Create and manage an Azure Machine Learning compute instance with CLI v1

APPLIES TO: Azure CLI ml extension v1 Python SDK azureml v1

Learn how to create and manage a compute instance in your Azure Machine Learning workspace with CLI v1.

Use a compute instance as your fully configured and managed development environment in the cloud. For development and testing, you can also use the instance as a training compute target or for an inference target. A compute instance can run multiple jobs in parallel and has a job queue. As a development environment, a compute instance can't be shared with other users in your workspace.

Compute instances can run jobs securely in a virtual network environment, without requiring enterprises to open up SSH ports. The job executes in a containerized environment and packages your model dependencies in a Docker container.

In this article, you learn how to:

  • Create a compute instance
  • Manage (start, stop, restart, delete) a compute instance


This article covers only how to do these tasks using CLI v1. For more recent ways to manage a compute instance, see Create an Azure Machine Learning compute cluster.




Items marked (preview) below are currently in public preview. The preview version is provided without a service level agreement, and it's not recommended for production workloads. Certain features might not be supported or might have constrained capabilities. For more information, see Supplemental Terms of Use for Microsoft Azure Previews.

Time estimate: Approximately 5 minutes.

Creating a compute instance is a one time process for your workspace. You can reuse the compute as a development workstation or as a compute target for training. You can have multiple compute instances attached to your workspace.

The dedicated cores per region per VM family quota and total regional quota, which applies to compute instance creation, is unified and shared with Azure Machine Learning training compute cluster quota. Stopping the compute instance doesn't release quota to ensure you'll be able to restart the compute instance. It isn't possible to change the virtual machine size of compute instance once it's created.

The following example demonstrates how to create a compute instance:

APPLIES TO: Python SDK azureml v1

import datetime
import time

from azureml.core.compute import ComputeTarget, ComputeInstance
from azureml.core.compute_target import ComputeTargetException

# Choose a name for your instance
# Compute instance name should be unique across the azure region
compute_name = "ci{}".format(ws._workspace_id)[:10]

# Verify that instance does not exist already
    instance = ComputeInstance(workspace=ws, name=compute_name)
    print('Found existing instance, use it.')
except ComputeTargetException:
    compute_config = ComputeInstance.provisioning_configuration(
        # vnet_resourcegroup_name='<my-resource-group>',
        # vnet_name='<my-vnet-name>',
        # subnet_name='default',
        # admin_user_ssh_public_key='<my-sshkey>'
    instance = ComputeInstance.create(ws, compute_name, compute_config)

For more information on the classes, methods, and parameters used in this example, see the following reference documents:


Start, stop, restart, and delete a compute instance. A compute instance doesn't automatically scale down, so make sure to stop the resource to prevent ongoing charges. Stopping a compute instance deallocates it. Then start it again when you need it. While stopping the compute instance stops the billing for compute hours, you'll still be billed for disk, public IP, and standard load balancer.


The compute instance has 120GB OS disk. If you run out of disk space, use the terminal to clear at least 1-2 GB before you stop or restart the compute instance. Please do not stop the compute instance by issuing sudo shutdown from the terminal. The temp disk size on compute instance depends on the VM size chosen and is mounted on /mnt.

APPLIES TO: Python SDK azureml v1

In the examples below, the name of the compute instance is instance.

  • Get status

    # get_status() gets the latest status of the ComputeInstance target
  • Stop

    # stop() is used to stop the ComputeInstance
    # Stopping ComputeInstance will stop the billing meter and persist the state on the disk.
    # Available Quota will not be changed with this operation.
    instance.stop(wait_for_completion=True, show_output=True)
  • Start

    # start() is used to start the ComputeInstance if it is in stopped state
    instance.start(wait_for_completion=True, show_output=True)
  • Restart

    # restart() is used to restart the ComputeInstance
    instance.restart(wait_for_completion=True, show_output=True)
  • Delete

    # delete() is used to delete the ComputeInstance target. Useful if you want to re-use the compute name
    instance.delete(wait_for_completion=True, show_output=True)

Azure RBAC allows you to control which users in the workspace can create, delete, start, stop, restart a compute instance. All users in the workspace contributor and owner role can create, delete, start, stop, and restart compute instances across the workspace. However, only the creator of a specific compute instance, or the user assigned if it was created on their behalf, is allowed to access Jupyter, JupyterLab, RStudio, and Posit Workbench (formerly RStudio Workbench) on that compute instance. A compute instance is dedicated to a single user who has root access. That user has access to Jupyter/JupyterLab/RStudio/Posit Workbench running on the instance. Compute instance will have single-user sign in and all actions will use that user’s identity for Azure RBAC and attribution of experiment runs. SSH access is controlled through public/private key mechanism.

These actions can be controlled by Azure RBAC:

  • Microsoft.MachineLearningServices/workspaces/computes/read
  • Microsoft.MachineLearningServices/workspaces/computes/write
  • Microsoft.MachineLearningServices/workspaces/computes/delete
  • Microsoft.MachineLearningServices/workspaces/computes/start/action
  • Microsoft.MachineLearningServices/workspaces/computes/stop/action
  • Microsoft.MachineLearningServices/workspaces/computes/restart/action
  • Microsoft.MachineLearningServices/workspaces/computes/updateSchedules/action

To create a compute instance, you'll need permissions for the following actions:

  • Microsoft.MachineLearningServices/workspaces/computes/write
  • Microsoft.MachineLearningServices/workspaces/checkComputeNameAvailability/action

Next steps