2023 / 04 / 07
Set up Stable Diffusion in Linux

Run Stable Diffusion locally.

stable diffusion

These notes serve as a walkthrough for people that —who like me— are not Python developers, but would like to run Stable Diffusion in their own machine.

The goal being to be able to type something like:

python scripts/txt2img.py --prompt "a photograph of an astronaut riding a horse" --plms

And get a picture out of that. :)


From what can be read on their repo’s requirements, they ask for a suitable conda environment.
If you are not a Python developer, then good luck following down that rabbit hole.

But, from what I could quickly gather, looks like miniforge is the way to go.
Let’s set it up the easy way, with asdf.

Install asdf

Clone the GitHub repository:

git clone https://github.com/asdf-vm/asdf.git ~/.asdf --branch v0.14.0

Add some lines to your .profile and .bashrc files:

echo -e '\n. $HOME/.asdf/asdf.sh' >> ~/.profile
echo -e '\n. $HOME/.asdf/completions/asdf.bash' >> ~/.bashrc

Make changes effective immediately with:

source ~/.profile
exec $SHELL

If we add asdf.sh to ~/.profile instead of ~/.bashrc, it will have the side effect of allowing applications started through dmenu —for i3 users— to be able to call asdf installed commands.

This is because stuff in ~/.profile gets loaded when you log in into your account. Thus, anything there will be available to other programs run through dmenu or desktop icons.

On the other hand, stuff in ~/.bashrc gets loaded every time you open a terminal. Thus, another way to have VSCode work with asdf installed commands, would be to just start code from a terminal.

Update asdf

To update to the latest stable version just type:

asdf update

Weight / model files

Here are the links to the available weights from CompVis in Hugging Face.

You can use only the latest checkpoint (1.4), or if interested in contrasting the results from the other ones, you can download them all.

Just beware, each file is around 4gb.

To have access to the .ckpt downloads, follow the links that contain -original in the name, like:

And put them in a ~/development/stable-diffusion-weights directory or something.
We’ll use them soon.

Set up Stable Diffusion

Clone the Stable Diffusion repo and cd into it:

git clone https://github.com/CompVis/stable-diffusion.git ~/development/stable-diffusion
cd ~/development/stable-diffusion

Link a model

We need to create a folder for the model and link one of the previous downloads:

cd ~/development/stable-diffusion
mkdir -p models/ldm/stable-diffusion-v1
ln -sf ~/development/stable-diffusion-weights/sd-v1-4.ckpt models/ldm/stable-diffusion-v1/model.ckpt

# You can link a different model at any time:
# ln -sf ~/development/stable-diffusion-weights/sd-v1-1.ckpt models/ldm/stable-diffusion-v1/model.ckpt
# ln -sf ~/development/stable-diffusion-weights/sd-v1-2.ckpt models/ldm/stable-diffusion-v1/model.ckpt
# ln -sf ~/development/stable-diffusion-weights/sd-v1-3.ckpt models/ldm/stable-diffusion-v1/model.ckpt

Install miniforge

Let’s follow that up with installing miniforge:

asdf plugin add python
asdf list-all python
asdf install python miniforge3-22.11.1-4
asdf local python miniforge3-22.11.1-4

Notice we used asdf local instead of asdf global.
That is because we want miniforge enabled only when we’re inside ~/development/stable-diffusion directory.

Set up the conda environment

Now that we have the conda command available, let’s set up the conda environment:

conda env create -f environment.yaml

To activate the ldm environment, conda needs some one-time set up first:

conda init bash

The conda init bash command will add something like this to your .bashrc:

# >>> conda initialize >>>
# !! Contents within this block are managed by 'conda init' !!
__conda_setup="$($ASDF_DIR+'/installs/python/miniforge3-22.11.1-4/bin/conda' 'shell.bash' 'hook' 2> /dev/null)"
if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
    eval "$__conda_setup"
    if [ -f "$ASDF_DIR/installs/python/miniforge3-22.11.1-4/etc/profile.d/conda.sh" ]; then
        . "$ASDF_DIR/installs/python/miniforge3-22.11.1-4/etc/profile.d/conda.sh"
        export PATH="$ASDF_DIR/installs/python/miniforge3-22.11.1-4/bin:$PATH"
unset __conda_setup
# <<< conda initialize <<<

Which, I prefer to extract to a file like ~/bin/sourceconda and source it only when needed. Like this:

cd ~/development/stable-diffusion
source ~/bin/sourceconda
conda activate ldm

Generate an image from a prompt

Let’s try it out, shall we.
If you open a new terminal, you’ll need to:

cd ~/development/stable-diffusion
source ~/bin/sourceconda
conda activate ldm

With the environment appropriately set up, you can run the script now:

python scripts/txt2img.py --prompt "a photograph of an astronaut riding a horse"

After a few secs, we’ll get something like:

Stable Diffusion output example

Congratulations, you can add AI artist to your CV now! :tada: ;)

Deactivate the NSFW filter

If you get some Rickroll images for some prompts, that’s the NSFW (Not Safe For Work) check kicking in.

You can deactivate it in two ways:

By replacing a line of code in scripts/txt2img.py:

#x_checked_image, has_nsfw_concept = check_safety(x_samples_ddim)
x_checked_image = x_samples_ddim

Or —an arguably better way because you skip loading the safety model entirely— is by changing a few lines of code:

# load safety model
# safety_model_id = "CompVis/stable-diffusion-safety-checker"
# safety_feature_extractor = AutoFeatureExtractor.from_pretrained(safety_model_id)
# safety_checker = StableDiffusionSafetyChecker.from_pretrained(safety_model_id)

# ...

def check_safety(x_image):
    return x_image, False
    # safety_checker_input = safety_feature_extractor(numpy_to_pil(x_image), return_tensors="pt")
    # x_checked_image, has_nsfw_concept = safety_checker(images=x_image, clip_input=safety_checker_input.pixel_values)
    # assert x_checked_image.shape[0] == len(has_nsfw_concept)
    # for i in range(len(has_nsfw_concept)):
    #     if has_nsfw_concept[i]:
    #         x_checked_image[i] = load_replacement(x_checked_image[i])
    # return x_checked_image, has_nsfw_concept


If you get this error when trying to run the script:

ImportError: cannot import name 'SAFE_WEIGHTS_NAME' from 'transformers.utils'

You need to install a specific version of diffusers for it to work.
Try this:

pip install diffusers==0.12.1

If you have an old card, or low VRAM capacity, try passing the --n_samples 1 parameter to the script:

python scripts/txt2img.py --prompt "a photograph of an astronaut riding a horse" --n_samples 1

Stable Diffusion UI

If running from the CLI is not your cup of tea, or you get tired of running the command then going into your file explorer to browse the results, you might find the following frontends useful:

That’s it for now.
Happy prompting! :sunglasses: