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Set up for Docker

The following guide describes how to configure W&B Launch to use Docker on a local machine for both the launch agent environment and for the queue's target resource.

Using Docker to execute jobs and as the launch agent's environment on the same local machine is particularly useful if your compute is installed on a machine that does not have a cluster management system (such as Kubernetes).

You can also use Docker queues to run workloads on powerful workstations.


This set up is common for users who perform experiments on their local machine, or that have a remote machine that they SSH in to, to submit launch jobs.

When you use Docker with W&B Launch, W&B will first build an image, and then build and run a container from that image. The image is built with the Docker docker run <image-uri> command. The queue configuration is interpreted as additional arguments that are passed to the docker run command.

Configure a Docker queue

The launch queue configuration (for a Docker target resource) accepts the same options defined in the docker run CLI command.

The agent receives options defined in the queue configuration. The agent then merges the received options with any overrides from the launch job’s configuration to produce a final docker run command that is executed on the target resource (in this case, a local machine).

There are two syntax transformations that take place:

  1. Repeated options are defined in the queue configuration as a list.
  2. Flag options are defined in the queue configuration as a Boolean with the value true.

For example, the following queue configuration:

"env": ["MY_ENV_VAR=value", "MY_EXISTING_ENV_VAR"],
"volume": "/mnt/datasets:/mnt/datasets",
"rm": true,
"gpus": "all"

Results in the following docker run command:

docker run \
--env MY_ENV_VAR=value \
--volume "/mnt/datasets:/mnt/datasets" \
--rm <image-uri> \
--gpus all

Volumes can be specified either as a list of strings, or a single string. Use a list if you specify multiple volumes.

Docker automatically passes environment variables, that are not assigned a value, from the launch agent environment. This means that, if the launch agent has an environment variable MY_EXISTING_ENV_VAR, that environment variable is available in the container. This is useful if you want to use other config keys without publishing them in the queue configuration.

The --gpus flag of the docker run command allows you to specify GPUs that are available to a Docker container. For more information on how to use the gpus flag, see the Docker documentation.

  • Install the NVIDIA Container Toolkit to use GPUs within a Docker container.

  • If you build images from a code or artifact-sourced job, you can override the base image used by the agent to include the NVIDIA Container Toolkit. For example, within your launch queue, you can override the base image to tensorflow/tensorflow:latest-gpu:

    "builder": {
    "accelerator": {
    "base_image": "tensorflow/tensorflow:latest-gpu"

Create a queue

Create a queue that uses Docker as compute resource with the W&B CLI:

  1. Navigate to the Launch page.
  2. Click on the Create Queue button.
  3. Select the Entity you would like to create the queue in.
  4. Enter a name for your queue in the Name field.
  5. Select Docker as the Resource.
  6. Define your Docker queue configuration in the Configuration field.
  7. Click on the Create Queue button to create the queue.

Configure a launch agent on a local machine

Configure the launch agent with a YAML config file named launch-config.yaml. By default, W&B will check for the config file in ~/.config/wandb/launch-config.yaml. You can optionally specify a different directory when you activate the launch agent.


You can use the W&B CLI to specify core configurable options for the launch agent (instead of the config YAML file): maximum number of jobs, W&B entity, and launch queues. See the wandb launch-agent command for more information.

Core agent config options

The following tabs demonstrate how to specify the core config agent options with the W&B CLI and with a YAML config file:

wandb launch-agent -q <queue-name> --max-jobs <n>

Docker image builders

The launch agent on your machine can be configured to build Docker images. By default, these images are stored on your machine’s local image repository. To enable your launch agent to build Docker images, set the builder key in the launch agent config to docker:

type: docker

If you don't want the agent to build Docker images, and instead use prebuilt images from a registry, set the builder key in the launch agent config to noop

type: noop

Container registries

Launch uses external container registeries such as Dockerhub, Google Container Registry, Azure Container Registry, and Amazon ECR.
If you want to run a job on a different environment from where you built it, configure your agent to be able to pull from a container registry.

To learn more about how connect the launch agent with a cloud registry, see the Advanced agent setup page.

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