1.2. Install from source code

Please follow our github webpage to download the latest released version and development version.

Or get the DeePMD-kit source code by git clone

cd /some/workspace
git clone --recursive https://github.com/deepmodeling/deepmd-kit.git deepmd-kit

The --recursive option clones all submodules needed by DeePMD-kit.

For convenience, you may want to record the location of source to a variable, saying deepmd_source_dir by

cd deepmd-kit

1.2.1. Install the python interface Install the Tensorflow’s python interface

First, check the python version on your machine

python --version

We follow the virtual environment approach to install TensorFlow’s Python interface. The full instruction can be found on the official TensorFlow website. TensorFlow 1.8 or later is supported. Now we assume that the Python interface will be installed to virtual environment directory $tensorflow_venv

virtualenv -p python3 $tensorflow_venv
source $tensorflow_venv/bin/activate
pip install --upgrade pip
pip install --upgrade tensorflow

It is important that everytime a new shell is started and one wants to use DeePMD-kit, the virtual environment should be activated by

source $tensorflow_venv/bin/activate

if one wants to skip out of the virtual environment, he/she can do


If one has multiple python interpreters named like python3.x, it can be specified by, for example

virtualenv -p python3.7 $tensorflow_venv

If one does not need the GPU support of deepmd-kit and is concerned about package size, the CPU-only version of TensorFlow should be installed by

pip install --upgrade tensorflow-cpu

To verify the installation, run

python -c "import tensorflow as tf;print(tf.reduce_sum(tf.random.normal([1000, 1000])))"

One should remember to activate the virtual environment every time he/she uses deepmd-kit.

One can also build TensorFlow Python interface from source for custom hardward optimization, such as CUDA, ROCM, or OneDNN support. Install the DeePMD-kit’s python interface

Check the compiler version on your machine

gcc --version

The compiler gcc 4.8 or later is supported in the DeePMD-kit. Note that TensorFlow may have specific requirement of the compiler version. It is recommended to use the same compiler version as TensorFlow, which can be printed by python -c "import tensorflow;print(tensorflow.version.COMPILER_VERSION)".


cd $deepmd_source_dir
pip install .

One may set the following environment variables before executing pip:

Environment variables

Allowed value

Default value



cpu, cuda, rocm


Build CPU variant or GPU variant with CUDA or ROCM support.



Detected automatically

The path to the CUDA toolkit directory. CUDA 7.0 or later is supported. NVCC is required.



Detected automatically

The path to the ROCM toolkit directory.

To test the installation, one should firstly jump out of the source directory

cd /some/other/workspace

then execute

dp -h

It will print the help information like

usage: dp [-h] {train,freeze,test} ...

DeePMD-kit: A deep learning package for many-body potential energy
representation and molecular dynamics

optional arguments:
  -h, --help           show this help message and exit

Valid subcommands:
    train              train a model
    freeze             freeze the model
    test               test the model Install horovod and mpi4py

Horovod and mpi4py is used for parallel training. For better performance on GPU, please follow tuning steps in Horovod on GPU.

# With GPU, prefer NCCL as a communicator.

If your work in CPU environment, please prepare runtime as below:

# By default, MPI is used as communicator.

To ensure Horovod has been built with proper framework support enabled, one can invoke the horovodrun --check-build command, e.g.,

$ horovodrun --check-build

Horovod v0.22.1:

Available Frameworks:
    [X] TensorFlow
    [X] PyTorch
    [ ] MXNet

Available Controllers:
    [X] MPI
    [X] Gloo

Available Tensor Operations:
    [X] NCCL
    [ ] DDL
    [ ] CCL
    [X] MPI
    [X] Gloo

From version 2.0.1, Horovod and mpi4py with MPICH support is shipped with the installer.

If you don’t install horovod, DeePMD-kit will fall back to serial mode.

1.2.2. Install the C++ interface

If one does not need to use DeePMD-kit with Lammps or I-Pi, then the python interface installed in the previous section does everything and he/she can safely skip this section. Install the Tensorflow’s C++ interface

The C++ interface of DeePMD-kit was tested with compiler gcc >= 4.8. It is noticed that the I-Pi support is only compiled with gcc >= 4.8. Note that TensorFlow may have specific requirement of the compiler version.

First the C++ interface of Tensorflow should be installed. It is noted that the version of Tensorflow should be consistent with the python interface. You may follow the instruction or run the script $deepmd_source_dir/source/install/build_tf.py to install the corresponding C++ interface. Install the DeePMD-kit’s C++ interface

Now go to the source code directory of DeePMD-kit and make a build place.

cd $deepmd_source_dir/source
mkdir build 
cd build

I assume you want to install DeePMD-kit into path $deepmd_root, then execute cmake

cmake -DTENSORFLOW_ROOT=$tensorflow_root -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$deepmd_root ..

where the variable tensorflow_root stores the location where the TensorFlow’s C++ interface is installed.

One may add the following arguments to cmake:

CMake Aurgements

Allowed value

Default value





The Path to TensorFlow’s C++ interface.




The Path where DeePMD-kit will be installed.




If TRUE, Build GPU support with CUDA toolkit.



Detected automatically

The path to the CUDA toolkit directory. CUDA 7.0 or later is supported. NVCC is required.




If TRUE, Build GPU support with ROCM toolkit.



Detected automatically

The path to the ROCM toolkit directory.




Only neccessary for LAMMPS built-in mode. The version number of LAMMPS (yyyymmdd). LAMMPS 29Oct2020 (20201029) or later is supported.




Only neccessary for LAMMPS plugin mode. The path to the LAMMPS source code. LAMMPS 8Apr2021 or later is supported. If not assigned, the plugin mode will not be enabled.

If the cmake has been executed successfully, then run the following make commands to build the package:

make -j4
make install

The option -j4 means using 4 processes in parallel. You may want to use a different number according to your hardware.

If everything works fine, you will have the following executable and libraries installed in $deepmd_root/bin and $deepmd_root/lib

$ ls $deepmd_root/bin
dp_ipi      dp_ipi_low
$ ls $deepmd_root/lib
libdeepmd_cc_low.so  libdeepmd_ipi_low.so  libdeepmd_lmp_low.so  libdeepmd_low.so          libdeepmd_op_cuda.so  libdeepmd_op.so
libdeepmd_cc.so      libdeepmd_ipi.so      libdeepmd_lmp.so      libdeepmd_op_cuda_low.so  libdeepmd_op_low.so   libdeepmd.so