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Dev environments

Before submitting a task or deploying a model, you may want to run code interactively. Dev environments allow you to do exactly that.

You specify the required environment and resources, then run it. dstack provisions the dev environment in the configured backend and enables access via your desktop IDE.

Define a configuration

First, create a YAML file in your project folder. Its name must end with .dstack.yml (e.g. .dstack.yml or dev.dstack.yml are both acceptable).

type: dev-environment

python: "3.11"

ide: vscode

  gpu: 80GB

The YAML file allows you to specify your own Docker image, environment variables, resource requirements, etc. If image is not specified, dstack uses its own (pre-configured with Python, Conda, and essential CUDA drivers).


For more details on the file syntax, refer to the .dstack.yml reference.

Configure environment variables

Environment variables can be set either within the configuration file or passed via the CLI.

type: dev-environment


python: "3.11"
ide: vscode

  gpu: 80GB

If you don't assign a value to an environment variable (see HUGGING_FACE_HUB_TOKEN above), dstack will require the value to be passed via the CLI or set in the current process.

For instance, you can define environment variables in a .env file and utilize tools like direnv.

Run the configuration

To run a configuration, use the dstack run command followed by the working directory path, configuration file path, and other options.

$ dstack run . -f .dstack.yml

 BACKEND     REGION         RESOURCES                     SPOT  PRICE
 tensordock  unitedkingdom  10xCPU, 80GB, 1xA100 (80GB)   no    $1.595
 azure       westus3        24xCPU, 220GB, 1xA100 (80GB)  no    $3.673
 azure       westus2        24xCPU, 220GB, 1xA100 (80GB)  no    $3.673

Continue? [y/n]: y

Provisioning `fast-moth-1`...
---> 100%

To open in VS Code Desktop, use this link:

When dstack provisions the dev environment, it uses the current folder contents.

Exclude files

If there are large files or folders you'd like to avoid uploading, you can list them in either .gitignore or .dstackignore.

The dstack run command allows specifying many things, including spot policy, retry and max duration, max price, regions, instance types, and much more.


To open the dev environment in your desktop IDE, use the link from the output (such as vscode://vscode-remote/ssh-remote+fast-moth-1/workflow).


Alternatively, you can connect to the dev environment via SSH:

$ ssh fast-moth-1

Configure profiles

In case you'd like to reuse certain parameters (such as spot policy, retry and max duration, max price, regions, instance types, etc.) across runs, you can define them via .dstack/profiles.yml.

Manage runs

Stop a run

Once the run exceeds the max duration, or when you use dstack stop, the dev environment and its cloud resources are deleted.

List runs

The dstack ps command lists all running runs and their status.

What's next?

  1. Check the .dstack.yml reference for more details and examples