Quick Start - Jupyter Notebooks (MNIST)

In this tutorial, we will use the Valohai Jupyter Notebook Extension to build a machine learning model using the MNIST dataset.

You can also


To use jupyter notebook extension, you will need:


Pull the valohai/mnist_notebook docker image from the Docker Hub.

docker pull valohai/mnist_notebook


If you want to use an image without examples in it, use valohai/jupyhai instead.

Start the notebook server

Run the notebook server on local port 8888.

docker run -p 8888:8888 valohai/mnist_notebook

Open in browser:

Run your own code and notebooks

  • Run docker pull valohai/jupyhai instead.
  • Navigate to the folder where your files are
  • Run docker run -p 8888:8888 -v "$PWD":/home/jovyan/work valohai/jupyhai.
    • This mounts your current working directory into the container.
    • All the files in your current working directory will be available within the container
    • All changes within the mounted folder will persist after shutting down
  • You can run install additional libraries to the environment by adding a new cell at the top of your notebook and running !pip install mylibrary

Open a notebook

Creating new notebook

Create new notebook in the /work folder or choose tf-mnist-valohai.ipynb.

Sign in

Login to Valohai

Press the Valohai button in the toolbar and login using your Valohai credentials.

Configure settings

Valohai execution settings

Press the Valohai button in the toolbar and go to settings window.

Select the following:

  • Project: Valohai project where the executions will be version controlled
  • Environment: Environment type for the cloud executions (E.g. AWS p2.xlarge)
  • Docker Image: Docker image that provides the required libraries (E.g. TensorFlow)

These are the same settings you would choose when using Valohai website, CLI or valohai.yaml.

Once you are happy with your selections. Press save.

Create an execution

Running Valohai execution

Press the Valohai button in the toolbar and select Create execution.

The gizmo for the new execution will appear to the right.

Open a Notebook from a previous execution

Each of the colored gizmos on the right side of the page signify a single Valohai execution. You can click on any of the completed executions and select Notebook to launch the Notebook version that was used to run the execution.

Watch the results

Get results back from Valohai

You can click the #1 > Notebook button to download the finished notebook back to your local machine.

Parameterize the notebook

Adding hyperparameter

Parameterizing a notebook happens through cell tags. Tags are a standard Jupyter feature.

Here we mark the first cell with a parameters tag, which means all variables are considered to be Valohai parameters, just like you would define in the valohai.yaml.

Download the inputs

Adding parameterized input

Here we marked the first cell with inputs tag and ran it in Valohai.

All the variables in this cell will be considered as Valohai input URIs for the execution, just like in the valohai.yaml.

Reusing the parameterized notebook

Adding hyperparameter

Now you can run notebook based experiments without a notebook!

Because the learning_rate is parameterized, you can change it via Valohai web interface and run additional experiments without even opening the notebook.


When I try to download my outputs back from a finished execution, I get 404: Not Found

Always use the notebook server through instead of http://localhost:8888.