Installing PyTorch and YOLOv5 on an NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX

This is a guide on how to install a Python computer vision environment on the Jetson Xavier NX platform.

Thomas Rausch

By Thomas Rausch

blog howto

Computer Vision with PyTorch on the Jetson Xavier NX

At Cognitive XR, we rely heavily on computer vision (CV) and Edge AI platforms for specific subsystems. We are currently experimenting with the NVIDIA Jetson platform and various pre-trained CV models. Getting it all to run is not that straight forward, so here’s a blog post documenting the process.

Setting up the Jetson Xavier NX

To get started with the hardware, you need to write the Jetson Xavier NX Developer Kit (JetPack SDK) onto a fresh microSD card. Follow the instructions on the NVIDIA website to install the image. The JetPack version at the time of writing is 4.5.1.

Using Linux, we can simply run the following command, where sdX refers to the SD card.

unzip -p jetson-nx-jp451-sd-card-image.zip| sudo dd of=/dev/sdX bs=1M status=progress

Insert the SD card, start up the Jetson, and click through the installation procedure.

Then update the system with

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Reboot and then we’ll set up the environment.

Getting PyTorch to run

We will install several libraries and dependencies to get PyTorch to run. You can shortcut the entire procedure by downloading and running the following script that we’ve prepared: setup-xavier.sh or run:

curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/cognitivexr/edge-node/main/scripts/setup-xavier.sh | bash

Here is the entire process step by step

Installing libraries and dependencies

A computer vision pipeline with PyTorch typically has the following requirements

  • numpy
  • pandas
  • scipy
  • scikit-image
  • matplotlib
  • seaborn
  • opencv-python
  • torch
  • torchvision

Getting these libraries to work on an NVIDIA Jetson is not straight forward, since pre-compiled python wheels are not always available for aarch64. pip install will trigger a compilation of the libraries, which, in the case of computer vision libaries, often requires lots of dependencies that can be tricky to build correctly on ARM architectures.

Some libraries are pre-installed or have pre-built wheels:

  • opencv-python: 4.1.1 is pre-installed for Python 3.6 on JetPack 4.5.1
  • torch: 1.8 can be downloaded as a wheel from the NVIDIA forums

Some are pre-installed but outdated and will require updating

  • numpy: 1.13 (current 1.19.5)
  • matplotlib: (latest usable with Python 3.6 is 3.3.4)
  • pandas: 0.22.0 (current 1.1.5)
  • scipy: 0.19.1 (current 1.5.4)

Install procedure

To simplify things, it makes sense to install the base kit as system-wide packages, and only use virtual environments for additional dependencies. Follow the instructions step by step.

Install some build dependencies we’ll need

sudo apt install -y python3-pip python3-venv python3-dev libpython3-dev
sudo apt install -y libopenblas-base
sudo apt install -y gfortran libopenmpi-dev liblapack-dev libatlas-base-dev

Install Cython

pip3 install Cython

Upgrade pip and other python setup tools

pip3 install --upgrade pip
pip3 install --upgrade protobuf

Upgrade data science libraries

pip3 install --upgrade numpy
pip3 install --upgrade pandas

Upgrade matplotlib to 3.3.4 (matplotlib 3.4 requires python>=3.7)

pip3 install "matplotlib==3.3.4"

Upgrade scipy (may take quite long)

pip3 install --upgrade scipy

Install scikit-image (may take quite long)

pip3 install sklearn scikit-image

Install PyTorch 1.8 from the available wheel

pip3 install -U future psutil dataclasses typing-extensions pyyaml tqdm seaborn
wget https://nvidia.box.com/shared/static/p57jwntv436lfrd78inwl7iml6p13fzh.whl -O torch-1.8.0-cp36-cp36m-linux_aarch64.whl 
pip3 install torch-1.8.0-cp36-cp36m-linux_aarch64.whl

At this point, you can check whether PyTorch detects the CUDA device correctly

python3 -c 'import torch; print(torch.cuda.is_available())'

should output True

If the Python process terminates with Illegal instruction (core dumped), it’s likely related to an issue with numpy 1.19.5 and OpenBLAS. Either run export OPENBLAS_CORETYPE=ARMV8, set it in your .bashrc file, or downgrade to numpy 1.19.4 by running pip3 install -U "numpy==1.19.4".

Install torchvision v0.9.0 (version for torch 1.8)

sudo apt install libjpeg-dev zlib1g-dev libpython3-dev libavcodec-dev libavformat-dev libswscale-dev
pip3 install --upgrade pillow
git clone --branch v0.9.0 https://github.com/pytorch/vision torchvision
cd torchvision
export BUILD_VERSION=0.9.0
python3 setup.py install --user
cd .. # running torch from torchvision/ will fail

Testing YOLOv5

You can now test the pre-trained YOLOv5 from torchhub using the following commands:

wget -q https://github.com/pjreddie/darknet/raw/master/data/dog.jpg
python3 -c "import torch
import cv2
model = torch.hub.load('ultralytics/yolov5', 'yolov5s', pretrained=True).autoshape()
model = model.cuda()
img = cv2.cvtColor(cv2.imread('dog.jpg'), cv2.COLOR_BGR2RGB)
pred = model(img, 320 + 32 * 4)
for obj in pred.xyxy[0].cpu().numpy():
    xyxy, conf, label = obj[:4], obj[4], pred.names[int(obj[5])]
    print(xyxy, '%s (conf=%.2f%%)' % (label, conf*100))"

Where the final output should be something like:

[     130.96      220.09      311.58      538.49] dog (conf=87.70%)
[     126.34      133.22      565.66      423.71] bicycle (conf=82.05%)
[     467.74      76.326      692.75      171.35] car (conf=56.09%)
[     466.57      77.787      692.83      175.51] truck (conf=52.34%)

Here’s a demo showing that it runs in real time:

Using virtual environments

The libraries and PyTorch are now installed as system-wide packages. To create a virtual environment that includes these packages, run

python3 -m venv --system-site-packages .venv

After activating with source .venv/bin/activate, you can install dependencies using

pip install -I

Where -I is the shorthand for --ignore-installed.