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Quick Start Chapter 3: PEDL Commands

A command is a schedulable task that is executed in a containerized environment on a PEDL cluster. Any code, binaries, or scripts you can execute via command line on your local machine can be executed on a PEDL cluster by prefixing the original command with pedl cmd run or pedl command run. Commands are a great way to run workflows that may not easily fit into the standard PEDL experiment workflow described above, while still getting the benefits of PEDL features such as resource scheduling and dependency management.

To run your first PEDL command, try starting with the bash command echo:

$ pedl cmd run echo hello world
Created command civil-oryx (id: 14f88590-4373-4b25-9a4d-a0beea5ff40d)
Command scheduled ✅
[PEDL] 2019-02-11T19:13:57.542148900Z hello
[PEDL] finished command 14f88590-4373-4b25-9a4d-a0beea5ff40d: task exited successfully with a zero exit code

If the command is a single quoted string, then it is interpreted as an argument to sh -c, allowing you to string together a sequence of commands:

$ pedl cmd run "echo stage-1 && echo stage-2 && echo stage-3"
Created command clever-viper (id: 6a226ee9-2d86-4e24-a3df-369c64bb3685)
Command scheduled ✅
[PEDL] 2019-02-11T19:14:44.257477100Z stage1
[PEDL] 2019-02-11T19:14:44.257548300Z stage2
[PEDL] 2019-02-11T19:14:44.257569900Z stage3
[PEDL] finished command 6a226ee9-2d86-4e24-a3df-369c64bb3685: task exited successfully with a zero exit code

You can also run a Python script:

$ mkdir -p /tmp/context
$ echo "print('hello world')" > /tmp/context/
$ pedl cmd run --context /tmp/context python
Created command strong-cow (id: 8db7e0d5-a6bb-4d6a-bda8-281855ba40e2)
Command scheduled ✅
[PEDL] 2019-01-16T22:32:44.360129700Z hello world
[PEDL] finished command 8db7e0d5-a6bb-4d6a-bda8-281855ba40e2: task exited successfully with a zero exit code

Note that to execute the Python script, you need to specify the command context directory (--context) where the Python script was located on your local filesystem. Under the hood, the PEDL CLI packages the context directory and ships it to the PEDL cluster, where it is interpreted in a containerized environment. Any directory on your local filesystem can be used as the command context with the --context flag. By default, the context directory is empty and no files are shipped to the command environment.


The maximum allowed size of the command context is 96 MB. It is recommended to restrict it to source code, configuration files, and small artifacts only.


A .pedlignore file at the top level of the command context directory can be used to exclude files. The .pedlignore file is expected to use the same syntax and pattern formatting as a .gitignore file.

One powerful PEDL feature is the ability to easily modify your desired dependencies:

$ pedl cmd run --config environment.tensorflow=1.10.0 python -c 'import tensorflow as tf; print(tf.__version__)'

More generally, commands may be supplied an optional command configuration to control how a command gets executed. In addition to the --config flag, configuration may also be supplied via a YAML file (--config-file):

$ cat > config.yaml << EOL
description: test-command
  slots: 1
  python: 3.6.8
  tensorflow: 1.10.0
  keras: 2.2.4
$ pedl cmd run --config-file config.yaml python -c 'import keras, tensorflow as tf; print(keras.__version__, tf.__version__)'

The configuration associated with each command is always stored in the PEDL database so that every command can be logged and reproduced in the future. Command configuration values are optional and given defaults if unspecified. See the Configuration section for full documentation of the configuration schema.

Next: Model Definitions