This quickstart provides a walkthrough of Anaconda for cluster management using Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The steps covered in this quickstart include defining and launching a cloud-based cluster on Amazon EC2, managing conda packages on the cluster nodes, and installing plugins.


Install Anaconda for cluster management on your local machine following the instructions on the installation page.

Create a provider

A sample providers file (shown below) is included with a new installation of Anaconda for cluster management and is located within the ~/.acluster/providers.yaml file.

  cloud_provider: ec2
  keyname: my-private-key
  location: us-east-1
  private_key: ~/.ssh/my-private-key.pem
  secret_id: AKIAXXXXXX
  secret_key: XXXXXXXXXX

Edit this file and replace the settings and credentials with your information.

Refer to the Provider settings page for more details about provider settings, including security groups.

You can list the providers with the command:

$ acluster list providers

Create a profile

A sample profile is included with a new installation of Anaconda for cluster management and is located in the ~/.acluster/profiles.d/ directory. The sample profile named aws_profile_sample is shown below:

name: aws_profile_sample
provider: aws_east
num_nodes: 4
node_id: ami-d05e75b8  # Ubuntu 14.04, us-east-1 region
node_type: m3.large
user: ubuntu

You can use this profile to create a 4-node cluster based on Ubuntu 14.04.

Refer to the Profile settings page for more details about profile settings.

You can list the profiles with the command:

$ acluster list profiles

Create the cluster

After the provider and profile files are defined, you can create a cluster using the command:

$ acluster create demo_cluster --profile aws_profile_sample

This will create your new cluster on Amazon EC2 and provision the cluster nodes, which typically requires between 5 and 10 minutes. You will see updates as the tasks and initialization steps are completed.

Install conda packages

Now that you have a cluster running, you can install conda packages using the acluster conda command. The acluster command can be prepended to most of the conda commands.

To install numpy, scipy, and pandas on all of the cluster nodes, use the following command:

$ acluster conda install numpy scipy pandas

Note: Refer to the Conda management page for a full list of remote conda commands.

Install plugins

Anaconda for cluster management supports multiple plugins such as Apache Spark, Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), the Jupyter Notebook, and more. These plugins can be installed on the cluster by using the acluster install command.

For example, the following command can be used to install IPython Notebook on the cluster:

$ acluster install notebook

The notebook will be available on http://{{ HEAD_NODE_IP }}:8888. You can open the respective URLs for many of these applications in your browser using the acluster open command:

$ acluster open notebook

Run the acluster open command to view a complete list of supported applications.

Destroy the cluster

When you are finished, the following command can be used to destroy the cluster and terminate all instances in it. It will prompt for confirmation before destroying the cluster.

$ acluster destroy demo_cluster

Further information

Refer to the Python with Spark How-tos page for more example use cases for use-cases and example scripts.

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