TensorFlow is an open-source machine learning library written in Python and built by Google. Many well-known organizations are using TensorFlow including Paypal, Lenovo, Intel, Twitter, and Airbus. You can install it using Anaconda, as a docker container or in a Python virtual environment. A virtual environment allows users to have different python environments on a single system and they can install a particular module version based on per-project requirements, without affecting the other projects.

This article will show you how to install the TensorFlow library in a Python virtual environment using the command line application on Ubuntu 20.04.

Installation of TensorFlow on Ubuntu 20.04

Open the terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + t or you can directly access it by using the application search bar as follows:

Installing Pre-requisites

Check Python installation

Python 3.8 comes pre-installed on Ubuntu 20.04 system by default. Therefore, you can easily verify the installation of Python 3 on your system by using the following command:

$ python3 -V

The following output should display on the terminal:

Check Python version

Install Python Virtualenv

It is recommended that using the venv module, you have to create a virtual environment that you can find it in the python3-venv package. The following command you can use to install the required packages of python3-venv:

$ sudo apt install python3-venv python3-dev


Inytall Python Virtualenv

Setup virtual environment

After installing the venv module, you need to set up a virtual environment for the TensorFlow.

Now, navigate into the directory where you want to store the Python 3 virtual environment. You can store it into your home directly or as well in any other directory where you have read and write permissions.

Create a directory by using the following mkdir command for the TensorFlow project and the move into it using the cd command as follows:

$ mkdir my_tensorflow
$ cd my_tensorflow

Create directory for Tensorflow

Using the following command you can create a python virtual environment in the current directory:

$ python3 -m venv venv

In the above command, the second word venv is the name of your new virtual environment. Therefore, you can give any name for the virtual environment.

We have created a new directory named venv that contains the python standard library, the copy of the Python binary, the package manager of Pip, and all other supporting files.

Activate the virtual environment ‘venv’ by executing the below mentioned activate script:

$ source venv/bin/activate

Activate virtual environment

Once the environment is activated, you will see that at the beginning of the system

$PATH variable the bin directory of the virtual environment will be added. You will notice that the shell’s prompt name is changed now. The name of the currently using virtual environment will show on the shell’s prompt. Here, the name of the virtual environment in which we are currently working is ‘venv’.

Update PIP

To install the TensorFlow, it is required to first install the pip version 19 or more latest. The following command you can use to upgrade pip from previous to the latest version: (venv)

$ pip install --upgrade pip

Install pip

Installation of TensorFlow on Ubuntu 20.04

Once the virtual environment is activated, it’s time to start the installation of TensorFlow on your system. Type the following command to install the TensorFlow packages: (venv) $ pip install –upgrade tensorflow

TensorFlow Installation

Congratulations! The TensorFlow is successfully installed on your system.

Verify installation

To verify the installation of TensorFlow, execute the following command that will display the installed version of TensorFlow on the terminal:

$ python -c 'import tensorflow as tf; print(tf. version )'

Test TensorFlow

The latest and stable TensorFlow version 2.3.0 has been installed on Ubuntu 20.04.

If you don’t know about TensorFlow then, you can learn the basics of the TensorFlow from this given URL ‘https://www.tensorflow.org/learn’. Explore how to build various

machine Learning applications using TensorFlow. Many examples and TensorFlow models are available on the Github repositories.

Once you completed your work, using the following command you can deactivate it:

$ deactivate


In this article, we have explained how to install TensorFlow on Ubuntu 20.04 system by using the terminal. TensorFlow is a library used to solve different machine learning problems. Enjoy this article!

How to install TensorFlow Machine Learning System on Ubuntu 20.04

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn