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Configuring and running a Docker agent#

This guide is applicable to Dagster+.

In this guide, you'll configure and run a Docker agent. Docker agents are used to launch your code in Docker containers.


To complete the steps in this guide, you'll need:

  • Permissions in Dagster+ that allow you to manage agent tokens. Refer to the User permissions documentation for more info.

  • To have Docker installed

  • Access to a container registry to which you can push images with Dagster code. Additionally, your Docker agent must have the permissions required to pull images from the registry.

    This can be:

Step 1: Generate a Dagster+ agent token#

In this step, you'll generate a token for the Dagster+ agent. The Dagster+ agent will use this to authenticate to the agent API.

  1. Sign in to your Dagster+ instance.
  2. Click the user menu (your icon) > Organization Settings.
  3. In the Organization Settings page, click the Tokens tab.
  4. Click the + Create agent token button.
  5. After the token has been created, click Reveal token.

Keep the token somewhere handy - you'll need it to complete the setup.

Step 2: Create a Docker agent#

  1. Create a Docker network for your agent:

    docker network create dagster_cloud_agent
  2. Create a dagster.yaml file:

      module: dagster_cloud.instance
      class: DagsterCloudAgentInstance
      agent_token: <YOUR_AGENT_TOKEN>
      branch_deployments: true # enables branch deployments
      deployment: prod
      module: dagster_cloud.workspace.docker
      class: DockerUserCodeLauncher
          - dagster_cloud_agent
  3. In the file, fill in the following:

    • agent_token - Add the agent token you created in Step 1

    • deployment - Enter the deployment associated with this instance of the agent.

      In the above example, we specified prod as the deployment. This is present when Dagster+ organizations are first created.

  4. Save the file.

Step 3: Start the agent#

Next, you'll start the agent as a container. Run the following command in the same folder as your dagster.yaml file:

docker run \
  --network=dagster_cloud_agent \
  --volume $PWD/dagster.yaml:/opt/dagster/app/dagster.yaml:ro \
  --volume /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
  -it \
  dagster-cloud agent run /opt/dagster/app

This command:

  • Starts the agent with your local dagster.yaml mounted as a volume
  • Starts the system Docker socket mounted as a volume, allowing the agent to launch containers.

To view the agent in Dagster+, click the Dagster icon in the top left to navigate to the Status page and click the Agents tab. You should see the agent running in the Agent statuses section:

Instance Status

Credential Helpers#

If your images are stored in a private registry, configuring a Docker credentials helper allows the agent to log in to your registry. The agent image comes with several popular credentials helpers preinstalled:

These credential helpers generally are configured in ~/.docker.config.json. To use one, make sure you mount that file as a volume when you start your agent:

  docker run \
    --network=dagster_cloud_agent \
    --volume $PWD/dagster.yaml:/opt/dagster/app/dagster.yaml:ro \
    --volume /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
    --volume ~/.docker/config.json:/root/.docker/config.json:ro \
    -it \
    dagster-cloud agent run /opt/dagster/app

Next steps#

Now that you've got your agent running, what's next?