2 minute read


I recently wanted to use LLama-2 to do inference on my laptop. I also happen to have access to GPUs on a remote cluster.

Yet, for various reasons, getting “easy access” to the GPUs from my laptop was not obvious (simple SSH port-forwarding was getting me nowhere). After a bunch of debugging, I found a much simpler approach that I wanted to share.

This approach will also work really well on Colab where you can get access to free GPUs. You’ll then be able to pretend like the GPU is living right on your laptop!

How it works

We will be using gradio and huggingface transformers in this setup. Overall the setup looks like this:

  • Setup a gradio interface with public access to the model on the GPU of choice
  • Use gradio locally to interface with the GPU

As a bonus, you’ll even get a web GUI for easy debugging!

Deploying the model

On the remote machine (like this colab notebook), run the following:

import gradio as gr
import numpy as np
import torch
from transformers import pipeline
import torch
import os

# you only need a huggingface API token when accessing gated models like llama
hf_token = os.getenv("HF_TOKEN")

# Pick any model from huggingface hub that supports text completion
model_id = "HuggingFaceH4/zephyr-7b-alpha"

# Load the model using the transformers pipeline
model_pipeline = pipeline(
    model=model_id,  # model_id can be any huggingface model
    device_map="auto",  # Uses the GPU if available
    torch_dtype=torch.bfloat16,  # Saves you memory
    token=hf_token, # Necessary for gated models like llama2

def inference(text: str, max_length: int=100) -> str:
  return model_pipeline(text, max_length=max_length)[0]["generated_text"]

# Setup the Gradio Interface
title = f"Inference for {model_id}"
description = f"This demo uses {model_id} for inference"

io = gr.Interface(
  inputs=gr.Textbox(lines=3, label="Model Input"),
  outputs=gr.Textbox(lines=3, label="Model's Output"),

The key part here is the share=True parameter from gradio. This will create a link through some ngrok magic that can be accessed from anywhere. Clicking the link will bring you to a shiny interface:


WARNING: Anyone with the link will have access to your GPU. Be sure to understand the implications of opening an endpoint to your machines!

Running locally

Now the cool thing is you can interface with this directly via python code:

In the console, you should see a message like:

Running on public URL: https://ed00cd099007456d54.gradio.live

Copy+paste that URL in the following snippet:

from gradio_client import Client

client = Client("https://ed00cd099007456d54.gradio.live")
result = client.predict(
		"Knock, knock! Who's There?",  # str  in 'Model Input' Textbox component

This should print out the rest of the joke.

Here’s what I was able to get:

Knock Knock! Who's there?

JASON: (laughing) I'll get it.

(Jason opens the door to reveal a delivery man holding a large box.)

DELIVERY MAN: (handing the box to Jason) Sign here, please.

(Jason signs for the package and brings it inside.)

JASON: (opening the box) Hey, guys, check this out!

OK, not the best joke, but we now have access to a 7B model “locally”, pretty neat!

Here’s a Colab for you to try running your own models!