Rust-Leaf: leaf — Open Machine Intelligence Framework for Hackers. (GPU/CPU)

Leaf • Join the chat at Build Status License


Leaf is a open Machine Learning Framework for hackers to build classical, deep or hybrid machine learning applications. It was inspired by the brilliant people behind TensorFlow, Torch, Caffe, Rust and numerous research papers and brings modularity, performance and portability to deep learning.

Leaf has one of the simplest APIs, is lean and tries to introduce minimal technical debt to your stack.

See the [Leaf - Machine Learning for Hackers][leaf-book] book for more.

Leaf is a few months old, but thanks to its architecture and Rust, it is already one of the fastest Machine Intelligence Frameworks available.

See more Deep Neural Networks benchmarks on [Deep Learning Benchmarks][deep-learning-benchmarks-website].

Leaf is portable. Run it on CPUs, GPUs, and FPGAs, on machines with an OS, or on machines without one. Run it with OpenCL or CUDA. Credit goes to Collenchyma and Rust.

Leaf is part of the [Autumn][autumn] Machine Intelligence Platform, which is working on making AI algorithms 100x more computational efficient.

We see Leaf as the core of constructing high-performance machine intelligence applications. Leaf's design makes it easy to publish independent modules to make e.g. deep reinforcement learning, visualization and monitoring, network distribution, automated preprocessing or scaleable production deployment easily accessible for everyone.

Disclaimer: Leaf is currently in an early stage of development. If you are experiencing any bugs with features that have been implemented, feel free to create a issue.

Getting Started


To learn how to build classical, deep or hybrid machine learning applications with Leaf, check out the [Leaf - Machine Learning for Hackers][leaf-book] book.

For additional information see the Rust API Documentation or the [Autumn Website][autumn].

Or start by running the Leaf examples.

We are providing a Leaf examples repository, where we and others publish executable machine learning models build with Leaf. It features a CLI for easy usage and has a detailed guide in the project

Leaf comes with an examples directory as well, which features popular neural networks (e.g. Alexnet, Overfeat, VGG). To run them on your machine, just follow the install guide, clone this repoistory and then run

# The examples currently require CUDA support.
cargo run --release --no-default-features --features cuda --example benchmarks alexnet


Leaf is build in Rust. If you are new to Rust you can install Rust as detailed here. We also recommend taking a look at the official Rust - Getting Started Guide.

To start building a machine learning application (Rust only for now. Wrappers are welcome) and you are using Cargo, just add Leaf to your Cargo.toml:

leaf = "0.2.1"

If you are on a machine that doesn't have support for CUDA or OpenCL you can selectively enable them like this in your Cargo.toml:

leaf = { version = "0.2.1", default-features = false }

default = ["native"] # include only the ones you want to use, in this case "native"
native  = ["leaf/native"]
cuda    = ["leaf/cuda"]
opencl  = ["leaf/opencl"]

More information on the use of feature flags in Leaf can be found in


If you want to start hacking on Leaf (e.g. adding a new Layer) you should start with forking and cloning the repository.

We have more instructions to help you get started in the

We also has a near real-time collaboration culture, which happens here on Github and on the Leaf Gitter Channel.

Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as below, without any additional terms or conditions.

Ecosystem / Extensions

We designed Leaf and the other crates of the [Autumn Platform][autumn] to be as modular and extensible as possible. More helpful crates you can use with Leaf:

  • Cuticula: Preprocessing Framework for Machine Learning
  • Collenchyma: Portable, HPC-Framework on any hardware with CUDA, OpenCL, Rust

Support / Contact

  • With a bit of luck, you can find us online on the #rust-machine-learning IRC at,
  • but we are always approachable on Gitter/Leaf
  • For bugs and feature request, you can create a Github issue
  • For more private matters, send us email straight to our inbox: [email protected]
  • Refer to [Autumn][autumn] for more information


You can find the release history at the We are using Clog, the Rust tool for auto-generating CHANGELOG files.


Licensed under either of

at your option.


  • Current status of leaf?
    Current status of leaf?

    Jun 15, 2016

    From this post:

    Which is why Max and I will suspend the development of Leaf and focus on new ventures.

    Is this accurate? If so, should the README mention so?

    Autumn is also still listed on, is Autumn still a thing? If so, will the company continue to use Rust?

  • build error with rustc 1.12
    build error with rustc 1.12

    Nov 14, 2016

    I have got build error with rustc 1.12 on debian stretch.

    $ RUST_BACKTRACE=1 cargo build
       Compiling leaf v0.2.1 (file:///home/<user>/work/leaf)
       Compiling num-rational v0.1.35
    Build failed, waiting for other jobs to finish...
    error: failed to run custom build command for `leaf v0.2.1 (file:///home/<user>/work/leaf)`
    Process didn't exit successfully: `/home/<user>/work/leaf/target/debug/build/leaf-87f43ad88e5c8bb2/build-script-build` (exit code: 101)
    --- stderr
    thread 'main' panicked at 'called `Result::unwrap()` on an `Err` value: Error { kind: Failed, description: "Error while trying to execute `capnp compile`: Failed: No such file or directory (os error 2).  Please verify that version 0.5.2 or higher of the capnp executable is installed on your system. See" }', src/libcore/
    stack backtrace:
       1:     0x55e338350a6b - std::sys::backtrace::tracing::imp::write::h00e948915d1e4c72
       2:     0x55e338355ebf - std::panicking::default_hook::_{{closure}}::h7b8a142818383fb8
       3:     0x55e33835511d - std::panicking::default_hook::h41cf296f654245d7
       4:     0x55e3383557d5 - std::panicking::rust_panic_with_hook::h4cbd7ca63ce1aee9
       5:     0x55e338355622 - std::panicking::begin_panic::h93672d0313d5e8e9
       6:     0x55e338355591 - std::panicking::begin_panic_fmt::hd0daa02942245d81
       7:     0x55e338355511 - rust_begin_unwind
       8:     0x55e33838c97f - core::panicking::panic_fmt::hbfc935564d134c1b
       9:     0x55e3382950c2 - core::result::unwrap_failed::h14ae321fa6665b8d
                            at /build/rustc-1.12.0+dfsg1/src/libcore/
      10:     0x55e338294251 - _<core..result..Result<T, E>>::unwrap::hbe110bf6bea72ca6
                            at /build/rustc-1.12.0+dfsg1/src/libcore/
      11:     0x55e338297306 - build_script_build::main::he5071e1b00fcfe0e
                            at /home/<user>/work/leaf/
      12:     0x55e33835d896 - __rust_maybe_catch_panic
      13:     0x55e33835480d - std::rt::lang_start::h53bf99b0829cc03c
      14:     0x55e3382974e3 - main
      15:     0x7fa0f6ae52b0 - __libc_start_main
      16:     0x55e3382935e9 - _start
      17:                0x0 - <unknown>

    What should I see to make this work?

  • Provide docker image and Dockerfile
    Provide docker image and Dockerfile

    Mar 20, 2017

    It would be great to provide the docker image and Dockerfile for newbie developers.

    We can also use that container to run leaf in the cloud much more easily.

  • cannot run example files in leaf
    cannot run example files in leaf

    May 20, 2017

    Hi All, I am new here. I have cuda and cuda nn installed with paths setup. I cannot run the example files for some reason. Am I missing something? System is Ubuntu 16.04 `[email protected]:~$ cd rust_leaf_tutorials/leaf [email protected]:~/rust_leaf_tutorials/leaf$ cargo run --release --no-default-features --features cuda --example benchmarks alexnet Compiling linear-map v0.0.4 Compiling num-traits v0.1.37 Compiling pkg-config v0.3.9 Compiling winapi v0.2.8 Compiling byteorder v0.4.2 Compiling lazy_static v0.1.16 Compiling rustc-serialize v0.3.24 Compiling utf8-ranges v0.1.3 Compiling libc v0.2.23

    Compiling log v0.3.7 Compiling rblas v0.0.11 Compiling capnp v0.6.2 Compiling winapi-build v0.1.1 Compiling regex-syntax v0.3.9 Compiling bitflags v0.3.3 Compiling num-integer v0.1.34 Compiling enum_primitive v0.1.1 Compiling rand v0.3.15 Compiling kernel32-sys v0.2.2 Compiling time v0.1.37 Compiling memchr v0.1.11 Compiling num-iter v0.1.33 Compiling cublas-sys v0.1.0 Compiling cudnn-sys v0.0.3 Compiling thread-id v2.0.0 Compiling thread_local v0.2.7 Compiling aho-corasick v0.5.3 Compiling cudnn v1.3.1 Compiling cublas v0.2.0 Compiling timeit v0.1.2 Compiling capnpc v0.6.2 Compiling num-bigint v0.1.37 Compiling num-complex v0.1.37 Compiling regex v0.1.80 Compiling num-rational v0.1.36 Compiling num v0.1.37 Compiling collenchyma v0.0.8 Compiling collenchyma-blas v0.2.0 Compiling collenchyma-nn v0.3.4 Compiling leaf v0.2.1 (file:///home/akhileshsk/rust_leaf_tutorials/leaf) Compiling leaf v0.2.1 error[E0004]: non-exhaustive patterns: &mut Cuda(_) not covered --> /home/akhileshsk/.cargo/registry/src/ | 28 | match mem { | ^^^ pattern &mut Cuda(_) not covered

    error[E0004]: non-exhaustive patterns: &Cuda(_) not covered --> /home/akhileshsk/.cargo/registry/src/ | 77 | match result.get(native.device()).unwrap() { | ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ pattern &Cuda(_) not covered

    error: aborting due to 2 previous errors

    error: Could not compile leaf. Build failed, waiting for other jobs to finish... error: build failed [email protected]:~/rust_leaf_tutorials/leaf$ [email protected]:~/rust_leaf_tutorials/leaf$ ^C [email protected]:~/rust_leaf_tutorials/leaf$ `

  • Reflect the current status of the project
    Reflect the current status of the project

    Jun 4, 2017

    Proper stewardship requires actually updating the project README, when a project has been orphaned. #108 #122

  • is leaf still active?
    is leaf still active?

    Aug 30, 2017

  • Fixed typo: crucial from curcial
    Fixed typo: crucial from curcial

    Mar 10, 2016

    Changed typo from word curcial to crucial

    PR: commit-message docs 
  • docs/everything: add documentation guidelines and apply it to the whole library
    docs/everything: add documentation guidelines and apply it to the whole library

    Nov 9, 2015

    CLOSES #13

  • feat/layers: add tanh layer
    feat/layers: add tanh layer

    Apr 3, 2016

    Still WIP. Needs polishing and documentation

  • [WIP] The 'Leaf: Machine Learning for hackers' book
    [WIP] The 'Leaf: Machine Learning for hackers' book

    Mar 28, 2016

    This PR is a work in progress. So far I added the 1. Leaf and 2. Layers chapters.

    Feedback for the overall structure of the book as well as the general ideas and style of the first two chapters are highly welcome.

    There are probably a lot of typos and grammar mistakes in there. You don't have to bother yet pointing them out, the text might change quickly.

    REFERENCE: #91

  • perf/solver: don't zero fill weight gradients
    perf/solver: don't zero fill weight gradients

    Mar 23, 2016

    Please verify this PR! I'm not completely sure that it's correct.

    Weight gradients aren't used before they are overwritten at backpropagation step, so initialization is redundant.

    If #89 is applied, this patch improves performance 30% on leaf-examples mnist.

  • Remove redundant .enumerate() calls and fix cargo bench compilation
    Remove redundant .enumerate() calls and fix cargo bench compilation

    Mar 20, 2016

    I've refactured and fixed some trivial things while reading the code.

    cargo bench compiles but panics in runtime, I think it should be easy to fix but it looks like benches are deprecated.