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OpenCL SDK installation is the worst.



I've been trying to download and get a new system up and running with opencl for CPU and GPU on ubuntu 16.04. I finally got some drivers running, or at least detected with clinfo, however the GPU required superuser privelages. Now I am trying to install the SDK, as I hope that is where useful CL CPP header files are. 

except when I download the .gz file involved. It comes with a binary file that is not executable? WTF is this? When I look for installation instructions I get some sales pitch about all these great features but no usable recipe for installing the SDK!!!

As you may tell, I'm a little frustrated as this is a garbage experience. there was another company that provided similar experiences for their products, I think it was called Microsoft. I dont use them anymore.


why does clinfo require superuser priveleges to display info about gpu devices.?

where is a relevant and working recipie for installing the SDK (or whatever provides the cl header files for c and cpp)?

why is it so hard for a company to communicate, clearly and succinctly, basic information for using their hardware.

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4 Replies


Which SDK are you installing? Can you indicate where you are looking for installation instructions? Which portal did not not reflect getting started materials? I'll ask them to link it. There are release notes that are included in the installation that may help.

Since linux deployments are so configurable, each system will have different dependencies. Unfortunately, there is no exact recipe. 

These two articles were refactored to aid installation:

Using an opencl program on Intel Graphics should not require superuser privileges. Can you try adding the user to the 'video' group? Please see this for guidance on reporting any outstanding issues in the forum.




Thanks Mike for the quick reply.

I was using the Intel SDK 2017. The installation instructions linked from the download page

(hidden behind the registration panel)


which dont actually give me any installation instructions as far s I can tell.

The key problem was that the file

intel_sdk_for_opencl_2017_7.0.0.2568_x64.gz compresses the file:


I'm working on a server so file extentions are helpful to know what a file is, and this doesn't have one. It turns out this is not an executable but another tarball (which I only realised after extracting on a machine with a GUI).

It would be useful to have a receipe eg:

$ gunzip intel_sdk_for_opencl_2017_7.0.0.2568_x64.gz

$ mv intel_sdk_for_opencl_2017_7.0.0.2568_x64 intel_sdk_for_opencl_2017_7.0.0.2568_x64.tar.gz

$ tar -xvf intel_sdk_for_opencl_2017_7.0.0.2568_x64.tar.gz

$ cd intel_sdk_for_opencl_2017_7.0.0.2568_x64

$sudo ./

Now it seems the sdk is what I need as it has put some header files in the /opt/intel directory.

I manually installed the runtime libraries and they still require superuser priveleges for gpu devices show up with clinfo. I'm going to do a clean install and try installing the runtimes from the download portal and see if that will work.

I did try adding to video group, but that group doesn't exist I suspect because it is ubuntu server, not the desktop version. The recipies in the second link you posted did not work.






Additional information after new install of 16.04.5 ubuntu server

No changes after installing the SDK and runtimes as described above.

This showed two intel platforms being installed:

  - Intel(R) OpenCL

  - Experiemental OpenCL 2.1 CPU only Platform

Also installed GPU Platform as per:

This shows the

  - Intel(R) OpenCL HD Graphics platform

only if sudo is used with the clinfo. video group doesn't exist in the server setup:

$ groups

ubuntu adm cdrom sudo dip plugdev lxd lpadmin sambashare





Can you share the error encountered when running as regular user? Is the clinfo application doing anything privileged? Can you share a link to the clinfo source? What do you mean by show up? Which is the first OpenCL API call that does not function as expected in the program?

The video group can be created if necessary and the user can be added to the group.

There are prepackaged Intel Graphics Compute Runtime for OpenCL Driver builds on the github page... building may not be necessary for a platform:

Note: Not all 2017 SDK features are compatible with the Intel Graphics Compute Runtime for OpenCL Driver implementation that's been linked from the github. It's anticipated building and linking for a developer's OpenCL application from 201 SDK contents will result in a functioning application. 2017 SDK was not validated with the NEO build. Plugins and other tools in the 2017 SDK were validated against the SRB5.0 implementation that's described on the gsg and the legacy page. Expect Intel Graphics Compute Runtime for OpenCL Driver validation with the 2019 SDK (for which the beta period has ended recently).

Can you share what didn't work from this page:

Instead of clinfo... can you grab the OpenCL api code from the smoke test to see if the most basic platform and device interrogation can be accomplished? It begins on line 551 of the python file linked here:

The Intel Graphics Technology device should be underneath the 'Intel(R) OpenCL' platform