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Setting “MKL_THREADING_LAYER=GNU” for Python Scripts: How to Fix the MKL 2018 Error in Theano

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In this article, we will delve into the specifics of setting the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER=GNU” for Python scripts and how this can help resolve the MKL 2018 error in Theano.

Quick Answer

Setting "MKL_THREADING_LAYER=GNU" for Python scripts can help resolve the MKL 2018 error in Theano.

Introduction

Theano is a Python library that allows you to define, optimize, and evaluate mathematical expressions involving multi-dimensional arrays efficiently. However, when using Theano with MKL 2018, you may encounter a runtime error that requires setting the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER” environment variable to “GNU”. This article will guide you through the process of setting this environment variable and resolving the error.

Understanding the MKL 2018 Error in Theano

Before we dive into the solution, let’s first understand the problem. The error message typically reads: “RuntimeError: To use MKL 2018 with Theano you MUST set ‘MKL_THREADING_LAYER=GNU’ in your environment”. This error arises when Theano is used with the Math Kernel Library (MKL) 2018, which requires the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER” environment variable to be set to “GNU”.

Setting the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER” Environment Variable

There are several ways to set the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER” environment variable. We will discuss two primary methods: setting the variable in the terminal and setting it directly in the Python script.

Setting the Variable in the Terminal

To set the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER” environment variable in the terminal, you can use the env command. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Run the following command:
env MKL_THREADING_LAYER=GNU python /path/to/your/script.py

In this command, env is a shell command that allows you to run another program in a custom environment. MKL_THREADING_LAYER=GNU sets the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER” environment variable to “GNU”. python /path/to/your/script.py runs your Python script. Make sure to replace “/path/to/your/script.py” with the actual path to your Python script.

Setting the Variable in the Python Script

If you prefer, you can set the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER” environment variable directly in your Python script. Here’s how:

  1. Open your Python script.
  2. Add the following lines at the beginning of the script:
import os
os.environ["MKL_THREADING_LAYER"] = "GNU"

In these lines, import os imports the Python os module, which provides a way of using operating system dependent functionality. os.environ["MKL_THREADING_LAYER"] = "GNU" sets the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER” environment variable to “GNU” within the script.

Permanent Solution: Setting the Variable in the Bashrc File

If you want to avoid setting the environment variable every time you run the script, you can add the following line to your ~/.bashrc file:

export MKL_THREADING_LAYER=GNU

In this line, export is a command that sets environment variables. After adding this line, you need to reopen your terminal for the changes to take effect.

Conclusion

Setting the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER=GNU” for Python scripts can help resolve the MKL 2018 error in Theano. Whether you choose to set the environment variable in the terminal, directly in the script, or in the bashrc file, the goal is to ensure that Theano and MKL 2018 can work together seamlessly.

We hope this article has been helpful in guiding you through this process. If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out.

Why do I encounter the MKL 2018 error in Theano?

The MKL 2018 error occurs when using Theano with the Math Kernel Library (MKL) 2018. It arises because MKL 2018 requires the "MKL_THREADING_LAYER" environment variable to be set to "GNU" in order to work properly with Theano.

How can I set the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER” environment variable in the terminal?

To set the "MKL_THREADING_LAYER" environment variable in the terminal, you can use the env command. Open a terminal and run the following command: env MKL_THREADING_LAYER=GNU python /path/to/your/script.py. Replace "/path/to/your/script.py" with the actual path to your Python script.

Can I set the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER” environment variable directly in my Python script?

Yes, you can set the "MKL_THREADING_LAYER" environment variable directly in your Python script. Open your Python script and add the following lines at the beginning:

import os
os.environ["MKL_THREADING_LAYER"] = "GNU"
Is there a permanent solution for setting the “MKL_THREADING_LAYER” environment variable?

Yes, you can add the following line to your ~/.bashrc file: export MKL_THREADING_LAYER=GNU. This will set the environment variable permanently, so you don’t have to set it every time you run the script. Remember to reopen your terminal for the changes to take effect.

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