Installing Kur

Kur Quick Install

Kur is really easy to install! You can pick either one of these two options for installing Kur.


Kur requires Python 3.4 or greater. Take a look at Detailed Kur Install Guide for step-by-step instructions for installing Kur and setting up a virtual environment.

Latest Pip Release

If you know what you are doing, then this is easy:

pip install kur

Latest Development Release

Just check it out and run the setup script:

git clone
cd kur
pip install .

Quick Start: Or, if you already have Python 3 installed, then here’s a few quick-start lines to get you training your first model:

Quick Start For Using pip:

pip install virtualenv                      # Make sure virtualenv is present
virtualenv -p $(which python3) ~/kur-env    # Create a Python 3 environment for Kur
. ~/kur-env/bin/activate                    # Activate the Kur environment
pip install kur                             # Install Kur
kur --version                               # Check that everything works
git clone   # Get the examples
cd kur/examples                             # Change directories
kur -v train mnist.yml                      # Start training!

Quick Start For Using git:

pip install virtualenv                      # Make sure virtualenv is present
virtualenv -p $(which python3) ~/kur-env    # Create a Python 3 environment for Kur
. ~/kur-env/bin/activate                    # Activate the Kur environment
git clone   # Check out the latest code
cd kur                                      # Change directories
pip install .                               # Install Kur
kur --version                               # Check that everything works
cd examples                                 # Change directories
kur -v train mnist.yml                      # Start training!

Usage: Kur

If everything has gone well, you shoud be able to use Kur:

kur --version

You’ll typically be using Kur in commands like kur train model.yml or kur test model.yml. You’ll see these in the Examples: In Depth, which is where you should head to next!


If you run into any problems installing or using Kur, please check out our Troubleshooting page for lots of useful help. And if you want more detailed installation instructions, with help on setting up your environment, before sure to follow along in the next Detailed Kur Install Guide section.

Detailed Kur Install Guide

Ready to install Kur but need a little more help than the Quick Install provides? This is the place!


If you want to install Kur for the purpose of developing, modifying, or contributing to Kur, then take a look at Contributing to Kur.

How The Following Guide Helps

This detailed installation guive can tell you in detail how to set up your environment to have a long lasting and organized experience while deep learning with Kur. There are many helpful suggestions for both Linux and Mac OSX users.

These docs won’t be able to help with all possible problems that can arise while setting up a development environment. We strive to make these documents helpful to 95% of people, but it cannot cover all flavors of Linux and complicated constraints on your computers environment.

With that said, these docs should get the vast majority of normal users up and running with Kur and Deep Learning in no time. Try to be patient during this process. Grab a cup of coffee and really think out how you want things set up on your computer. You’ll be using Kur for years to come, so (it’s that good). One last thing. Be sure to inform us with GitHub issues if you notice anything off in the docs and feel free to improve them—Kur is open source afterall!

Setting Up an Environment

Getting Python 3

Kur requires Python 3. Don’t know what version you have? Pull up a terminal and check!

python --version

If your Python version is 2, let’s just double-check that you don’t have Python 3 installed as a different executable:

python3 --version

If either of those command works and you have Python 3.4 or greater installed, you are all set! If you have Python 3, but it is older than 3.4, you need to upgrade (using whatever method you used to install Python 3 originally). If you only have Python 2, it’s time to move into the future–let’s install it!

  • OS X. You have a few options for installing Python 3 on a Mac. If you’ve never installed Python 3 before, we recommend doing the following:

    1. Install a C compiler. The easiest way to do this is to install XCode from the Apple Store (it’s free). Then open up a terminal (the Terminal utility is in the Applications | Utilities folder) and type:

      xcode-select --install

      Proceed through any windows or confirmations that come up.

    2. Install Homebrew. To do this, type the following in a terminal:

      /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
    3. Let’s make sure that everything you install using Homebrew is “on your path” (so your system knows where Python 3 and other Homebrew programs live). Open a terminal, and type:

      echo 'PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.bash_profile

      Now, close the terminal—you need a fresh terminal for that change to take effect.

    4. Actually install Python 3! Enter this into a terminal:

      brew install python3
    5. Make sure everything worked. To do this, you need to open a fresh terminal (it has to be a new terminal—you can’t reuse the same terminal you just used in the previous steps). Then do this:

      python3 --version

      If everything worked, you should see the version of Python 3 you just installed appear on the screen. Great! And what’s more, Homebrew also just installed pip3 for you—it’s a package manager for Python. To make sure you have it, type which pip3. Make sure to invoke pip3 since pip may reference a different Python installation.

  • Linux. Installing Python 3 depends on your Linux distribution; most new Linux releases are including Python 3 installed as the default Python interpreter. But obviously you got this far into the installation instructions, so that isn’t the case for your current distribution!

    For Ubuntu, you can do this:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install python3 python3-pip

    For other distributions, please refer to your distribution’s package manager and repositories to determine the exact name of the Python 3 package (and how to install it). Make sure you install pip for Python 3, too.

Virtual Environments

This step is optional, but highly recommended, since virtual environments allow you to isolate different packages and package versions, making installations cleaner, more reliable, and more stable.

Let’s install the core package and its highly convenient helper utility. We also need to update your profile. Follow these instructions, depending on your platform.

  • OS X:

    pip3 install virtualenv virtualenvwrapper
    echo 'export WORKON_HOME=$HOME/.virtualenvs' >> ~/.bash_profile
    echo 'export VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_PYTHON=/usr/local/bin/python3' >> ~/.bash_profile
    echo 'source $(which' >> ~/.bash_profile
    source ~/.bash_profile
  • Linux: this depends on your shell. For bash (which is very common for Linux distributions to use), do this:

    pip install virtualenv virtualenvwrapper
    echo 'export WORKON_HOME=$HOME/.virtualenvs' >> ~/.bashrc
    echo 'source $(which' >> ~/.bashrc
    source ~/.bashrc


Different systems install in different locations. Lots of them do something intelligent, so that the above instructions for updating your profile work. However, if you start seeing errors from your shell that look like this:

-bash: source: filename argument required
source: usage: source filename [arguments]

or this:

source: no such file or directory:

then you know that your system has put the script in a silly place. First, we need to find out where it is:

find / -name 2>/dev/null

Then edit your profile (using vim, emacs, nano, etc.) and change this line:

source $(which

to this:

source /path/to/

replacing /path/to/ with the path outputted by the find command.

Now you should create a virtual environment for Kur:

mkvirtualenv -p /usr/bin/python3 kur

This will create and “activate” the Kur virtual environment. You can “deactivate” the virtual environment with this command:


To activate the virtual environment (which you should do anytime you want to use Kur), do this:

workon kur

Installing Kur

Setting Up a Virtual Environment

First things first: make sure your virtual environment is set up, so that Kur and its dependencies can reside in a happy, isolated environment from your other Python packages. If you really don’t want to do this, just continue on. But you really should take a moment and follow along with Virtual Environments.

Now all you have to do is make sure your environment is activated:

workon kur

Getting the Package

You can either install the latest official release from PyPI, or the bleeding-edge development version from GitHub. You only need to pick one.

From PyPI

Wow. This is easy:

pip install kur

From GitHub

This is really easy, too. Just clone the repository and install:

git clone
cd kur
pip install .


If you run the install script python install, then Python will try to build dependencies (like Numpy) from source. If you don’t have the appropriate development environment (C compiler, FORTRAN compiler, etc.), then this will fail. It’s much easier to just use pip for the installation.

Also, if you are interested in contributing to or modifying Kur, then you probably want to install the package using pip install -e .. See Contributing to Kur for details.

Verifying the Installation

If everything has gone well, you shoud be able to use Kur:

kur --version

If Kur prints out a version, everything is working great! Now move on to the Examples: In Depth or the Tutorial From Scratch: Data and Model and start building awesome models!


You can view Kur’s usage like this:

kur --help

You’ll typically be using Kur in commands like kur train model.yml or kur test model.yml. You’ll see these in the Examples: In Depth, which is where you should head to next!