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Stable Diffusion on a GPU

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This example tutorial demonstrates how to use stable diffusion on a GPU and run it on the Bacalhau network.Stable Diffusion is a state of the art text-to-image model that generates images from text and was developed as an open-source alternative to DALL·E 2. It is based on a Diffusion Probabilistic Model and uses a Transformer to generate images from text.


bacalhau docker run --id-only --gpu 1 -- python --o ./outputs --p "meme about tensorflow"


To get started, you need to install the Bacalhau client, see more information here

Quick Test

Here is an example of an image generated by this model.

bacalhau docker run --gpu 1 -- python --o ./outputs --p "cod swimming through data"


This stable diffusion example is based on the Keras/Tensorflow implementation. You might also be interested in the Pytorch oriented diffusers library.

Installing dependencies


When you run this code for the first time, it will download the pre-trained weights, which may add a short delay.

Based on the requirements here, we will install the following:

pip install git+ --upgrade --quiet
pip install tensorflow tensorflow_addons ftfy --upgrade --quiet
pip install tqdm
apt install --allow-change-held-packages libcudnn8=

Testing the Code

We have a sample code from this the Stable Diffusion in TensorFlow/Keras repo which we will use to check if the code is working as expected. Our output for this code will be a DSLR photograph of an astronaut riding a horse.


When you run this code for the first time, it will download the pre-trained weights, which may add a short delay.

from stable_diffusion_tf.stable_diffusion import Text2Image
from PIL import Image

generator = Text2Image(
jit_compile=False, # You can try True as well (different performance profile)
img = generator.generate(
"DSLR photograph of an astronaut riding a horse",
pil_img = Image.fromarray(img[0])

When running this code, if you check the GPU RAM usage, you'll see that it's sucked up many GBs, and depending on what GPU you're running, it may OOM (Out of memory) if you run this again.

You can try and reduce RAM usage by playing with batch sizes (although it is only set to 1 above!) or more carefully controlling the TensorFlow session.

To clear the GPU memory we will use numba. This won't be required when running in a single-shot manner.

pip install numba
# clearing the GPU memory 
from numba import cuda
device = cuda.get_current_device()

Write the Script

You need a script to execute when we submit jobs. The code below is a slightly modified version of the code we ran above which we got from here, however, this includes more things such as argument parsing argument parsing to be able to customize the generator.

import argparse
from stable_diffusion_tf.stable_diffusion import Text2Image
from PIL import Image
import os
parser = argparse.ArgumentParser(description="Stable Diffusion")
parser.add_argument("--h",dest="height", type=int,help="height of the image",default=512)
parser.add_argument("--w",dest="width", type=int,help="width of the image",default=512)
parser.add_argument("--p",dest="prompt", type=str,help="Description of the image you want to generate",default="cat")
parser.add_argument("--n",dest="numSteps", type=int,help="Number of Steps",default=50)
parser.add_argument("--u",dest="unconditionalGuidanceScale", type=float,help="Number of Steps",default=7.5)
parser.add_argument("--t",dest="temperature", type=int,help="Number of Steps",default=1)
parser.add_argument("--b",dest="batchSize", type=int,help="Number of Images",default=1)
parser.add_argument("--o",dest="output", type=str,help="Output Folder where to store the Image",default="./")


generator = Text2Image(
jit_compile=False, # You can try True as well (different performance profile)

img = generator.generate(
for i in range(0,batchSize):
pil_img = Image.fromarray(img[i])
image ="{output}/image{i}.png")


For a full list of arguments that you can pass to the script, see more information here

Run the Script

After writing the code the next step is to run the script.


Display the Output Image

import IPython.display as display


The following presents additional parameters you can try:

  • python --p "cat with three eyes - to set prompt

  • python --p "cat with three eyes --n 100 - to set the number of iterations to 100

  • python --p "cat with three eyes" --b 2 to set batch size to 2 (No of images to generate)

Containerize Script using Docker

Docker is the easiest way to run TensorFlow on a GPU since the host machine only requires the NVIDIA® driver. To containerize the inference code, we will create a Dockerfile. The Dockerfile is a text document that contains the commands that specify how the image will be built.

FROM tensorflow/tensorflow:2.10.0-gpu

RUN apt-get -y update

RUN apt-get -y install --allow-change-held-packages libcudnn8= git

RUN python3 -m pip install --upgrade pip

RUN python -m pip install regex tqdm Pillow tensorflow tensorflow_addons ftfy --upgrade --quiet

RUN pip install git+ --upgrade --quiet


# Run once so it downloads and caches the pre-trained weights
RUN python --n 1

The Dockerfile leverages the latest official TensorFlow GPU image and then installs other dependencies like git, CUDA packages, and other image-related necessities. See the original repository for the expected requirements.


See more information on how to containerize your script/apphere

Build the container

We will run docker build command to build the container;

docker build -t <hub-user>/<repo-name>:<tag> .

Before running the command replace;

  • hub-user with your docker hub username, If you don’t have a docker hub account follow these instructions to create a Docker account, and use the username of the account you created

  • repo-name with the name of the container, you can name it anything you want

  • tag this is not required but you can use the latest tag

In our case

docker build -t .

Push the container

Next, upload the image to the registry. This can be done by using the Docker hub username, repo name or tag.

docker push <hub-user>/<repo-name>:<tag>

In our case

docker push .

Running a Bacalhau Job

To submit a job, run the following Bacalhau command:

%%bash --out job_id
bacalhau docker run --id-only --gpu 1 -- python --o ./outputs --p "meme about tensorflow"

Structure of the command

Let's look closely at the command above:

  • bacalhau docker run: call to bacalhau

  • --gpu 1: No of GPUs

  • the name and the tag of the docker image we are using

  • ../outputs: path to the output

  • python execute the script

The Bacalhau command passes a prompt to the model and generates an image in the outputs directory. The main difference in the example below compared to all the other examples is the addition of the --gpu X flag, which tells Bacalhau to only schedule the job on nodes that have X GPUs free. You can read more about GPU support in the documentation.


This will take about 5 minutes to complete and is mainly due to the cold-start GPU setup time. This is faster than the CPU version, but you might still want to grab some fruit or plan your lunchtime run.

Furthermore, the container itself is about 10GB, so it might take a while to download on the node if it isn't cached.

When a job is submitted, Bacalhau prints out the related job_id. We store that in an environment variable so that we can reuse it later on.

%env JOB_ID={job_id}

Checking the State of your Jobs

  • Job status: You can check the status of the job using bacalhau list.
bacalhau list --id-filter ${JOB_ID}

When it says Completed, that means the job is done, and we can get the results.

  • Job information: You can find out more information about your job by using bacalhau describe.
bacalhau describe ${JOB_ID}
  • Job download: You can download your job results directly by using bacalhau get. Alternatively, you can choose to create a directory to store your results. In the command below, we created a directory and downloaded our job output to be stored in that directory.
rm -rf results && mkdir -p results
bacalhau get $JOB_ID --output-dir results

After the download has finished you should see the following contents in results directory

Viewing your Job Output

To view the file, run the following command:

ls results/outputs

Display image

To display and view your image run the code below:

import IPython.display as display