I recently tried setting up an M.2 Coral TPU on a machine running Debian 12 'Bookworm', which ships with Python 3.11, making the installation of the pyCoral library very difficult (maybe impossible for now?).
Some of the devs responded 'just install an older Ubuntu or Debian release' in the GitHub issues, as that would give me a compatible Python version (3.9 or earlier)... but in this case I didn't want to do that.
So the next best option would be to set up the PCIe device following the official guide (so you can see it at
/dev/apex_0), then pass it through to a Docker container—which would be easier to set up following Coral's install guide.
I installed Docker using the instructions provided for an apt-based install on Debian:
sudo apt install ca-certificates curl gnupg
sudo install -m 0755 -d /etc/apt/keyrings
curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/debian/gpg | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/keyrings/docker.gpg
sudo chmod a+r /etc/apt/keyrings/docker.gpg
"deb [arch="$(dpkg --print-architecture)" signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/docker.gpg] https://download.docker.com/linux/debian \
"$(. /etc/os-release && echo "$VERSION_CODENAME")" stable" | \
sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null
sudo apt update
sudo apt install docker-ce docker-ce-cli containerd.io docker-buildx-plugin docker-compose-plugin
Build a Docker image for Coral testing
Dockerfile with the following contents:
ENV HOME /home
RUN cd ~
RUN apt-get update
RUN apt-get install -y git nano python3-pip python-dev pkg-config wget usbutils curl
RUN echo "deb https://packages.cloud.google.com/apt coral-edgetpu-stable main" \
| tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/coral-edgetpu.list
RUN curl https://packages.cloud.google.com/apt/doc/apt-key.gpg | apt-key add -
RUN apt-get update
RUN apt-get install -y edgetpu-examples
It's important to use Debian 10, as that version still has a system Python version old enough to work with the Coral Python libraries.
Build the Docker image, and tag it
sudo docker build -t "coral" .
Run the Docker image and test the TPU
Make sure the device
/dev/apex_0 is appearing on your system, then use the following
docker run command to pass that device into the container:
sudo docker run -it --device /dev/apex_0:/dev/apex_0 coral /bin/bash
(If you're in the
docker group, you can omit the
This should drop you inside the running container, where you can run an Edge TPU example:
container-id# python3 /usr/share/edgetpu/examples/classify_image.py --model /usr/share/edgetpu/examples/models/mobilenet_v2_1.0_224_inat_bird_quant_edgetpu.tflite --label /usr/share/edgetpu/examples/models/inat_bird_labels.txt --image /usr/share/edgetpu/examples/images/bird.bmp
This should work... but in my case I was debugging some other flaky bits in the OS, so it didn't work on my machine.
Special thanks to this comment on GitHub for the suggestion for how to run Coral examples inside a Docker container.