System packages

Cortex uses Docker images to deploy your models. These images can be replaced with custom images that you can augment with your system packages and libraries. You will need to push your custom images to a container registry that your cluster has access to (e.g. Docker Hub or AWS ECR).

See the image paths section in cluster configuration for a complete list of customizable images.

Create a custom image

Create a Dockerfile to build your custom image:

mkdir my-api && cd my-api && touch Dockerfile

Specify the base image you want to override followed by your customizations. The sample Dockerfile below inherits from Cortex's Python serving image and installs the tree system package.

# Dockerfile
FROM cortexlabs/python-serve
RUN apt-get update \
&& apt-get install -y tree \
&& apt-get clean && rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*

Build and push to a container registry

Create a repository to store your image:

# We create a repository in ECR
export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID="***"
eval $(aws ecr get-login --no-include-email --region us-west-2)
aws ecr create-repository --repository-name=org/my-api --region=us-west-2
# take note of repository url

Build the image based on your Dockerfile and push to its repository in ECR:

docker build . -t org/my-api:latest -t <repository_url>:latest
docker push <repository_url>:latest

Configure Cortex

Update your cluster configuration file to point to your image:

# cluster.yaml
# ...
image_python_serve: <repository_url>:latest
# ...

Update your cluster for the change to take effect:

cortex cluster update --config=cluster.yaml

Use system packages in workloads

Cortex will use your image to launch Python serving workloads and you will have access to any packages you added:

import subprocess
class PythonPredictor:
def __init__(self, config):["tree"])