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Script to configure a cloud server to build the documentation and example gallery and update the sklearn dev website.

This script is only meant to be used by scikit-learn project maintainers with github and sourceforge write access.


First install the script dependencies (preferably in a virtualenv):

pip install -r requirements.txt

The following tools will be installed locally (NumPy, SciPy and scikit-learn are not required locally, they will only be installed on the cloud server):

  • Apache Libcloud is used to check the status and start a Rackspace cloud server dedicated to monitoring the master branch of the project and building the example gallery and the sphinx documentation.

  • SaltStack (via the salt-ssh client) is used to automate the configuration of the server.

  • Paramiko is a Python implementation of the SSH protocol used by SaltStack.

  • Yaml is used to parse and generate SaltStack configuration files.

Ask one of the scikit-learn maintainers for the docbuilder_rsa private key next to the public key in this folder.

Also ask for the Rackspace cloud credentials and put them as enviroment variables (possibly in your ~/.bashrc file):


Once you have the credentials, run the following script to check that the Rackspace cloud server is running, start it if this not the case and fetch the connection parameters (the IP address stored in ./etc/salt/roster):


You can check that the server can by contacted by salt commands such as:

salt-ssh -c ./etc/salt docbuilder

To install all the scikit-learn build dependencies and install the cron job use:

salt-ssh -c ./etc/salt docbuilder state.highstate

If the server was freshly provisioned, the first execution of state.highstate can take several minutes. Subsequent calls will be much faster. To display debug info use:

salt-ssh -c ./etc/salt docbuilder state.highstate -l debug

Changing the server configuration

The Salt Stack configuration for the server and the script run by the cron job to build the documentation once the server is ready can be found in the srv/salt subfolder.

To re-apply a configuration change in the configuration re-rerun:

python  # to fetch the IP of the docbuilder server
salt-ssh -c ./etc/salt docbuilder state.highstate

Fixing execution errors in

API change for Apache Libcloud are documented here:

Connecting to the server via SSH



to fetch the IP address of the running server in etc/salt/roster. The output of the command should display the ssh command, such as:

ssh -i docbuilder_rsa root@<ip_address>

Changing the ssh keys

If you suspect that the private keys have been compromised you can generate a new keypair with:

ssh-keygen -f docbuilder_rsa -N ''

Then commit the new public key and push it to github and send the private key by email to the other scikit-learn maintainers and ask one of them to update the authorized public key of the sklearndocbuild user profile on

Accessing the Rackspace Cloud management console

Use rackspace credentials to list the running servers and terminate them if needed at:


We would like to thank Rackspace for supporting the scikit-learn project by giving a free Rackspace Cloud account.


Script to configure a cloud server to build the documentation and plots and update the sklearn website




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