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This is a sample showing how to do real-time video analytics with NVIDIA DeepStream connected to Azure via Azure IoT Edge. It uses a NVIDIA Jetson Nano device that can process up to 8 real-time video streams concurrently.
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NVIDIA Deepstream + Azure IoT Edge on a NVIDIA Jetson Nano

This is a sample showing how to do real-time video analytics with NVIDIA Deepstream on a NVIDIA Jetson Nano device connected to Azure via Azure IoT Edge. Deepstream is a highly-optimized video processing pipeline, capable of running deep neural networks. It is a must-have tool whenever you have complex video analytics requirements, whether its real-time or with cascading AI models. IoT Edge gives you the possibility to run this pipeline next to your cameras, where the video data is being generated, thus lowering your bandwitch costs and enabling scenarios with poor internet connectivity or privacy concerns. With this solution, you can transform cameras into sensors to know when there is an available parking spot, a missing product on a retail store shelf, an anomaly on a solar panel, a worker approaching a hazardous zone, etc.

To complete this sample, you need a NVIDIA Jetson Nano device. This device is powerful enough to process 8 video streams at a resolution of 1080p, 30 frames-per-second with a resnet10 model and is compatible with IoT Edge. If you need to process more video streams, the same code works with more powerful NVIDIA Jetson devices like the TX2 or the Xavier, and with server-class appliances that includes NVIDIA T4 or other NVIDIA Tesla GPUs.

Check out this video to see this demo in action and understand how it was built:

Deepstream On IoT Edge on Jetson Nano


  • Hardware: You need a NVIDIA Jetson Nano device ideally with a 5V-4A barrel jack power supply like this one, which requires a jumper cable (such as these ones) on pins J48. See the Power Guide section of the Jetson Nano Developer Kit for more details. Alternatively, a 5V-2.5A Micro-USB power supply will work without a jumper cable but may limit the performance of your Deepstream application. In all cases, please make sure to use the default Max power source mode (e.g. 10W). To visualize the video feeds, you'll need an HDMI monitor and cable connected to your NVIDIA Jetson Nano.
  • Install Jetson Nano base image: install its base image. It is based on Ubuntu 18.04 and already includes NVIDIA drivers version > 418, CUDA and Nvidia-Docker.
  • Verify that NVIDIA docker is already installed: Run nvidia-docker --help to verify that you have nvidia-docker already installed
  • Install IoT Edge: See the Azure IoT Edge installation instructions for Ubuntu Server 18.04. Skip the Install Container Runtime section since we will be using nvidia-docker, which is already installed. Connect your device to your IoT Hub using the manual provisioning option. See this quickstart if you don't yet have an Azure IoT Hub.
  • Install VS Code and its the IoT Edge extension on your developer's machine: On your developer's machine (which is typically not your Jetson Nano, though it could be), get VS Code and its IoT Edge extension. Configure this extension with your IoT Hub.

Jetson Nano

The next sections walks you step-by-step to deploy Deepstream on an IoT Edge device and update its configuration. It explains concepts along the way. If all you want is to see the 8 video streams being processed in parallel, you can jump right to the final demo by directly deploying the deployment manifest in this repo.

Deploy Deepstream from the Azure Marketplace

We'll start by creating a new IoT Edge solution in VS Code, add the Deepstream module from the marketplace and deploy that to our Jetson Nano.

Note that you could also find Deepstream's module via the Azure Marketplace website here. You'll use VS code here since Deepstream is an SDK and typically needs to be tweaked or connected to custom modules to deliver an end-to-end solution at the edge.

In VS Code, from your development machine:

  1. Start by creating a new IoT Edge solution:

    1. Open the command palette (Ctrl+Shift+P)
    2. Select Azure IoT Edge: New IoT Edge Solution
    3. Select a parent folder
    4. Give it a name.
    5. Select Empty Solution (if prompted, accept to install iotedgehubdev)
  2. Add the Deepstream module to your solution:

    1. Open the command palette (Ctrl+Shift+P)
    2. Select Azure IoT Edge: Add IoT Edge module
    3. Select the default deployment manifest (deployment.template.json)
    4. Select Module from Azure Marketplace.
    5. It opens a new tab with all IoT Edge module offers from the Azure Marketplace. Select the Nvidia Deepstream SDK one, select the NVIDIA DeapStream SDK 4.x.x for Jetson plan (Jetson) and select the latest tag.

Deepsteam in Azure Marketplace

  1. Deploy the solution to your device:

    1. Generate IoT Edge Deployment Manifest by right clicking on the deployment.nano.template.json file
    2. Create Deployment for Single Device by right clicking on the generated file in the /config folder
    3. Select your IoT Edge device
  2. Start monitoring the messages sent from the device to the cloud

    1. Right-click on your device (bottom left corner)
    2. Select Start Monitoring Built-In Event Endpoint

After a little while, (enough time for IoT Edge to download and start DeepStream module which is 1.75GB), you should be able to see messages sent by the Deepstream module to the cloud via the IoT Edge runtime in VS Code. These messages are the results of Deepstream processing a sample video and analyzing it with an sample AI model that detects people and cars in this video and sends a message for each object found.

Telemetry sent to IoT Hub

View the processed videos

We'll now modify the configuration of the Deepstream application and the IoT Edge deployment manifest to be able to see the output video streams. We'll do that by asking Deepstream to output the inferred videos and by providing Deepstream module access to X11 server (graphic server).

[!WARNING] Today, Deepstream can output an RTSP stream from a container on Tesla platforms but not on Jetson platforms. This is an improvement that the Jetson team is looking at. Because of this limitation, we will leverage a X11 server in the rest of this sample.

  1. Create your updated Deepstream config file on your Nano device: a. Open an SSH connection on your Nano device (for instance from VS Code terminal):

    ssh yourNanoUsername@yourNanoDeviceName
    1. Create a new folder to host modified Deepstream config files
    cd /var
    sudo mkdir deepstream
    sudo chmod -R 777 ./deepstream
    mkdir ./deepstream/custom_configs
    cd ./deepstream/custom_configs
    1. Use your favorite text editor to create a copy of the sample Deepstream configuration file:

      • Create and open a new file:
      nano test5_config_file_src_infer_azure_iotedge_edited.txt
      • Copy the content of the original Deepstream configuration file which you can find in this repo under test5_config_file_src_infer_azure_iotedge.txt
    2. Edit the configuration file:

      • Edit the first sink to be an EglSink instead of FakeSink:
      #Type - 1=FakeSink 2=EglSink 3=File
      • Reduce the number of inferences to be every 3 frames (see interval property) otherwise the Nano will drop some frames. In the next section, we'll use a Nano specific config to process 8 video streams in real-time:
      ## 0=FP32, 1=INT8, 2=FP16 mode
      • Save and Quit (CTRL+O, CTRL+X)
  2. Mount your updated config file in the Deepstream module by adding its createOptions in the deployment.template.json file from your development's machine:

    • Add the following to your Deepstream createOptions:
        "Binds": ["/var/deepstream/custom_configs:/root/deepstream_sdk_v4.0.1_jetson/sources/apps/sample_apps/deepstream-test5/custom_configs/"]
    • Edit your Deepstream application working directory and entrypoint to use this updated config file via Deepstream createOptions:
    "WorkingDir": "/root/deepstream_sdk_v4.0.1_jetson/sources/apps/sample_apps/deepstream-test5/custom_configs/"
  3. Provide Deepstream module access to X11 server from the container by adding the createOptions:

    • Get the value of your $DISPLAY environment variable from your Nano device (via a terminal using the X11 server e.g. displayed on the screen that you want to use, not via an ssh terminal):
    echo $DISPLAY
    • Update your deployment manifest to include the following from your development's machine (modify the DISPLAY environment variable per what you got previously):

      • In Deepstream module section:
      "env": {
              "value": ":0"
      • In Deepstream CreateOptions module section:
    "HostConfig": {
        "runtime": "nvidia",
        "Binds": [
        "NetworkMode": "host"
    "NetworkingConfig": {
        "EndpointsConfig": {
        "host": {}
  4. Authorize Docker to connect to X11 server, via a terminal connected to your X11 server running on your Nano device (not via an ssh terminal):

    xhost +local:docker
  5. Finally, deploy your updated IoT Edge solution:

    1. Generate IoT Edge Deployment Manifest by right clicking on the deployment.template.json file
    2. Create Deployment for Single Device by right clicking on the generated file in the /config folder
    3. Select your IoT Edge device
    4. Start monitoring the messages sent from the device to the cloud by right clicking on the device (bottom left corner) and select Start Monitoring Built-In Event Endpoint

You should now see messages recevied by IoT Hub via in VS Code AND see the processed video on your screen.

Default Output of Deepstream

Process and view 8 video streams (1080p 30fps)

We'll now update Deepstream's configuration to process 8 video streams concurrently (1080p 30fps).

We'll start by updating the batch-size to 8 instead of 4 (primagy-gie / batch-size property). Then because Tthe Jetson Nano isn't capable of doing inferences on 240 frames per second with a ResNet10 model, we will instead run inferences every 5 frames (primagy-gie / interval property) and use Deepstream's built-in tracking algorithm for in-between frames, which is less computationnally intensive (tracker group). We'll also use a slightly lower inference resolution (defined via primagy-gie / config-file property). These changes are captured in the Deepstream configuration file below specific to Nano.

  1. Update your previously edited Deepstream config file:

    • Open your previous config file:
    nano test5_config_file_src_infer_azure_iotedge_edited.txt
    • Copy the content of Deepstream's configuration file named test5_config_file_src_infer_azure_iotedge_nano_8sources.txt from this repo

    • Save and Quit (CTRL+O, CTRL+X)

  2. To simulate 8 video cameras, download and add to Deepstream 8 videos files

    • Open an ssh connection on your Nano device:
    ssh username@deviceName
    • Host these video files on your local disk
    cd /var/deepstream
    mkdir custom_streams
    cd ./custom_streams
    • Download the video files
    wget -O streams.tar.gz --no-check-certificate ""
    • Un-compress the video files
    tar -xzvf streams.tar.gz
    • Mount these video streams by adding the following binding via the HostConfig node of Deepstream's createOptions:
    "Binds": [
  3. Verify that your are still using your updated configuration file and still provide Deepstream access to your X11 server per section 2 instructions. You can double check your settings by comparing your deployment file to the one in this repo.

  4. To speed up IoT Edge message throughput, configure the edgeHub to use an in-memory store. In your deployment manifest, set the usePersistentStorage environment variable to false in edgeHub configuration (next to its settings node):

    "edgeHub": {
                    "env": {
                        "usePersistentStorage": {
                        "value": "false"
  5. Finally, deploy your updated IoT Edge solution:

    1. Generate IoT Edge Deployment Manifest by right clicking on the deployment.template.json file
    2. Create Deployment for Single Device by right clicking on the generated file in the /config folder
    3. Select your IoT Edge device
    4. Start monitoring the messages sent from the device to the cloud by right clicking on the device (bottom left corner) and select Start Monitoring Built-In Event Endpoint

You should now see the 8 video streams being processed and displayed on your screen.

8 video streams processed real-time

Going further

Learning more about Deepstream

Deesptream's SDK based on GStreamer. It is very modular with its concepts of plugins. Each plugins has sinks and sources. NVIDIA provides several plugins as part of Deepstream which are optimized to leverage NVIDIA's GPUs. How these plugins are connected with each others is defined in the application's configuration file.

You can learn more about its architecture in NVIDIA's official documentation (sneak peak below).

NVIDIA Deepstream Application Architecture

Tips to edit your Deepstream application

Make a quick configuration change

To quickly change a value in your config file, leverage the fact that it is being mounted from a local file so all you have to do is (for instance via an ssh terminal):

  1. Open your config file (in /var/deepstream/custom_configs in this sample)

  2. Make your changes and save

  3. Restart Deepstream container

    iotedge restart NVIDIADeepStreamSDK

This assumes that you did not change any file names and thus the same IoT Edge deployment manifest applies.

Use your own source videos and / or AI models

To use your own source videos and AI models and quickly iterate on them, you can use the same technique used in this sample: mounting local folders with these assets. By doing that, you can quickly iterate on your assets, without any code change or re-compilation.

Use live RTSP streams as inputs

It is a very common configuration to have DeepStream take several live RTSP streams as inputs. All you have to do is modify DeepStream's configuration file and update its source group:


and update its streammux group:


To output an RTSP stream with the final result, Deepstream can output RTSP videos on Tesla platforms but not on Jetson platforms for now. There is currently a limitation on RTSP encoding on Jetson platforms.

Learn all the configuration options available from Deepstream's documentation

Deepstream supports a wide varity of options, a lot of which are available via configuraiton changes. To learn more about them, go to Deepstream's documentation:

Troubleshoot your DeepStream module

To debug your DeepStream module, look at the last 200 lines of its logs:

iotedge logs NVIDIADeepStreamSDK --tail 200 -f

Verify your Deepstream module docker options

Sometimes it is helpful to verify the options that Docker took into account when creating your Deepstream container via IoT Edge. It is particularly useful to double-check the folders that have been mounted in your container. The simplest way to do that is to use the docker inspect command:

sudo docker inspect NVIDIADeepStreamSDK

F. A.Q.

Is Moby officially supported with DeepStream and IoT Edge?

While Moby does, IoT Edge does not yet support the new way to mount NVIDIA GPUs into a Docker container. This support is planned with release 1.0.10 of IoT Edge for early 2020. For now, you still need to use the previous nvidia-docker runtime with Docker CE, which is installed by default on Jetson Nano. That's why Deepstream SDK on IoT Edge is currently in preview.

Which AI models does Deepstream support?

Deepstream relies on NVIDIA TensorRT in do the inferencing. Thus any AI models supported by TensorRT is supported with Deepstream. In practice, most of AI models are supported by TensorRT. See this list of all layers supported by TensorRT.

Of course it accepts AI models in TensorRT format but can also convert TensorFlow and ONNX models (see this documentation for more details on the ONNX -> TensorRT parser). Conversion is done automatically when launching the application.

You can thus build your AI model with Azure Machine Learning and work with ONNX format or use Custom Vision with their ONNX export. Instructions to use Custom Vision will soon be added to this repo.

You can also use pre-built models made freely available by NVIDIA here and customize them using NVIDIA's Transfer Learning Toolkit.

How to format IoT Edge messages?

The Gst-nvmsgbroker plugin is the one sending output messages. Its full documentation is available here.

By default, you can use the topic property in Deepstream to set up the output of the Deepstream modules and define your routes in IoT Edge appropriately.

How to manage AI model versions at scale?

Iterating on a local model & config file locally and bind mounting them to the container is only recommended during active development, but it does not scale. To manage your application (AI model & config files artifacts in particular), you have two options:

  1. Package everything into one container. Have the artifacts you expect to change regularly like your AI model and config files in the latest layers of your docker container so that most of your docker image remains unchanged when updating those. Each model change will require a new module update.
  2. Use a separate 'artifacts' module to deliver these artifacts and bind mount them to the Deepstream module. That way you can use either twins or your own methods to configure your 'artifacts' module at scale.

Why is Deepstream running as one IoT Edge module with its own plugins vs plugins in different modules?

Deepstream does a lot of optimizations to be able to handle many video streams such as:

  • zero in-memory copy, which is much easier to achieve from the same container
  • pushing the entire pipeline on a GPU card, which requires the entire pipeline to be part of the same container to avoid hardware access conflicts

These types of optimizations only work when the entire pipeline is running in the same container and thus as one IoT Edge module. The output of Deepstream module can however be sent to other modules running on the same device, typically to run some business logic code or filtering logic.

When should you consider building your own Deepstream application vs reconfiguring an existing one?

For some use cases, the default Deepstream app is not enough. Whenever the changes are required in the plugin pipeline, configuration changes are not enough and a Deepstream app needs to be re-compiled.

A common example of a different pipeline is to have cascading AI models(ex: AI 1- detect a package, AI 2- detect a barcode, etc.).

To build your own Deepstream application or even build your own Deepstream plugin, you can follow this link: Deepstream documentation.

What performance charateristics can you expect from Deepstream application across NVIDIA GPUs?

NVIDIA published some performance benchmarks on their documentation website.


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