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DAOS Tensorflow-IO

Tensorflow-IO is an open-source Python sub-library of the Tensorflow framework which offers a wide range of file systems and formats (e.g HDFS, HTTP) otherwise unavailable in Tensorflow's built-in support.

For a more complete look on the functionalities of the Tensorflow-IO library, visit the official Tensorflow Documentation.

The DFS Plugin supports many of Tensorflow-IO API functionalities and adds support to the DAOS FileSystem.

This constitutes several operations including reading and writing datasets on the DAOS filesystem for AI workloads that use Tensorflow as a framework.

Supported API

Tensorflow-IO offers users several operations for loading data, and manipulating file-systems. These operations include : * FileSystem Operations e.g creation and deletion of files, querying files, directories etc. * File-specific operations for: * RandomAccessFiles * WritableFiles * ReadOnlyMemoryRegion (which is left unimplemented in the case of the DFS plugin)

The DFS Plugin translates the key operations offered by Tensorflow IO to their DAOS Filesystem equivalent, while utilizing DAOS underlying functionalities and features to ensure a high I/O bandwidth for its users.


In order to utilize the DFS Plugin for the meantime, the Tensorflow-IO library will need to be built from source.


Assuming you are in a terminal in the repository root directory:

  • Install latest versions of the following dependencies by running
    • Centos 8 $ yum install -y python3 python3-devel gcc gcc-c++ git unzip which make
    • Ubuntu 20.04 $ sudo apt-get -y -qq update $ sudo apt-get -y -qq install gcc g++ git unzip curl python3-pip
  • Download the Bazel installer $ curl -sSOL\$(cat .bazelversion)/bazel-\$(cat .bazelversion)
  • Install Bazel $ bash -x -e bazel-$(cat .bazelversion)
  • Update Pip and install pytest $ python3 -m pip install -U pip $ python3 -m pip install pytest


Assuming you are in a terminal in the repository root directory:

  • Configure and install tensorflow (the current version should be tensorflow2.6.2) $ ./ ## Set python3 as default. $ ln -s /usr/bin/python3 /usr/bin/python

  • At this point, all libraries and dependencies should be installed.

    • Make sure the environment variable LIBRARY_PATH includes the paths to all daos libraries
    • Make sure the environment variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH includes the paths to:
      • All daos libraries
      • The tensorflow framework (libtensorflow and libtensorflow_framework)
    • If not, find the required libraries and add their paths to the environment variable export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="<path-to-library>:$LD_LIBARY_PATH"
    • Make sure the environment variable CPLUS_INCLUDE_PATH and C_INCLUDE_PATH includes the paths to:
      • The tensorflow headers (usually in /usr/local/lib64/python3.6/site-packages/tensorflow/include)
    • If not, find the required headers and add their paths to the environment variable export CPLUS_INCLUDE_PATH="<path-to-headers>:$CPLUS_INCLUDE_PATH" export C_INCLUDE_PATH=$CPLUS_INCLUDE_PATH:$C_INCLUDE_PATH

    • Build the project using bazel bazel build --action_env=LIBRARY_PATH=$LIBRARY_PATH -s --verbose_failures //tensorflow_io/... //tensorflow_io_gcs_filesystem/... This should take a few minutes.

      Note that sandboxing may result in build failures when using Docker Containers for DAOS due to mounting issues, if that’s the case, add --spawn_strategy=standalone to the above build command to bypass sandboxing. (When disabling sandbox, an error may be thrown for an undefined type z_crc_t due to a conflict in header files. In that case, find the crypt.h file in the bazel cache in subdirectory /external/zlib/contrib/minizip/crypt.h and add the following line to the file typedef unsigned long z_crc_t; then re-build).


Assuming you are in a terminal in the repository root directory:

  • Run the following command for the simple serial test to validate building. Note that any tests need to be run with the TFIO_DATAPATH flag to specify the location of the binaries. ``` $ TFIO_DATAPATH=bazel-bin python3 -m pytest -s -v tests/


  • Run the following commands to run the dfs plugin test: # To create the required pool and container and export required env variables for the dfs tests. $ source tests/test_dfs/ # To run dfs tests $ TFIO_DATAPATH=bazel-bin python3 -m pytest -s -v tests/ # For Cleanup, deletes pools and containers created for test. $ bash ./tests/test_dfs/

User Guide

To use the Tensorflow-IO Library, you'll need to import the required packages as follows:

import tensorflow as tf
import tensorflow_io as tfio

To use the DFS Plugin, all that needs to be done is to supply the paths of the required files/directories in the form of a DFS URI:



dfs://Path where Path includes the path to the DAOS container

filename = "dfs://POOL_LABEL/CONT_LABEL/FILE_NAME.ext"

A range of operations can be performed on files and directories stored in a specific container.

with, "w") as new_file:
    new_file.write("Hello World")

data = ""
with, "r") as read_file:
    data =

An example of using Tensorflow-IO's DFS Plugin to load and train a model on the MNIST Dataset can be found here.

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