I am having a lot of trouble installing CUDA Toolkit on Amazon EC2 GPU Instances. I tried using the HVM Windows 2008 Server AMI from Amazon and also the NVIDIA GPU image both launched on g2.xlarge instances.

I connect to the instances through RDP (remote desktop protocol).

I downlaoded CUDA 5.5 Toolkit for windows vista 7 8 DEsktop 64 bit from NVIDIA website. Everytime i try to install this toolkit I get the same error from NVIDIA installer: Couldn‘t find NVIDIA compatible card.

Is it because I connect through RDP ? I try to follow : http://adnanboz.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/how-to-set-up-amazon-ec2-windows-gpu-instance-for-nvidia-cuda-development/

But i'm stuck when installing CUDA Toolkit.

AMazon documentation is very sparse for windows :


Again installing driver complains it cannot find NVIDIA card whether I launch the driver install program connected through TightVNC or through RDP.

Any pointers ?

  • 1
    More information about the Windows instance is required. Is the device listed in the device manager? What exactly are you trying to install? You need to install the drivers for the NVIDIA GRID K520 before you can install the CUDA Toolkit. You also cannot use the built-in RDP client because of that fact, it will replace the driver with a non-accelerated, so use a client that does not do that.
    – Ramhound
    Dec 2, 2013 at 17:59
  • I'm using tight VNC to connect. I managed to install the NVIDIA GRID K520 drivers and the device appears in the display manager but the cuds toolkit still complains that it cannot find a compatible device.
    – quentin
    Dec 2, 2013 at 18:04
  • Update your question with the information I requested and I will remove the downvote.
    – Ramhound
    Dec 2, 2013 at 18:06
  • I was having the same problem. There is AMI in the marketplace with drivers but it cannot be used with spot instances Dec 7, 2013 at 8:59

1 Answer 1


I did not have any difficulty installing CUDA Toolkit 5.5 or 6.5.

  • Launch a clean Windows 2012 R2 AMI on the g2.2xlarge instance. (The clean AMI also lets you use spot-priced G2 instances, unlike the NVIDIA CUDA AMI.)
  • Tip: use a security group that permits both TCP and UDP connections on port 3389. This lets latest versions of RDP work faster.
  • Install Visual Studio 2013 (I believe "Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop" is ok for compiling 32-bit apps, but install a trial of the Pro edition to be safe).
  • Install the CUDA Toolkit (do not install any driver except the one that comes with the toolkit, since this often causes problems)

To run applications:

  • Install Team Viewer or another VNC-type app
  • Connect
  • Launch an admin command prompt (right-click Command Prompt icon, choose Run as admin)
  • Run command query session to display the current user sessions. It will look like this:
    SESSIONNAME       USERNAME                 ID  STATE   TYPE        DEVICE
    services                                    0  Disc
    rdp-tcp#24        User                      2  Active
    console                                     3  Conn
    rdp-tcp                                 65536  Listen
    Look for the line that starts with "rdp" and has your username. Often the session ID will be 2.
  • Run command tscon <session ID> /dest:console /password:<password of current user> in order to move your user session from the RDP virtual video card to the hardware video card.
  • RDP will disconnect (if you still had it connected), but Team Viewer will stay connected (the resolution may change).
  • Run your CUDA program, start debugging, etc.
  • Once the program is running, you can actually re-connect via RDP for better performance.

Alternate way to run applications:

  • Open admin command prompt and find our your session id (as above)
  • Run tscon <session ID> /dest:console /password:<password of current user> & <command to start your program> e.g. tscon 2 /dest:console /password:1234 & myCudaApp.exe
  • RDP will disconnect and your program will start
  • Re-connect RDP

Tip: Use Open Hardware Monitor to keep tabs on GPU usage.


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