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Configure a Local Execution Environment

In order to create flow runs in a local or remote execution environment and use either Prefect Cloud or a Prefect server as the backend API server, you must:

  • Configure the execution environment with the location of the API.
  • Authenticate with the API, either by logging in or providing a valid API key (Prefect Cloud only).

Log into Prefect Cloud from a terminal

Configure a local execution environment to use Prefect Cloud as the API server for flow runs. In other words, "log in" to Prefect Cloud from a local environment where you want to run a flow.

  1. Open a new terminal session.
  2. Install Prefect in the environment in which you want to execute flow runs.
$ pip install -U prefect
  1. Use the prefect cloud login Prefect CLI command to log into Prefect Cloud from your environment.
$ prefect cloud login

The prefect cloud login command, used on its own, provides an interactive login experience. Using this command, you may log in with either an API key or through a browser.

$ prefect cloud login
? How would you like to authenticate? [Use arrows to move; enter to select]
> Log in with a web browser
    Paste an API key
Paste your authentication key:
? Which workspace would you like to use? [Use arrows to move; enter to select]
> prefect/terry-prefect-workspace
Authenticated with Prefect Cloud! Using workspace 'prefect/terry-prefect-workspace'.

You can also log in by providing a Prefect Cloud API key.

Change workspaces

If you need to change which workspace you're syncing with, use the prefect cloud workspace set Prefect CLI command while logged in, passing the account handle and workspace name.

$ prefect cloud workspace set --workspace "prefect/my-workspace"

If no workspace is provided, you will be prompted to select one.

Workspace Settings also shows you the prefect cloud workspace set Prefect CLI command you can use to sync a local execution environment with a given workspace.

You may also use the prefect cloud login command with the --workspace or -w option to set the current workspace.

$ prefect cloud login --workspace "prefect/my-workspace"

Manually configure Prefect API settings

You can also manually configure the PREFECT_API_URL setting to specify the Prefect Cloud or Prefect server API.

Go to your terminal session and run this command to set the API URL to point to a Prefect server instance:

$ prefect config set PREFECT_API_URL=""

For Prefect Cloud, you can configure the PREFECT_API_URL and PREFECT_API_KEY settings to authenticate with Prefect Cloud by using an account ID, workspace ID, and API key.

$ prefect config set PREFECT_API_URL="[ACCOUNT-ID]/workspaces/[WORKSPACE-ID]"
$ prefect config set PREFECT_API_KEY="[API-KEY]"

When you're in a Prefect Cloud workspace, you can copy the PREFECT_API_URL value directly from the page URL.

In this example, we configured PREFECT_API_URL and PREFECT_API_KEY in the default profile. You can use prefect profile CLI commands to create settings profiles for different configurations. For example, you could have a "cloud" profile configured to use the Prefect Cloud API URL and API key, and another "local" profile for local development using a local Prefect API server started with prefect server start. See Settings for details.

Environment variables

You can also set PREFECT_API_URL and PREFECT_API_KEY as you would any other environment variable. See Overriding defaults with environment variables for more information.

See the Flow orchestration with Prefect tutorial for examples.

Install requirements in execution environments

In local and remote execution environments — such as VMs and containers — you must make sure any flow requirements or dependencies have been installed before creating a flow run.