Tips and tricks for the Nvidia Jetson Nano

I have just received my Nvidia Jetson Nano development kit, and over time this post should turn into a collection of tips and tricks for this very interesting almost single-board-computer.

1. Getting started

There is a pretty good tutorial available on covering base installation as well as how to configure your Python environment and get Keras and TensorFlow going.

If you want PyTorch there is something about it on the Nvidia developer forums, although I have not tried it out yet.

Of course, there is also the official documentation, a user guide, a wiki and support forums on the Jetson Nano’s official site.

2. Undo embedded system minimization

The provided OS has been minimized to save disk space, meaning that things like man pages and documentation files have been removed. If you intend to use the board for development or as a general desktop this may not be what you want. To undo the minimization you may use the following pre-installed script:

sudo /usr/local/sbin/unminimize

Note that you may want to do this immediately after installation, as there could be issues with any non-default software packages you may have installed.

3. Add more power by using the 4 amp barrel power plug

If you want to run the board at full speed and power (10 watts) with peripheral devices attached the micro USB power will not be enough. You can either switch to 5 watt mode or use the 4 amp barrel plug for 20 watts of power. The first results in reduced performance while the latter involves  adding a power selection jumper to the Jetson Nano and connecting a 5 volt 4 amp power supply.

There is a wonderful video by JetsonHacks on YouTube. They have other Jetson Nano goodies too, might want to check out their channel or website.

 4. You can  run PyCharm on your Jetson Nano!

PyCharm is a wonderful IDE for all your Python development, but at first glance there is no arm64 package available. The good news is that it does not matter, as it runs on Java. Just install the Java 8 Development Kit, download and unpack the latest PyCharm for Linux and run it like you would on any other Linux distribution:

sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jdk
tar xvzf pycharm-community-2019.1.2.tar.gz

PyCharm runs fairly well on the Jetson Nano, however, you may not want to try running it alongside the memory hungry Chromium web browser.

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