MLRun requires separate containers for the API and the dashboard (UI).

To install and run MLRun locally using Docker:


docker pull mlrun/jupyter:0.5.6
docker pull mlrun/mlrun-ui:0.5.6

docker network create mlrun-network
docker run -it -p 8080:8080 -p 8888:8888 --rm -d --network mlrun-network --name jupyter -v ${SHARED_DIR}:/home/jovyan/data mlrun/jupyter:0.5.6
docker run -it -p 4000:80 --rm -d --network mlrun-network --name mlrun-ui -e MLRUN_API_PROXY_URL=http://jupyter:8080 mlrun/mlrun-ui:0.5.6

When using Docker MLRun can only use local runs.

To install MLRun on a Kubernetes cluster (e.g., on minikube) and support additional runtimes, run the following commands:

kubectl create namespace mlrun
helm repo add stable https://kubernetes-charts.storage.googleapis.com/
helm install -n mlrun nfsprov stable/nfs-server-provisioner
kubectl apply -n mlrun -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mlrun/mlrun/master/hack/local/nfs-pvc.yaml
kubectl apply -n mlrun -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mlrun/mlrun/master/hack/local/mlrun-local.yaml
kubectl apply -n mlrun -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mlrun/mlrun/master/hack/local/mljupy.yaml

For more details regarding MLRun installation, refer to the Installation Guide.

MLRun Setup

Run the following command from your Python development environment (such as Jupyter Notebook) to install the MLRun package (mlrun), which includes a Python API library and the mlrun command-line interface (CLI):

pip install mlrun

Set-up an artifacts path and the MLRun Database path

from os import path
from mlrun import mlconf

# Target location for storing pipeline artifacts
artifact_path = path.abspath('jobs')
# MLRun DB path or API service URL
mlconf.dbpath = mlconf.dbpath or 'http://mlrun-api:8080'

print(f'Artifacts path: {artifact_path}\nMLRun DB path: {mlconf.dbpath}')


Projects in the platform are used to package multiple functions, workflows, and artifacts. Projects are created by using the new_project MLRun method. Projects are visible in the MLRun dashboard only after they’re saved to the MLRun database, which happens whenever you run code for a project.

For example, use the following code to create a project named my-project and stores the project definition in a subfolder named conf:

from mlrun import new_project

project_name = 'my-project'
project_path = path.abspath('conf')
project = new_project(project_name, project_path, init_git=True)

print(f'Project path: {project_path}\nProject name: {project_name}')

Experiment Tracking

MLRun introduces the concept of functions, and these functions are part of the project. If you have existing code, the first thing to do is to integrate this code with MLRun. This will not just allow you to run your code in different runtimes, but also enable you to track the function calls, with their inputs and results.

Let’s take a simple scenario. First you have some code that reads either a csv file or parquet and returns a DataFrame.

import pandas as pd

# Ingest a data set into the platform
def get_data(source_url):

    if source_url.endswith(".csv"):
        df = pd.read_csv(source_url)
    elif source_url.endswith(".parquet") or source_url.endswith(".pq"):
        df = pd.read_parquet(source_url)
        raise Exception(f"file type unhandled {source_url}")

    return df

We would like to do 2 things:

  1. Have MLRun handle the data read

  2. Log this data to the MLRun database

For this purpose, we’ll add a context parameter which will be used to log our artifacts. Our code will now look as follows:

from os import path
def get_data(context, source_url, format='csv'):

    df = source_url.as_df()

    target_path = path.join(context.artifact_path, 'data')
    # Store the data set in your artifacts database
    context.log_dataset('source_data', df=df, format=format,
                        index=False, artifact_path=target_path)

Run Local Code

As input, we will provide a CSV file from S3:

# Set the source-data URL
source_url = 'https://s3.wasabisys.com/iguazio/data/iris/iris_dataset.csv'

Next call this function locally, using the run_local method. This is a wrapper that will store the execution results in the MLRun database.

from mlrun import run_local
get_data_run = run_local(name='get_data',
                         inputs={'source_url': source_url},

When called from python, the output will similar to the following:

[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:19:47,286 starting run get_data uid=b847f1494d45447d9445ea84e1f7271b  ->
[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:19:47,963 log artifact source_data at /User/mlrun/jobs/data/source_data.csv, size: 2776, db: Y

[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:19:48,026 run executed, status=completed

Experiment Tracking UI

Go to the MLRun UI to see the details of this job. Specifically, for the artifact you will see a preview of the DataFrame data:


As well as statistics:


If you run the function in a Jupyter notebook, the output cell for your function execution will contain a table with run information — including the state of the execution, all inputs and parameters, and the execution results and artifacts. Click on the source_data artifact in the artifacts column to see a short summary of the data set, as illustrated in the following image:

MLRun quick start get data output

Functions marketplace

Before implementing your own functions, you should first take a look at the MLRun functions marketplace GitHub repository. The marketplace is a centralized location for open-source contributions of function components that are commonly used in machine-learning development.

For example, the describe function visualizes the data by creating a histogram, imbalance and correlation matrix plots.

Use the set_function MLRun project method, which adds or updates a function object in a project, to load the describe marketplace function into a new describe project function.

project.set_function('hub://describe', 'describe')

You can then run the function as part of your project, just as any other function that you have written yourself. To view the function documentation, call the doc method:


Which yields the following output:

function: describe
describe and visualizes dataset stats
default handler: summarize
entry points:
  summarize: Summarize a table
    context(MLClientCtx)     - the function context
    table(DataItem)          - MLRun input pointing to pandas dataframe (csv/parquet file path)
    label_column(str)        - ground truth column label, default=labels
    class_labels(List[str])  - label for each class in tables and plots
    plot_hist(bool)          - (True) set this to False for large tables, default=True
    plots_dest(str)          - destination folder of summary plots (relative to artifact_path), default=plots

Running functions on different runtimes

One of the key advantages of MLRun is the ability to seamlessly run your code on different runtimes. MLRun can run your code locally, jobs on Kubernetes, on Dask or MPI (Horovod). In this quick-start guide we’ll show how to run on Kubernetes.

Accessing shared storage on Kubernetes

The functions need shared storage (file or object) media to pass and store artifacts.

If your are using Iguazio data science platform use the mount_v3io() auto-mount modifier. If you use other k8s PVC volumes you can use the mlrun.platforms.mount_pvc(..) modifier with the required params.

from os import environ
from pathlib import Path
from mlrun.platforms import mount_v3io, mount_pvc

# mount_v3io if using Iguazio data science platform, else mount to k8s PVC 'data' directory in the home folder
extra_volume = mount_v3io() if 'V3IO_HOME' in environ \
                            else mount_pvc(pvc_name='nfsvol', volume_name='nfsvol', volume_mount_path=path.join(Path.home(), 'data'))

Run the function from the marketplace

describe = project.func('describe').apply(extra_volume)

describe_run = describe.run(params={'label_column': 'label'},
                            inputs={"table": get_data_run.outputs['source_data']},

The expected output is:

[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:20:10,027 starting run describe-summarize uid=0655346d86fe48b5bb8c6f34e08873ab  ->
[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:20:10,174 Job is running in the background, pod: describe-summarize-dp8zq
[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:20:18,690 log artifact histograms at /User/mlrun/jobs/plots/hist.html, size: 282853, db: Y
[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:20:19,295 log artifact imbalance at /User/mlrun/jobs/plots/imbalance.html, size: 11716, db: Y
[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:20:19,517 log artifact correlation at /User/mlrun/jobs/plots/corr.html, size: 30642, db: Y

[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:20:19,608 run executed, status=completed

Convert python code to a function

Place the previously defined get_data code in a file called get_data.py. We can then use MLRun’s code_to_function to run that python code as an MLRun function on other runtimes:

from mlrun import code_to_function
get_data_func = code_to_function(name='get-data',
get_data = project.set_function(get_data_func).apply(extra_volume)

Similar to before, we can run this function, but this time, as a job

get_data_run = get_data.run(inputs={'source_url': source_url},

Create a machine-learning training function

To complete our example, see the following code that trains a simple logistic regression model. In many cases this is not needed since you will find many of the required functions already available in the Functions Marketplace. However, this simplified function will give you a good starting point should you need to build similar functions on your own.

import pandas as pd
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
from sklearn.linear_model import LogisticRegression

from sklearn import metrics
from pickle import dumps
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

from mlrun.execution import MLClientCtx
from mlrun.datastore import DataItem
from mlrun.artifacts import PlotArtifact

def train(context: MLClientCtx,
          dataset: DataItem,
          label_column: str,
          test_size: float = 0.30,
          random_state: int = 1
         ) -> None:

    """Train a logistic regression model.
    This function accepts a raw dataset and the label column. It splits the data to train and test
    datasets and trains a logistic regression model based on the training set. It then compares
    the models prediction to the test set.

    :param context:              The MLRun function context used for logging artifacts
    :param dataset:              The name of raw data file containing the dataset
    :param label_column:         The column name of the ground-truth labels within the dataset
    :param test_size:            Represent the proportion of the dataset to include in the test split
    :param random_state:         Controls the shuffling applied to the data before applying the split. Pass an int for reproducible output across multiple function calls.
   # Get the dataframe
    df = dataset.as_df()

   # Separate the labael column from the dataframe
    labels = df.pop(label_column)
   # split the sample into train and test and calibration sets:
    xtrain, xtest, ytrain, ytest = train_test_split(df, labels, test_size=test_size, random_state=random_state)

   # Log the test set
    test_set = pd.concat([xtest, ytest.to_frame()], axis=1)
    context.log_dataset('test-set', df=test_set, format='parquet', local_path='data/test_set.parquet')

   # Train the model
    model = LogisticRegression(C=1e5).fit(df, labels)
   # Log the model
    context.log_model('model', body=dumps(model), model_dir='models', model_file='model.pkl')

   # Run the model prediction on the test set 
    ypred = model.predict(xtest)

   # Log the results of the test prediction 
    context.log_result('accuracy', value=float(metrics.accuracy_score(ytest, ypred)))

   # Log the confusion matrix 
    cmd = metrics.plot_confusion_matrix(model, xtest, ytest, normalize='all', values_format='.2g', cmap=plt.cm.Blues)
    context.log_artifact(PlotArtifact('confusion-matrix', body=cmd.figure_), local_path='plots/confusion_matrix.html')

Copy the code above to train.py file and execute the following command to run that code as a job:

train_func = code_to_function(name='train',
train_func = project.set_function(train_func_gen).apply(extra_volume)
train_func.apply(mount_v3io()).run(inputs={'dataset': get_data_run.output('source_data')},
                                   params={'label_column': 'label'},

The expected output is:

[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:24:57,635 starting run train-train uid=8f99f4702b21470d85b40092ff548e74  ->
[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:24:57,839 Job is running in the background, pod: train-train-glpnj
[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:25:03,131 log artifact test-set at /User/mlrun/jobs/data/test_set.parquet, size: 5753, db: Y
[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:25:03,187 log artifact model at /User/mlrun/jobs/models/, size: 949, db: Y
[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:25:03,327 log artifact confusion-matrix at /User/mlrun/jobs/plots/confusion_matrix.html, size: 24535, db: Y

[mlrun] 2020-05-26 19:25:03,354 run executed, status=completed


You can also install Kubeflow Pipelines and use MLRun to create a workflow that runs the functions defined here.

Once you have Kubeflow installed, copy the following code to workflow.py in your project directory (we previously set the project directory as the conf folder under the current directory):

from kfp import dsl
from os import environ
from pathlib import Path
from mlrun.platforms import mount_v3io, mount_pvc

funcs = {}
LABELS = "label"

# Configure function resources and local settings
def init_functions(functions: dict, project=None, secrets=None):
    extra_volume = mount_v3io() if 'V3IO_HOME' in environ \
                            else mount_pvc(pvc_name='nfsvol', volume_name='nfsvol', volume_mount_path=path.join(Path.home(), 'data'))
    for f in functions.values():

# Create a Kubeflow Pipelines pipeline
    description="This is  simple workflow"
def kfpipeline(source_url='https://s3.wasabisys.com/iguazio/data/iris/iris_dataset.csv'):

    # Ingest the data set
    ingest = funcs['get-data'].as_step(
        inputs={'source_url': source_url},
        params={'format': 'pq'},

    # Analyze the dataset
    describe = funcs["describe"].as_step(
        params={"label_column": LABELS},
        inputs={"table": ingest.outputs['source_data']})

    # Train a model
    train = funcs["train"].as_step(
        params={"label_column": LABELS},
        inputs={"dataset": ingest.outputs['source_data']},
        outputs=['model', 'test_set'])

And run the following code:

# Register the workflow file as "main"
project.set_workflow('main', 'workflow.py')


run_id = project.run(

The pipeline created would look as follows

Quick-start Pipeline