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Getting Started with Bacalhau

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to install and run a job with the Bacalhau client using the Bacalhau CLI or Docker.

The Bacalhau Client

The Bacalhau client is a command-line interface (CLI) that allows you to submit jobs to the Bacalhau. The Bacalhau client is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows. You can also run the Bacalhau client in a Docker container.


By default, you will submit to the Bacalhau public network, but the same CLI can be configured to submit to a private Bacalhau network. For more information, please read Running Bacalhau on a Private Network.

Install the Bacalhau CLI

You can install or update the Bacalhau CLI or pull a Docker image by running the commands in a terminal. You may need sudo mode or root password to install the local Bacalhau binary to /usr/local/bin:


Using the CLI: Windows users can download the latest release tarball from Github and extract bacalhau.exe to anywhere on the PATH.


To run a specific version of Bacalhau using Docker, use the command docker run -it, where "v1.0.3" is the version you want to run; note that the "latest" tag will not re-download the image if you have an older version. For more information on running the Docker image, check out the Bacalhau docker image example.

Verify the Installation

To run and Bacalhau client command with Docker, prefix it with docker run

To verify installation and check the version of the client and server, use the version command, you can run the command:

bacalhau version

If you're wondering which server is being used, the Bacalhau Project has a public Bacalhau server network that's shared with the community. This server allows you to launch your jobs from your computer without maintaining a compute cluster on your own.

Let's submit a Hello World job

To submit a job in Bacalhau, we will use the bacalhau docker run command. Let's take a quick look at its syntax:

bacalhau docker run [FLAGS] IMAGE[:TAG] [COMMAND]

The command below submits a Hello World job that runs an echo program within an Ubuntu container:

bacalhau docker run ubuntu echo Hello World


While this command is designed to resemble Docker's run command which you may be familiar with, Bacalhau introduces a whole new set of flags (see CLI Reference) to support its computing model.

After the above command is run, the job is submitted to the public network, which processes the job and Bacalhau prints out the related job id:

Job successfully submitted. Job ID: 3b39baee-5714-4f17-aa71-1f5824665ad6
Checking job status...

The job_id above is shown in its full form. For convenience, you can use the shortened version, in this case: 3b39baee.

Checking the State of your Jobs

  • Job status: You can check the status of the job using bacalhau list.
bacalhau list --id-filter 3b39baee

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

 CREATED   ID        JOB                      STATE      VERIFIED  COMPLETED
07:20:32 3b39baee Docker ubuntu echo H... Published /ipfs/bafybeidu4zm6w...

For a comprehensive list of flags you can pass to the list command check out the related CLI Reference page.

  • Job information: You can find out more information about your job by using bacalhau describe.
bacalhau describe 3b39baee

This outputs all information about the job, including stdout, stderr, where the job was scheduled, and so on.

  • Job download: You can download your job results directly by using bacalhau get. In the command below, we created a directory called myfolder and download our job output to be stored in that directory.
bacalhau get 3b39baee

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

$ tree job-3b39baee
├── exitCode
├── outputs
├── stderr
└── stdout

Viewing your Job Output

$ cat job-3b39baee/stdout

That should print out the string Hello World.

With that, you have just successfully run a job on the Bacalhau network! 🐟

Where to go next?

Here are a few resources that provide a deeper dive into running jobs with Bacalhau:

Need Support?

If have questions or need support or guidance, please reach out to the Bacalhau team via Slack (#bacalhau channel)