Installing Raster Vision

You can get the library directly from PyPI:

> pip install rastervision


Raster Vision requires Python 3 or later.

Troubleshooting macOS Installation

If you encounter problems running pip install rastervision on macOS, you may have to manually install Cython and pyproj.

To circumvent a problem installing pyproj with Python 3.7, you may also have to install that library using git+https:

> pip install cython
> pip install git+
> pip install rastervision

Using AWS, Tensorflow, and/or Keras

If you’d like to use AWS, Tensorflow and/or Keras with Raster Vision, you can include any of these extras:

> pip install rastervision[aws,tensorflow,tensorflow-gpu]

If you’d like to use Raster Vision with Tensorflow Object Detection or TensorFlow DeepLab, you’ll need to follow the instructions in thier documentation about how to install, or look at our Dockerfile to see an example of setting this up.


You must install Tensorflow Object Detection and Deep Lab from Azavea’s fork of the models repository, since it contains some necessary changes that have not yet been merged back upstream.


The usage of Docker Containers is recommended, as it provides a consistent environment for running Raster Vision.

If you have Docker installed, simply run the published container according to the instructions in Docker Containers

Raster Vision Configuration

Raster Vision is configured via the everett library.

Raster Vision will look for configuration in the following locations, in this order:

  • Environment Variables

  • A .env file in the working directory that holds environment variables.

  • Raster Vision INI configuration files

By default, Raster Vision looks for a configuration file named default in the ${HOME}/.rastervision folder.

Profiles allow you to specify profile names from the command line or enviroment variables to determine which settings to use. The configuration file used will be named the same as the profile: if you had two profiles (the default and one named myprofile), your ${HOME}/.rastervision would look like this:

> ls ~/.rastervision
default    myprofile

See the root options of the Command Line Interface for the option to set the profile.


model_defaults_uri = ""
  • model_defaults_uri - Specifies the URI of the Model Defaults JSON. Leave this option out to use the Raster Vision supplied model defaults.


  • files - Optional list of Python file URIs to gather plugins from. Must be a JSON-parsable array of values, e.g. ["",""].

  • modules - Optional list of modules to load plugins from. Must be a JSON-parsable array of values, e.g. ["rvplugins.analyzer","rvplugins.backend"].

See Plugins for more information about the Plugin architecture.

Other Sections

Other configurations are documented elsewhere:

  • aws batch config section

Environment Variables

Any INI file option can also be stated in the environment. Just prepend the section name to the setting name, e.g. RV_MODEL_DEFAULTS_URI.

In addition to those environment variables that match the INI file values, there are the following environment variable options:

  • TMPDIR - Setting this environment variable will cause all temporary directories to be created inside this folder. This is useful, for example, when you have a Docker conatiner setup that mounts large network storage into a specific directory inside the Docker container. The tmp_dir can also be set on Command Line Interface as a root option.

  • RV_CONFIG - Optional path to the specific Raster Vision Configuration file. These configurations will override configurations that exist in configurations files in the default locations, but will not cause those configurations to be ignored.

  • RV_CONFIG_DIR - Optional path to the directory that contains Raster Vision configuration. Defaults to ${HOME}/.rastervision

Docker Containers

Using the Docker containers published for Raster Vision allows you to use a fully set up environment. We have tested this with Docker 18, although you may be able to use a lower version.

Docker containers are published to To run the raster vision container for the latest release, run:

> docker run --rm -it /bin/bash

You’ll likely need to load up volumes and expose ports to make this container fully useful; see the docker/console script for an example usage.

We publish containers set up for both CPU-only running and GPU-running, and tag each container as appropriate. So you can also pull down the image, as well as and

You can also base your own Dockerfiles off the Raster Vision container to use with your own codebase. See the Dockerfiles in the Raster Vision Examples repository.

Running on a machine with GPUs

If you are running Raster Vision in a Docker container with GPUs - e.g. if you have your own GPU machine or you spun up a GPU-enabled machine on a cloud provider like a p3.2xlarge on AWS - you’ll need to make sure of a couple of things so that the Docker container is able to utilize the GPUs.

You’ll need to install the nvidia-docker runtime on your system. Follow their quickstart and installation instructions. Make sure that your GPU is supported by NVIDIA Docker - if not you might need to find another way to have your Docker container communicate with the GPU. If you figure out how to support more GPUs, please let us know so we can add the steps to this documentation!

When running your Docker container, be sure to include the --runtime=nvidia option, e.g.

> docker run --runtime=nvidia --rm -it /bin/bash

We recommend you ensure that the GPUs are actually enabled. If you don’t, you may run a training job that you think is using the GPU and isn’t, and runs very slowly.

One way to check this is to make sure TensorFlow can see the GPU(s). To do this, open up an ipython console and initialize TensorFlow:

> ipython
In [1]: import tensorflow as tf
In [2]: sess = tf.Session(config=tf.ConfigProto(log_device_placement=True))

This should print out console output that looks something like:

.../gpu/] Found device 0 with properties: name: GeForce GTX

If you have nvidia-smi installed, you can also use this command to inspect GPU utilization while the training job is running:

> watch -d -n 0.5 nvidia-smi

Setting up AWS Batch

If you want to run code against AWS, you’ll need a specific Raster Vision AWS Batch setup on your account, which you can accomplish through the instructions at the Raster Vision for AWS Batch setup repository.

Set the appropriate configuration in your Raster Vision Configuration:

  • job_queue - Job Queue to submit Batch jobs to.

  • job_definition - The Job Definition that define the Batch jobs to run.

  • attempts - Optional number of attempts to retry failed jobs.

See also

For more information about how Raster Vision uses AWS Batch, see the section: Running on AWS Batch.