

(pytorch-awesome) root@ubuntu1604:~/pytorch_awesome# deactivate

How to Uninstall PyTorch

You can uninstall PyTorch using two methods.

Method 1: Using Anaconda

You can use the conda command to remove PyTorch if you have installed it on Anaconda. Type the following conda command into your anaconda terminal.

conda remove Pytorch

PyTorch will be successfully removed from the anaconda packages.

Method 2: Using PIP

If you have installed PyTorch using PIP, you can uninstall using pip commands. The pip command depends on the Python version installed. If you have Python 3.xx installed, then the pip3 command needs to be used. For Python 2.xx, you can use the pip command. In this case, Python 3.xx is installed; hence, you can uninstall PyTorch using the following command.

pip3 uninstall torch


PyTorch is an artificial intelligence framework built on the Torch library and used for applications like computer vision and natural language processing. In this tutorial, you have seen how to install and uninstall PyTorch using different methods. Hope the article was helpful. 

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What is PyTorch?

What are the prerequisites for PyTorch installation on an ubuntu server?

How can you test the PyTorch installation?

What are the various methods to install PyTorch Ubuntu?

How to uninstall PyTorch?

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About the Author: Sapta Upendran

Sapta is a passionate Linux system engineer, a voracious reader, a dexterous cook, and a wanderlust. She is also interested in technical and non-technical writing.

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