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Pools simplify managing the lifecycle of cloud instances and enable their efficient reuse across runs.

You can have instances provisioned in the configured backend automatically when you run a workload, or add them manually, configuring the required resources, idle duration, etc.

Add instances

dstack run

By default, when using the dstack run command, it tries to reuse an instance from a pool. If no idle instance meets the requirements, dstack automatically provisions a new one and adds it to the pool.

To avoid provisioning new instances with dstack run, use --reuse. Your run will be assigned to an idle instance in the pool.

Idle duration

By default, dstack run sets the idle duration of a newly provisioned instance to 5m. This means that if the run is finished and the instance remains idle for longer than five minutes, it is automatically removed from the pool. To override the default idle duration, use --idle-duration DURATION with dstack run.

dstack pool add

To manually add an instance to a pool, use dstack pool add:

$ dstack pool add --gpu 80GB

 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

The dstack pool add command allows specifying resource requirements, along with the spot policy, idle duration, max price, retry policy, and other policies.

The default idle duration if you're using dstack pool add is 72h. To override it, use the --idle-duration DURATION argument.

You can also specify the policies via .dstack/profiles.yml instead of passing them as arguments. For more details on policies and their defaults, refer to .dstack/profiles.yml.


The dstack pool add command is not supported for Kubernetes, and VastAI backends yet.

Remove instances

Idle duration

If the instance remains idle for the configured duration, dstack removes it and deletes all cloud resources.

dstack pool remove

To remove an instance from the pool manually, use the dstack pool remove command.

$ dstack pool remove <instance name>

List instances

The dstack pool ps command lists active instances and their status (busy or idle).