Ubuntu Open Source GPU with Tarball

This is an end-to-end recipe for installing OmniSci Open Source on an Ubuntu machine running with NVIDIA Kepler or Pascal series GPU cards.
Here is a quick video overview of the installation steps.
The order of these instructions is significant. To avoid problems, install each component in the order presented.


These instructions assume the following:
  • You are installing on a “clean” Ubuntu host machine with only the operating system installed.
  • Your OmniSci host only runs the daemons and services required to support OmniSci.
  • Your OmniSci host is connected to the Internet.


Prepare your Ubuntu machine by updating your system, creating the OmniSci user (named omnisci), installing kernel headers, and installing CUDA drivers.

Update and Reboot

  1. 1.
    Update the entire system:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt upgrade
  2. 2.
    Install a “headless” Java Runtime Environment:
    sudo apt install default-jre-headless
  3. 3.
    Verify that the apt-transport-https utility is installed:
    sudo apt install apt-transport-https
  4. 4.
    Reboot to activate the latest kernel:
    sudo reboot

Create the OmniSci User

Create a group called omnisci and a user named omnisci, who will be the owner of the OmniSci database. You can create the group, user, and home directory using the useradd command with the -U and -m switches.
sudo useradd -U -m omnisci

Install Kernel Headers

Install kernel headers with the following command:
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Install CUDA

Install the CUDA package for your platform and operating system according to the instructions on the NVIDIA website (
  1. 1.
    Select the Product Type as Data center / Tesla.
  2. 2.
    Select the correct Product Series and Product Type for your installation.
  3. 3.
    In the Operating System dropdown list, select Linux 64-bit.
  4. 4.
    In the CUDA Toolkit dropdown list, click a supported version (11.0 or higher).
  5. 5.
    Click Search.
  6. 6.
    On the resulting page, verify the download information and click Download.


Run nvidia-smi to verify that your drivers are installed correctly and recognize the GPUs in your environment. Depending on your environment, you should see something like this to verify that your NVIDIA GPUs and drivers are present:
If you see an error like the following, the NVIDIA drivers are probably installed incorrectly:
NVIDIA-SMI has failed because it couldn't communicate with the NVIDIA driver.
Make sure that the latest NVIDIA driver is installed and running.
Review the Install CUDA Drivers section and correct any errors.


These instructions follow conventions of the OmniSci Engineering team. By creating an omnisci-installs directory and using a symbolic link that points to the current version, you can conveniently roll back to a previous version in the unlikely event that you would want to do so.

Create the omnisci-installs Directory

Use the following command to create the /opt/omnisci-installs directory.
sudo mkdir /opt/omnisci-installs

Download the OmniSci Archive File

You can download the OmniSci archive file using curl, or wget.
To download the OmniSci archive file with curl, use the following command.
sudo curl --output /opt/omnisci-installs/omnisci.tar.gz
To download the OmniSci archive file with wget, use the following command.
sudo /usr/local/bin/wget -O /opt/omnisci-installs/omnisci.tar.gz

Expand the Archive File

You install the OmniSci application itself by expanding the TAR file.
  1. 1.
    Go to the /opt/omnisci-installs directory.
  2. 2.
    Expand the OmniSci archive file in the /opt/omnisci-installs directory.
    sudo tar -xvf omnisci.tar.gz
  3. 3.
    The expanded directory name is long and complex, with information about the version and build date. For example, the OmniSci 5.6.1 directory name is the following:
    Go to the /opt directory and create a symlink to omnisci, using the name of the expanded directory for the current release. For example, for OmniSci 5.6.1, you the following commands:
    cd /opt
    sudo ln -s /opt/omnisci-installs/omnisci-os-5.6.1-20190903-e9ac6920a3-Linux-x86_64 omnisci


Follow these steps to prepare your OmniSci environment.

Set Environment Variables

For convenience, you can update .bashrc with the required environment variables.
  1. 1.
    Open a terminal window.
  2. 2.
    Enter cd ~/ to go to your home directory.
  3. 3.
    Open .bashrc in a text editor. For example, vi .bashrc.
  4. 4.
    Edit the .bashrc file. Add the following export commands under “User specific aliases and functions.”
    # User specific aliases and functions
    export OMNISCI_USER=omnisci
    export OMNISCI_GROUP=omnisci
    export OMNISCI_STORAGE=/var/lib/omnisci
    export OMNISCI_PATH=/opt/omnisci
    export OMNISCI_LOG=/var/lib/omnisci/data/mapd_log
  5. 5.
    Save the .bashrc file. For example, in vi, [esc]:x!
  6. 6.
    Open a new terminal window to use your changes.
The $OMNISCI_STORAGE directory must be dedicated to OmniSci: do not set it to a directory shared by other packages.


Run the systemd installer.
cd $OMNISCI_PATH/systemd
You are prompted for two paths during install: OMNISCI_PATH and OMNISCI_STORAGE. OMNISCI_PATH must be the same as the location of the symbolic link you created in step 5 of the installation process and the environment variable you just created. In a standard installation, that path is /opt/omnisci. OMNISCI_STORAGE defaults to /var/lib/omnisci
The script creates a data directory in $OMNISCI_STORAGE with the directories mapd_catalogs, mapd_data, and mapd_export. mapd_import and mapd_log directories are created when you insert data the first time. If you are an OmniSci administrator, the mapd_log directory is of particular interest.


Start and use OmniSciDB.
  1. 1.
    Start OmniSciDB.
    sudo systemctl start omnisci_server
  2. 2.
    Enable OmniSciDB to start automatically when the system reboots.
    sudo systemctl enable omnisci_server


To verify that all systems are go, load some sample data and perform an omnisql query.
OmniSci ships with two sample datasets of airline flight information collected in 2008, and a census of New York City trees from 2015.
  1. 1.
    To install sample data, run the following command.
    sudo ./insert_sample_data
  2. 2.
    When prompted, enter 2 to insert the 10 thousand row flights dataset.
    Enter dataset number to download, or 'q' to quit:
    # Dataset Rows Table Name File Name
    1) Flights (2008) 7M flights_2008_7M flights_2008_7M.tar.gz
    2) Flights (2008) 10k flights_2008_10k flights_2008_10k.tar.gz
    3) NYC Tree Census (2015) 683k nyc_trees_2015_683k nyc_trees_2015_683k.tar.gz
  3. 3.
    Connect to OmniSciDB by entering the following command in a terminal on the host machine (default password is HyperInteractive):
    password: ••••••••••••••••
  4. 4.
    Enter a SQL query such as the following:
    omnisql> SELECT origin_city AS "Origin", dest_city AS
    "Destination", AVG(airtime) AS "Average Airtime" FROM
    flights_2008_10k WHERE distance < 175 GROUP BY origin_city, dest_city;
    The results should be similar to the results below.
    Origin|Destination|Average Airtime
    Ft. Myers|Orlando|28.666667
    Orlando|Ft. Myers|32.583333