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Your First Cuda Project

How to install Visual Studio 2017, Cuda, and get your first project running

Install Visual Studio 2017 Community edition

You can download the installer from here. As of this writing, latest available version is 15.7.4 (we’ll need this information later).

Installation should be straight forward, just make sure to select at least the following components

  • windows/Desktop development with C++
  • click on individual components and select “Windows universal CRT SDK”

Install Cuda 9.2 Toolkit

You can download the installer from here. Express installation should be fine. The installer will add the necessary integration to Visual Studio.

Create a new Cuda project

Let’s test our installation by creating and running a simple Cuda project.

  • In Visual Studio, select File/New/Project
  • on the left side select NVIDIA/CUDA 9.2
  • on the right side “CUDA 9.2 Runtime” should be selected
  • give a name and path for the project and hit Ok

This should create a new project with a working Cuda example.

Fix the build issue

Depending on what version of Visual Studio/Cuda Toolkit you install, the project may fail to compile with an error similar to the following:

1>c:\program files\nvidia gpu computing toolkit\cuda\v9.2\include\crt/host_config.h(133): fatal error C1189: #error: – unsupported Microsoft Visual Studio version! Only the versions 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017 are supported!

I opened host_config.h and the failing check is:

#if _MSC_VER < 1600 || _MSC_VER > 1913

I looked online and Wikipedia has a good explanation about those versions. In particular, 1913 corresponds to Visual Studio 15.6, but in my case I installed 15.7, so we need to edit that line (after changing the permission on it) to the following:

#if _MSC_VER < 1600 || _MSC_VER > 1914

Now the project compiles and runs successfully, yay!

Optional: use Cuda helper headers

Cuda samples has a nice set of helper functions that I always like to use (vector norm, overloaded operators, …). It’s installed by default in the following folder:

C:\ProgramData\NVIDIA Corporation\CUDA Samples\v9.2\common\inc

To be able to use those helpers we need to add this folder to the project’s include directories:

  • open project settings (right click on it and select properties)
  • on the left side select VC++ Directories
  • on the right side edit “Include Directories” and add the path (you can just browse to it)
  • make sure to make this change to both Debug and Release configurations

Then you can just include it as follows:

#include <helper_math.h>
Written on July 2, 2018