Launching an On-Premise Cluster#

This document describes how to set up an on-premise Ray cluster, i.e., to run Ray on bare metal machines, or in a private cloud. We provide two ways to start an on-premise cluster.

  • You can manually set up the Ray cluster by installing the Ray package and starting the Ray processes on each node.

  • Alternatively, if you know all the nodes in advance and have SSH access to them, you should start the Ray cluster using the cluster-launcher.

Manually Set up a Ray Cluster#

This section assumes that you have a list of machines and that the nodes in the cluster share the same network. It also assumes that Ray is installed on each machine. You can use pip to install the ray command line tool with cluster launcher support. Follow the Ray installation instructions for more details.

# install ray
pip install -U "ray[default]"

Start the Head Node#

Choose any node to be the head node and run the following. If the --port argument is omitted, Ray will first choose port 6379, and then fall back to a random port if in 6379 is in use.

ray start --head --port=6379

The command will print out the Ray cluster address, which can be passed to ray start on other machines to start the worker nodes (see below). If you receive a ConnectionError, check your firewall settings and network configuration.

Start Worker Nodes#

Then on each of the other nodes, run the following command to connect to the head node you just created.

ray start --address=<head-node-address:port>

Make sure to replace head-node-address:port with the value printed by the command on the head node (it should look something like

Note that if your compute nodes are on their own subnetwork with Network Address Translation, the address printed by the head node will not work if connecting from a machine outside that subnetwork. You will need to use a head node address reachable from the remote machine. If the head node has a domain address like, you can simply use that in place of an IP address and rely on DNS.

Ray auto-detects the resources (e.g., CPU) available on each node, but you can also manually override this by passing custom resources to the ray start command. For example, if you wish to specify that a machine has 10 CPUs and 1 GPU available for use by Ray, you can do this with the flags --num-cpus=10 and --num-gpus=1. See the Configuration page for more information.


If you see Unable to connect to GCS at ..., this means the head node is inaccessible at the given --address. Some possible causes include:

  • the head node is not actually running;

  • a different version of Ray is running at the specified address;

  • the specified address is wrong;

  • or there are firewall settings preventing access.

If the connection fails, to check whether each port can be reached from a node, you can use a tool such as nmap or nc.

$ nmap -sV --reason -p $PORT $HEAD_ADDRESS
Nmap scan report for (123.456.78.910)
Host is up, received echo-reply ttl 60 (0.00087s latency).
rDNS record for 123.456.78.910:
6379/tcp open  redis?  syn-ack
Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at .
$ nc -vv -z $HEAD_ADDRESS $PORT
Connection to 6379 port [tcp/*] succeeded!

If the node cannot access that port at that IP address, you might see

$ nmap -sV --reason -p $PORT $HEAD_ADDRESS
Nmap scan report for (123.456.78.910)
Host is up (0.0011s latency).
rDNS record for 123.456.78.910:
6379/tcp closed redis   reset ttl 60
Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at .
$ nc -vv -z $HEAD_ADDRESS $PORT
nc: connect to port 6379 (tcp) failed: Connection refused

Using Ray cluster launcher#

The Ray cluster launcher is part of the ray command line tool. It allows you to start, stop and attach to a running ray cluster using commands such as ray up, ray down and ray attach. You can use pip to install it, or follow install ray for more detailed instructions.

# install ray
pip install "ray[default]"

Start Ray with the Ray cluster launcher#

The provided example-full.yaml cluster config file will create a Ray cluster given a list of nodes.

Note that you’ll need to fill in your head_ip, a list of worker_ips, and the ssh_user field in those templates

Test that it works by running the following commands from your local machine:

# Download the example-full.yaml

# Update the example-full.yaml to update head_ip, worker_ips, and ssh_user.
# vi example-full.yaml

# Create or update the cluster. When the command finishes, it will print
# out the command that can be used to SSH into the cluster head node.
ray up example-full.yaml

# Get a remote screen on the head node.
ray attach example-full.yaml
# Try running a Ray program.

# Tear down the cluster.
ray down example-full.yaml

Congrats, you have started a local Ray cluster!