Installing CUDA 7.5 and PyCUDA on windows (for testing theano with GPU)

My previous installation of CUDA on Ubuntu 14.04 was a bit frustrating due to the booting issue after installation. System would often be frozen and stuck on the Ubuntu logo while booting. Some say it was due to the driver issues.

And I have turned to windows and issues seemed solved. I basically followed this blog guide, but some steps were done differently.

OK, here are the steps:

1. Install Visual Studio (2013)

First you need to check the supported version of VC according to the CUDA version that you will be downloading. At my time, the latest supported VC was 2013, so it would NOT be supported if you had chosen to install VC 2015 for example.

After installation, add below two paths to your system PATH:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\VC\bin\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE

2. Install CUDA (7.5)

My version was 7.5, which is the latest version at my time. Installation should be quite simple.

3. Python and dependencies

Since I have Anaconda installed as my python, just type below commands to install additional dependencies:

conda install mingw libpython

4. Install Theano

I chose to install the bleeding-edge version from github. As for installation of other python packages, cd to anaconda/Lib/site-packages, and clone the package from github:

git clone git://

Then cd into the Theano folder and install:

cd Theano
python develop

After installing theano, create a .theanorc.txt file in your HOME directory (somewhere like c:/Users/YOURNAME/), with following contents:

floatX = float32
device = gpu

compiler_bindir=C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\VC\bin

Make sure


goes to your correct Anaconda directory. (e.g. I installed Anaconda in HOME\SciSoft\Anaconda)

5. Install PyCUDA

Download the .whl file from here. My python was 2.7 so I downloaded the latest pycuda‑2015.1.3+cuda7518‑cp27‑none‑win_amd64.whl. 

And installed it using

pip install pycuda‑2015.1.3+cuda7518‑cp27‑none‑win_amd64.whl

6. Testing Theano and PyCUDA

Theano with GPU:

Import theano should give you similar lines as below:

import theano
Using gpu device 0: GeForce GT 705 (CNMeM is disabled)

And follows theano docs to test example snippet like below:

from theano import function, config, shared, sandbox
import theano.tensor as T
import numpy
import time

vlen = 10 * 30 * 768  # 10 x #cores x # threads per core
iters = 1000

rng = numpy.random.RandomState(22)
x = shared(numpy.asarray(rng.rand(vlen), config.floatX))
f = function([], T.exp(x))
t0 = time.time()
for i in xrange(iters):
    r = f()
t1 = time.time()
print("Looping %d times took %f seconds" % (iters, t1 - t0))
print("Result is %s" % (r,))
if numpy.any([isinstance(x.op, T.Elemwise) for x in f.maker.fgraph.toposort()]):
    print('Used the cpu')
    print('Used the gpu')


import pycuda.autoinit
import pycuda.driver as drv
import numpy

from pycuda.compiler import SourceModule
mod = SourceModule("""
__global__ void multiply_them(float *dest, float *a, float *b)
  const int i = threadIdx.x;
  dest[i] = a[i] * b[i];

multiply_them = mod.get_function("multiply_them")

a = numpy.random.randn(400).astype(numpy.float32)
b = numpy.random.randn(400).astype(numpy.float32)

dest = numpy.zeros_like(a)
        drv.Out(dest), drv.In(a), drv.In(b),
        block=(400,1,1), grid=(1,1))

print dest-a*b

And this should give a screen of zeros.

You are good to go!

6 thoughts on “Installing CUDA 7.5 and PyCUDA on windows (for testing theano with GPU)

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