Commands and Shells#

Determined commands and shells provide support for running code on a Determined cluster without writing a model. This page describes how to manage GPU-powered batch commands and interactive shells.

Commands and shells are started through the Determined command-line interface (CLI). To learn more, including installation instructions, visit the Determined CLI user guide or Determined CLI Reference.

Commands execute a user-specified program on the cluster. Commands are useful for running existing code in batch mode. Shells start SSH servers that let you use cluster resources interactively. Shells provide access to the cluster in the form of interactive SSH sessions.


Determined commands are manipulated with CLI commands starting with det command, abbreviated as det cmd. The main subcommand is det cmd run, which runs a command in the cluster and streams its output. For example, the following CLI command uses nvidia-smi to display information about the GPUs available to tasks in the container:

det cmd run nvidia-smi

You can also run more complex commands including shell constructs provided they are quoted to prevent interpretation by the local shell:

det cmd run 'for x in a b c; do echo $x; done'

det cmd run streams output from the command until it finishes, but the command continues executing and occupying cluster resources even if the CLI is interrupted or killed, such as due to entering Ctrl-C. To stop the command or view additional output, you need the command UUID, which you can get from the output of the original det cmd run or det cmd list. After you have the UUID, run

  • det cmd logs <UUID> to view a snapshot of logs.

  • det cmd logs -f <UUID> to view the current logs and continue streaming future output.

  • det cmd kill <UUID> to stop the command.


Shell-related CLI commands start with det shell. To start a persistent SSH server container in the Determined cluster and connect an interactive session to it, use det shell start:

det shell start

After starting a server with det shell start, you can make another independent connection to the same server by running det shell open <UUID>. You can get the UUID from the output of the original det shell start or det shell list command:

$ det shell list
 Id                                   | Owner      | Description                  | State   | Exit Status
 d75c3908-fb11-4fa5-852c-4c32ed30703b | determined | Shell (annually-alert-crane) | RUNNING | N/A
$ det shell open d75c3908-fb11-4fa5-852c-4c32ed30703b

Optionally, you can provide extra options to pass to the SSH client when using det shell start or det shell open by including them after --. For example, this command starts a new shell and forwards a port from the local machine to the container:

det shell start -- -L8080:localhost:8080

To stop the SSH server container and free cluster resources, run det shell kill <UUID>.