2. Software installation

In order to run models on a Bow Pod system, you will need to download and install the following software packages from the Graphcore Downloads portal:

2.1. Installing the Poplar SDK

Download the Poplar SDK tarball from the Graphcore Downloads portal. You can find the Poplar SDK software in the Poplar tab. You may have to click Load More Packages to find the tarball for your Linux platform.

You can check which OS you are running by using the command:

$ lsb_release -a

The tarball is named as follows:


where [os] is the host OS and [poplar_ver] is the SDK software version number.

An example of the Poplar SDK tarball for Ubuntu 18.04 and version 2.6.0 of the SDK is:


Install the SDK by unpacking the tarball as follows:

$ tar -xvzf poplar_sdk-[os]-[ver].tar.gz

For details of the components included in the Poplar SDK, refer to the Contents of the SDK section in the Poplar SDK Overview document.

2.2. Installing the V-IPU command-line tools


You can omit this step if vipu is already installed on the system.

You can check if it is installed by running:

$ vipu --version

Download the user V-IPU tarball from the Graphcore Downloads portal. You can find the V-IPU software in the IPU-POD Systems tab. You may have to click Load More Packages.


The V-IPU software can be installed on any computer that can communicate with the V-IPU controller that is running on a host server in the Pod.

The tarball is named as follows:


where [ver] is the V-IPU software version number and [arch] is the architecture.

An example of the tarball for V-IPU version 1.16.1 is:


Extract the contents of the tarball with:

$ tar xzvf vipu_-[ver].x[arch].tar.gz

The tarball is extracted to a directory named:

$ vipu_-[ver]

Next add the directory to the $PATH environment variable:

$ export PATH=$PWD/vipu-[ver]:$PATH

For example, to add the directory for V-IPU version 1.16.1 to the $PATH environment variable:

$ export PATH=$PWD/vipu-1.16.1:$PATH

Confirm that that the vipu executable is found and that it reports the expected version, by running:

$ vipu --version

This should output the version of the software that you downloaded.

If the correct version is not reported, confirm that the V-IPU directory has been added to the to the $PATH environment variable with:

$ echo $PATH

2.3. Installations for PyTorch and TensorFlow

If you are using PyTorch or TensorFlow, you have to install specific Python wheel files (included in the Poplar SDK) to be able to run applications in these frameworks on IPUs.

Details are given in the following Quick Start guides: