Problem description

I am trying to set up a centos-7 GPU (Nvidia Tesla K80) instance on Google Cloud, to execute CUDA work.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to properly install/configure drivers.

Indeed, here is what happens when trying to interact with nvidia-smi (NVIDIA System Management Interface):

# nvidia-smi -pm 1
NVIDIA-SMI has failed because it couldn't communicate with the NVIDIA driver. Make sure that the latest NVIDIA driver is installed and running.

Same operation with more recent method nvidia-persistenced:

# nvidia-persistenced
nvidia-persistenced failed to initialize. Check syslog for more details.

+ I get the following error in syslog (using journalctl command):

Failed to query NVIDIA devices. Please ensure that the NVIDIA device files (/dev/nvidia*) exist, and that user 0 has read and write permissions for those files.

Indeed, no nvidia devices are present:

# ll /dev/nvidia*
ls: cannot access /dev/nvidia*: No such file or directory

However, here is a proof that the GPU is correctly connected to the instance:

# lshw -numeric -C display
  *-display UNCLAIMED       
       description: 3D controller
       product: GK210GL [Tesla K80] [10DE:102D]
       vendor: NVIDIA Corporation [10DE]
       physical id: 4
       bus info: pci@0000:00:04.0
       version: a1
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: msi pm cap_list
       configuration: latency=0
       resources: iomemory:40-3f iomemory:80-7f memory:fc000000-fcffffff memory:400000000-7ffffffff memory:800000000-801ffffff ioport:c000(size=128)

Installation process I followed

Creation of the centos-7 instance, following this section of the Google Cloud docs:

gcloud compute instances create test-gpu-drivers \
    --machine-type n1-standard-2 \
    --boot-disk-size 250GB \
    --accelerator type=nvidia-tesla-k80,count=1 \
    --image-family centos-7 --image-project centos-cloud \
    --maintenance-policy TERMINATE

Then, the installation process I followed for the drivers & CUDA is inspired by Google Cloud documentation, but with latest versions instead:

gcloud compute ssh test-gpu-drivers
sudo su
yum -y update

# Reboot for kernel update to be taken into account

gcloud compute ssh test-gpu-drivers
sudo su

# Install nvidia drivers repository, found here: https://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
curl -J -O http://us.download.nvidia.com/tesla/410.72/nvidia-diag-driver-local-repo-rhel7-410.72-1.0-1.x86_64.rpm
yum -y install ./nvidia-diag-driver-local-repo-rhel7-410.72-1.0-1.x86_64.rpm

# Install CUDA repository, found here: https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-downloads?target_os=Linux&target_arch=x86_64&target_distro=CentOS&target_version=7&target_type=rpmlocal
curl -J -O https://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/repos/rhel7/x86_64/cuda-repo-rhel7-10.0.130-1.x86_64.rpm
yum -y install ./cuda-repo-rhel7-10.0.130-1.x86_64.rpm

# Install CUDA & drivers & dependencies
yum clean all
yum -y install cuda

nvidia-smi -pm 1


gcloud compute ssh test-gpu-drivers
sudo su
nvidia-smi -pm 1

Full logs here.

(I also tried the exact GCE driver install script, without upgrading versions, but with no luck too)


  • Distribution release

    [root@test-gpu-drivers myuser]# cat /etc/*-release | head -n 1
    CentOS Linux release 7.6.1810 (Core) 
  • Kernel release

    [root@test-gpu-drivers myuser]# uname -r

I can make it work on Ubuntu!

To analyze the problem, I decided to try doing the same thing on Ubuntu 18.04 (LTS). This time, I had no problem.

Instance creation:

gcloud compute instances create gpu-ubuntu-1804 \
    --machine-type n1-standard-2 \
    --boot-disk-size 250GB \
    --accelerator type=nvidia-tesla-k80,count=1 \
    --image-family ubuntu-1804-lts --image-project ubuntu-os-cloud \
    --maintenance-policy TERMINATE

Install process:

gcloud compute ssh gpu-ubuntu-1804
sudo su
apt update
apt -y upgrade

gcloud compute ssh gpu-ubuntu-1804
sudo su
curl -O https://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/repos/ubuntu1804/x86_64/cuda-repo-ubuntu1804_10.0.130-1_amd64.deb
apt -y install ./cuda-repo-ubuntu1804_10.0.130-1_amd64.deb
rm cuda-repo-ubuntu1804_10.0.130-1_amd64.deb
apt-key adv --fetch-keys https://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/repos/ubuntu1804/x86_64/7fa2af80.pub
apt-get update
apt-get -y install cuda
nvidia-smi -pm 1

Full installation logs available here.


# nvidia-smi -pm 1
Enabled persistence mode for GPU 00000000:00:04.0.
All done.
# ll /dev/nvidia*
crw-rw-rw- 1 root root 241,   0 Dec  4 14:01 /dev/nvidia-uvm
crw-rw-rw- 1 root root 195,   0 Dec  4 14:01 /dev/nvidia0
crw-rw-rw- 1 root root 195, 255 Dec  4 14:01 /dev/nvidiactl

One thing I noticed is that on Ubuntu installation of package nvidia-dkms triggers some stuff, which I did not see on centos:

Setting up nvidia-dkms-410 (410.79-0ubuntu1) ...
update-initramfs: deferring update (trigger activated)

A modprobe blacklist file has been created at /etc/modprobe.d to prevent Nouveau
from loading. This can be reverted by deleting the following file:

A new initrd image has also been created. To revert, please regenerate your
initrd by running the following command after deleting the modprobe.d file:
`/usr/sbin/initramfs -u`

*** Reboot your computer and verify that the NVIDIA graphics driver can   ***
*** be loaded.                                                            ***

Loading new nvidia-410.79 DKMS files...
Building for 4.15.0-1025-gcp
Building for architecture x86_64
Building initial module for 4.15.0-1025-gcp
Generating a 2048 bit RSA private key
writing new private key to '/var/lib/shim-signed/mok/MOK.priv'
EFI variables are not supported on this system
/sys/firmware/efi/efivars not found, aborting.

Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/4.15.0-1025-gcp/updates/dkms/

Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/4.15.0-1025-gcp/updates/dkms/

Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/4.15.0-1025-gcp/updates/dkms/

Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/4.15.0-1025-gcp/updates/dkms/


DKMS: install completed.


  • Distribution release

    root@gpu-ubuntu-1804:/home/elouan_keryell-even# cat /etc/*-release
    DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS"
    VERSION="18.04.1 LTS (Bionic Beaver)"
    PRETTY_NAME="Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS"
  • Kernel release

    root@gpu-ubuntu-1804:/home/elouan_keryell-even# uname -r


Does someone understand what goes wrong with my installation of NVIDIA drivers on Centos 7?


There is 2 issues :

  • CentOS uses by default the nouveau open source driver, which is not compatible with nvidia and has to be deactivated
  • Drivers from nvidia repo seems to not be working, as nvidia dkms module is needed.

To do that :

  1. install some required packages

    yum install kernel-devel epel-release dkms
  2. Edit /etc/default/grub and add nouveau.modeset=0 in GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX

  3. Regen grub config to apply changes :

    grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/centos/grub.cfg
  4. Reboot for changes to take effect.

  5. Then install this driver directly : http://fr.download.nvidia.com/tesla/410.79/NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-410.79.run

After that, nvidia-smi should be working


This issue has been reported to google and it is being worked on Here

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