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User Guide

GTO helps you build an Artifact Registry out of your Git repository. It creates annotated Git tags with a special format, and manages an artifacts.yaml file.

Storing large files in Git repos is not a good practice. Avoid committing your ML artifacts to Git. You can use DVC, Git LFS, or any other method to commit pointers to the data, models, etc. instead.

Annotations in artifacts.yaml

Using Git tags to register artifact versions and assign stages is handy, but the Git tag itself doesn't contain a path to the artifact files, their type (model or dataset), or any other useful information about them. For simple projects (e.g. a single artifact) we can assume the details whenever we consume the artifacts (e.g. in CI/CD). But for more advanced cases, we should codify them in the registry itself.

To keep this metadata, GTO uses a human-readable artifacts.yaml file. The gto describe, gto annotate, and gto remove commands are used to display and manage it's contents.

An example artifacts.yaml can be found in the example-gto repo.

Getting artifacts in systems downstream

You may need to get a specific artifact version to a certain environment, most likely the latest one or the one currently assigned to the stage. Use gto show to find the Git reference (tag) you need (note that CI platforms may expose it for you, e.g. the GITHUB_REF env var in GitHub Actions):

GTO doesn't provide a way to deliver the artifacts, but you can use DVC or employ MLEM for that.

$ gto show [email protected] --ref
[email protected]

$ gto show churn#prod --ref  # by assigned stage
[email protected]

You may need the artifact's file path. If annotated, it can be discovered with gto describe:

$ gto describe [email protected] --path

Acting in CI/CD

A popular deployment option is to use CI/CD (triggered when Git tags are pushed). For general details, check out something like GitHub Actions, GitLab CI/CD or Circle CI.

The other option is to configure webhooks that will send HTTP requests to your server upon pushing Git tags to the remote.

Finally, you can configure your server to query your Git provider via something like REST API to check if changes happened. As an example, check out Github REST API.

Getting started with CI/CD

To act upon registrations and assignments (Git tags), you can create a simple CI workflow. To see an example, check out the workflow in example-gto repo. The workflow uses the GTO GH Action that fetches all Git tags (to correctly interpret the Registry), finds out the version of the artifact that was registered, the stage that was assigned, and annotations details such as path, type, description, etc, so you could use them in the next steps of the CI.

Helpful commands

If you would like to set up CI/CD, but don't want to use GTO GH Action, check out gto show, gto check-ref and gto describe commands.

Configuring GTO

To configure GTO, use file .gto in the root of your repo:

# .gto config file
types: [model, dataset] # list of allowed Types
stages: [dev, stage, prod] # list of allowed Stages

When allowed Stages or Types are specified, GTO will check commands you run and error out if you provided a value that doesn't exist in the config. Note, that GTO applies the config from the workspace, so if want to apply the config from main branch, you need to check it out first with git checkout main.

Alternatively, you can use environment variables (note the GTO_ prefix)

$ GTO_EMOJIS=false gto show

Git tags format

You can work with GTO without knowing these conventions, since gto commands take care of everything for you.

All events have the standard formats of Git tags:

  • {artifact_name}@{version_number}#{e} for version registration.
  • {artifact_name}@{version_number}!#{e} for version deregistration.
  • {artifact_name}#{stage}#{e} for stage assignment.
  • {artifact_name}#{stage}!#{e} for stage unassignment.
  • {artifact_name}@deprecated#{e} for artifact deprecation.

All of them share two parts:

  1. {artifact_name} prefix part.
  2. #{e} counter at the end that can be omitted (in "simple" Git tag format).

Generally, #{e} counter is used, because Git doesn't allow to create two Git tags with the same name. If you want to have two Git tags that assign dev stage to model artifact without the counter (model#dev), that will require deleting the old Git tag first. Consequently, that doesn't allow you to preserve history of events that happened.

By default, #{e} sometimes is omitted, sometimes not. We are setting defaults to omit using #{e} when it's rarely necessary, e.g. for version registrations and artifact deprecations.


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