RAPIDS Demo Container

Get started with our preconfigured RAPIDS demo container, featuring several demo notebooks using cuDF, cuML, Dask, and XGBoost

  1. RAPIDS Demo Container
    1. Prerequisites
    2. Container Hosts
    3. Available Tags
    4. Usage
    5. Changing How Much Data is Used
    6. Useful Tips and Tools for Monitoring and Debugging
      1. The Dask Dashboard.
      2. Individual Worker Logs
    7. Common Errors
      1. Running out of device memory
      2. Running out of system memory
    8. Where can I get help or file bugs/requests?


  • GPU support
    • Compute Capability 6.0 (Pascal Architecture) or higher
  • CUDA support
    • 9.2 or newer
  • OS support
    • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (tested and confirmed working)
  • Docker support

Container Hosts

Available Tags

  • cuda9.2_ubuntu16.04 - CUDA 9.2, Ubuntu 16.04
    • Based off of nvidia/cuda:9.2-devel-ubuntu16.04.
    • All code projects compiled with nvcc version 9.2.
    • Python 3.5 and gcc5.
  • cuda10.0_ubuntu16.04 - CUDA 10.0, Ubuntu 16.04
    • Based off of nvidia/cuda:10.0-devel-ubuntu16.04.
    • All code projects compiled with nvcc version 10.0.
    • Python 3.5 and gcc5.
  • Coming soon - more tags supporing CUDA 10 and Ubuntu 18.04


  1. First launch an interactive session:
docker run --runtime=nvidia \
   --rm -it \
   -p 8888:8888 \
   -p 8787:8787 \
   -p 8786:8786 \
  1. Activate the rapids conda environment:
source activate rapids
  1. Download the mortgage dataset, following the instructions provided at https://rapidsai.github.io/demos/datasets/mortgage-data

    You will need to update paths and years in the notebook (see below) depending on which subset of the mortgage data you download and where you install it.

  2. Launch the JupyterLab environment with

bash /rapids/utils/start_jupyter.sh
  1. Open your web browser, and navigate to
    {IPADDR}:8888 (e.g.) 12.34.567.89:8888
    Note: the IP address can be found using ifconfig or hostname --all-ip-addresses. It is the address of the primary networking device. Using the IP address of the device in the Docker container will not work.

In /rapids/notebooks there are example notebooks, including one called E2E.ipynb that runs end-to-end ETL and machine learning on the provided data using RAPIDS. Be sure to Restart the Kernel

You are free to modify the above steps. For example, you can launch an interactive session with your own data:

docker run --runtime=nvidia \
   --rm -it \
   -p 8888:8888 \
   -p 8787:8787 \
   -p 8786:8786 \
   -v /path/to/host/data:/rapids/my_data

This will map data from your host operating system to the container OS in the /rapids/my_data directory. You may need to modify the provided notebooks for the new data paths.

You can check the documentation for RAPIDS APIs inside the JupyterLab notebook using a ? command, like this:

[1] ?cudf.read_csv

This prints the function signature and its usage documentation. If this is not enough, you can see the full code for the function using ??:

[1] ??pygdf.read_csv

Check out the RAPIDS documentation for more detailed information.

Changing How Much Data is Used

In the notebook, you should see a cell like this:

acq_data_path = "/rapids/data/mortgage/acq"
perf_data_path = "/rapids/data/mortgage/perf"
col_names_path = "/rapids/data/mortgage/names.csv"
start_year = 2000
end_year = 2002 # end_year is not inclusive
part_count = 11 # the number of data files to train against

These are the paths to data, the number of years on which to perform ETL, and the number of parts to use for training.

Note: the entire mortgage dataset is 68 quarters, broken into 112 parts so that each part is (on average) 1.7GB. Reducing the number of parts, part_count, reduces how much data is input to XGBoost training. Adjusting the start_year andend_year changes how many years on which to perform ETL.

Useful Tips and Tools for Monitoring and Debugging

The Dask Dashboard.

This cell from the notebook

import subprocess

cmd = "hostname --all-ip-addresses"
process = subprocess.Popen(cmd.split(), stdout=subprocess.PIPE)
output, error = process.communicate()
IPADDR = str(output.decode()).split()[0]
_client = IPADDR + str(":8786")

client = dask.distributed.Client(_client)

initializes the Dask client. Once done, you should see output like


Scheduler: tcp://

Workers: 8
Cores: 8
Memory: 0 B

Note: clicking Dashboard: may not work. The IP address in the link may be the networking device in the container. You have to use the IP address of the primary networking device, which should be the one you used to access the Jupyter notebook server. http://your.ip.address:8787/status

Once there, you can look at active processes, view the (delayed) task graph, and read through individual worker logs.

Individual Worker Logs

When you hit an unusual error, there are often traces of the error in the individual worker logs accessible from the Dashboard status page (see above). CUDA out-of-memory errors will show up here.

Common Errors

Running out of device memory

ETL processes may involve creating many copies of data in device memory, resulting in sporadic spikes of memory utilization. Memory utilization which exceeds available device resources will cause the worker to crash.

Because we have disabled experimental features that would enable the worker to recover, restart its work, or share its work with other workers, the error is silently propagated forward in the Dask’s delayed task graph. This can manifest itself in the form of unusually short ETL times (sub-millisecond timescale).

An error may be raised by another routine referring to NoneType in data or similar

Training processes need a certain amount of available memory to expand throughout processing. With XGBoost, the overhead is typically 25% of available device memory. This means that we cannot exceed 24GB of memory utilization on a 32GB GPU, or 12GB of memory utilization on a 16GB GPU.

Running out of system memory

The final step of the ETL process migrates all computed results back to system memory before training, and if you do not have sufficient system memory, your program will crash. The step before training migrates a portion of the data back into device memory for XGBoost to train against.

Where can I get help or file bugs/requests?

Please submit issues with the container to this GitHub repository: https://github.com/rapidsai/cudf