Kubernetes (Argo)


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This tutorial shows how to run a pipeline in Kubernetes via Argo Workflows locally or in Google Cloud.

If you encounter any issues with this tutorial, let us know.

Click here to see the Argo Community Meeting talk.

We have two tutorials:

Local example


This tutorial requires soopervisor 0.6.1 or higher

This tutorial runs a pipeline in a local Kubernetes cluster using k3d.


Building Docker image

We provide a Docker image so you can quickly run this example:

# get repository
git clone https://github.com/ploomber/soopervisor
cd soopervisor/tutorials/kubernetes

# create a directory to store the pipeline output
export SHARED_DIR=$HOME/ploomber-k8s
mkdir -p $SHARED_DIR

# build image
docker build --tag ploomber-k8s .

# start
docker run -i -t \
    --privileged=true -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
    --volume $SHARED_DIR:/mnt/shared-folder \
    --env SHARED_DIR \
    --env PLOOMBER_STATS_ENABLED=false \
    -p 2746:2746 \
    ploomber-k8s /bin/bash


We need to run docker run in privileged mode since we’ll be running docker commands inside the container. More on that here

Create Kubernetes cluster

The Docker image comes with k3d pre-installed; let’s create a cluster:

# create cluster
k3d cluster create mycluster --volume $SHARED_DIR:/host --port 2746:2746

# check cluster
kubectl get nodes

Install Argo

We now install argo; note that we are using a custom installation file (argo-pns.yaml) to ensure this works with k3d.

# install argo
kubectl create ns argo
kubectl apply -n argo -f argo-pns.yaml

# check argo pods (once they're all running, argo is ready)
kubectl get pods -n argo


argo-pns.yaml is a custom file that changes the Argo executor to PNS; this is required to ensure Argo works on k3d; however, this change isn’t required in a production environment.


Optionally, submit sample Argo workflow to ensure everything is working:

argo submit -n argo --watch https://raw.githubusercontent.com/argoproj/argo-workflows/master/examples/hello-world.yaml

Get sample Ploomber pipeline

# get example
ploomber examples -n templates/ml-intermediate -o ml-intermediate
cd ml-intermediate

# configure development environment
cp environment.yml environment.lock.yml
pip install ploomber soopervisor
pip install -r requirements.txt

Configure target platform

Soopervisor allows you to configure the target platform using a soopervisor.yaml file, let’s add it and set the backend to argo-worflows:

soopervisor add training --backend argo-workflows

Usually, you’d manually edit soopervisor.yaml to configure your environment; for this example, let’s use one that we already configured, which tells soopervisor to mount a local directory to every pod so we can review results later:

cp ../soopervisor-k8s.yaml soopervisor.yaml

We must configure the project to store all outputs in the shared folder, so we copy the pre-configured file:

cp ../env-k8s.yaml env.yaml

Submit pipeline

We finished configuring; let’s now submit the workflow:

# build docker image (takes a few minutes the first time) and generate an argo's yaml spec
soopervisor export training --skip-tests --ignore-git

# import image to the k8s cluster
k3d image import ml-intermediate:latest --cluster mycluster

# submit workflow
argo submit -n argo --watch training/argo.yaml

Congratulations! You just ran Ploomber on Kubernetes! 🎉


k3d image import is only required if creating the cluster with k3d.

Once the execution finishes, take a look at the generated artifacts:

ls /mnt/shared-folder


You may also watch the progress from the UI.

# port forwarding to enable the UI
kubectl -n argo port-forward svc/argo-server 2746:2746

Then, open:

Incremental builds

Try exporting the pipeline again:

soopervisor export training --skip-tests --ignore-git

You’ll see a message like this: Loaded DAG in 'incremental' mode has no tasks to submit. Soopervisor checks the status of your pipeline and only schedules tasks that have changed since the last run; since all your tasks are the same, there is nothing to run!

Let’s now modify one of the tasks and submit it again:

# modify the fit.py task, add a print statement
echo -e "\nprint('Hello from Kubernetes')" >> fit.py

# re-build docker image and submit
soopervisor export training --skip-tests --ignore-git
k3d image import ml-intermediate:latest --cluster mycluster
argo submit -n argo --watch training/argo.yaml

You’ll see that this time, only the fit task ran because that’s the only tasks whose source code change, we call this incremental builds, and they’re a a great feature for quickly running experiments in your pipeline, such as changing model hyperparameters or adding new pre-processing methods; it saves a lot of time since you don’t have to execute the entire pipeline every time.

Clean up

To delete the cluster:

k3d cluster delete mycluster

Google Cloud


This tutorial requires soopervisor 0.6.1 or higher

This second tutorial runs a pipeline in a local Kubernetes cluster using Google Cloud.


You may use or create a new Google Cloud project to follow this tutorial.



Create a cluster and install Argo:

# create cluster
gcloud container clusters create my-cluster --num-nodes=1 --zone us-east1-b

# install argo
kubectl create ns argo
kubectl apply -n argo -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/argoproj/argo-workflows/stable/manifests/quick-start-postgres.yaml

# create storage bucket (choose whatever name you want)
gsutil mb gs://YOUR-BUCKET-NAME

Submit a sample workflow to make sure Argo is working:

argo submit -n argo --watch https://raw.githubusercontent.com/argoproj/argo/master/examples/hello-world.yaml


Enable Argo’s UI:

# port forwarding to enable the UI
kubectl -n argo port-forward svc/argo-server 2746:2746

Then, open:

Install ploomber:

pip install ploomber

Let’s now run a Ploomber sample Machine Learning pipeline:

# get example
ploomber examples -n templates/ml-online -o ml-online
cd ml-online

# configure development environment
ploomber install

# activate environment
conda activate ml-online

# add a new target platform
soopervisor add training --backend argo-workflows

The previous command creates a soopervisor.yaml file where we can configure the container registry to upload our Docker image:

  backend: argo-workflows
  repository: gcr.io/PROJECT-ID/my-ploomber-pipeline

Replace PROJECT-ID with your actual project ID.

Each task will run in isolation, we must ensure that products generated by a given task are available to its corresponding downstream tasks. Ww can use Google Cloud Storage for that, add the following to the src/ml_online/pipeline.yaml file:

# more content above...

serializer: ml_online.io.serialize
unserializer: ml_online.io.unserialize

# add these two lines
  File: ml_online.clients.get_gcloud

# content continues...

The previous change tells Ploomber to call the function get_gcloud defined in module src/ml_online/clients.py to get the client. Edit the clients.py to add your bucket name:

from ploomber.clients import GCloudStorageClient

def get_gcloud():
    return GCloudStorageClient(bucket_name='YOUR-BUCKET-NAME',

You can ignore the rest of the file. Finally, we add service account credentials to upload to Google Cloud Storage. To learn more about service accounts, click here.

Store the service account details in a credentials.json in the root project directory (same folder as setup.py):

We are ready to execute the workflow:

# authenticate to push docker image
gcloud auth configure-docker

# packages code, create docker image and upload it (takes a few mins)
soopervisor export training

# submit workflow
argo submit -n argo training/argo.yaml

You may keep track of execution by opening the UI. Check out the bucket to see output.

Congratulations! You just ran Ploomber on Kubernetes!


Make sure you delete your cluster, bucket, and image after running this example!

# delete cluster
gcloud container clusters delete my-cluster --zone us-east1-b

# delete bucket
gsutil rm -r gs://my-sample-ploomber-bucket

# delete image (you can get the image id from the google cloud console)
gcloud container images delete IMAGE-ID

Optional: Mounting a shared disk


If you use a shared disk instead of storing artifacts in S3 or Google Cloud Storage, you must execute the pipeline with the --skip-tests flag. e.g., soopervisor export training --skip-tests, otherwise the command will fail if your project does not have a remote storage client configured.

In the example, we configured the pipeline.yaml file to use Google Cloud Storage to store artifacts, this serves two purposes: 1) Make artifacts available to us upon execution, and 2) Make artifacts available to dowstream tasks.

This happens because pods run in isolation, if task B depends on task A, it will fetch A’s output from cloud storage before execution. We can save dowload time (and cut costs) by mounting a shared volume so that B doesn’t have to download A’s output. Ploomber automatically detects this change and only calls the cloud storage API for uploading.

Here’s how to configure a shared disk:

# create disk. make sure the zone matches your cluster
gcloud compute disks create --size=10GB --zone=us-east1-b gce-nfs-disk

# configure the nfs server
curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ploomber/soopervisor/master/doc/assets/01-nfs-server.yaml
kubectl apply -f 01-nfs-server.yaml

# create service
curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ploomber/soopervisor/master/doc/assets/02-nfs-service.yaml
kubectl apply -f 02-nfs-service.yaml

# check service
kubectl get svc nfs-server

# create persistent volume claim
curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ploomber/soopervisor/master/doc/assets/03-nfs-pv-pvc.yaml
kubectl apply -f 03-nfs-pv-pvc.yaml

Optionally, you can check that the disk is properly configured by running this sample workflow:

# run sample workflow (uses nfs and creates an empty file on it)
curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ploomber/soopervisor/master/doc/assets/dag.yaml
argo submit -n argo --watch dag.yaml

Check the output:

# get nfs-server pod name
kubectl get pod

# replace with the name of the pod
kubectl exec --stdin --tty {nfs-server-pod-name} -- /bin/bash

Once inside the Pod, run:

ls /exports/

You should see files A, B, C, D. Generated by the previous workflow.

Let’s now run the Machine Learning workflow. Since we configured a shared disk, artifacts from upstream tasks will be available to downstream ones (no need to download them from Cloud Storage anymore); the Cloud Storage client is only used to upload artifacts for us to review later.

To make the shared disk available to the pods that run each task, we have to modify soopervisor.yaml:

  backend: argo-workflows
  repository: gcr.io/your-project/your-repository
    - name: nfs
      sub_path: my-shared-folder
          claimName: nfs

This exposes /my-shared-folder sub directory in our shared disk in /mnt/nfs/ on each pod. Now, we must configure the pipeline to store all products in /mnt/nfs/. Create an env.yaml file in the root folder (same folder that contains the setup.py file) with this content:

sample: False
# this configures the pipeline to store all outputs in the shared disk
product_root: /mnt/nfs