Intel® Movidius™ Neural Compute SDK

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Intel® Movidius™ Neural Compute SDK Installation and Configuration

This guide will tell you how to install the Intel® Movidius™ Neural Compute SDK (Intel® Movidius™ NCSDK) and build the included examples.


Upgrading from NCSDK 1.x to NCSDK 2.x

If you currently have NCSDK 1.x installed and you are installing NCSDK 2.x, the Neural Compute API (NCAPI) will be upgraded from v1 to v2. NCAPI v2 is not backwards-compatible with NCAPI v1 (i.e. programs written with NCAPI v1 will not compile or run with NCAPI v2). However, all of your NCAPI v1 files will be moved to /opt/movidius/ncsdk1.

For more information about NCAPI changes, see the Neural Compute API overview.


To perform the typical installation of the NCSDK, use the following command on your host machine:

git clone -b ncsdk2 && cd ncsdk && make install

The -b ncsdk2 option checks out the latest version of NCSDK 2 from the ncsdk2 branch. If you omit this option you will install the NCSDK version on the master branch, which is currently NCSDK 1.x.

Caffe Users: If you are installing on a host machine that already has Caffe installed and its directory is already in the PYTHONPATH environment variable, you must remove the existing Caffe directory from the PYTHONPATH environment variable prior to installing the NCSDK. You will need to manually modify the PYTHONPATH to match your development needs such that it points to the Caffe version installed with the NCSDK when using the NCSDK and it points to other Caffe versions when you wish to use those.

Note: The installation will only set the PYTHONPATH environment variable for the current user. It will do so by modifying the .bashrc file for that user. To use the NCSDK as another user on the host machine you will need to manually set the PYTHONPATH for that user.

Raspberry Pi Installation Notes

We recommend a 16GB SD card for a full NCSDK installation.

You will likely need to increase the swapfile size on the Raspberry Pi in order to successfully complete NCSDK and/or OpenCV installation. To increase the swapfile size, edit the value of CONF_SWAPSIZE in /etc/dphys-swapfile:

sudo nano /etc/dphys-swapfile

The default value is 100 (MB). We recommend that you change this to 1024 (MB) or greater.

Then restart the swapfile service:

sudo /etc/init.d/dphys-swapfile restart

After you have installed the NCSDK (and optionally OpenCV), you should change the swapfile size back to 100 MB.


Use the following command in your ncsdk directory to download necessary prerequisites and models and build all examples:

make examples

You must have a neural compute device attached to your system to build the examples.

Building Individual Examples

Each example comes with its own Makefile that will install only that specific example and any prerequisites that it requires. To build and run an example, run the following command within that example’s directory:

make run

The Makefile for each example also has a ‘help’ target that will display all possible make targets:

make help


To uninstall the NCSDK, type the following command:

make uninstall