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Minimalistic Large Language Model Training and Finetuning

Project description

⚡️ Nanotron

GitHub release License

PhilosophyCore FeaturesInstallationUsageContributions

The objective of this library is to provide easy distributed primitives in order to train a variety of models efficiently using 3D parallelism. For more information about the internal design of the library or 3D parallelism in general, please check out [] and [].


  • Make it fast. At least as fast as other open source versions.
  • Make it minimal. We don't actually need to support all techniques and all versions of 3D parallelism. What matters is that we can efficiently use the "best" ones.
  • Make everything explicit instead of transparent. As we move forward, making things transparent works well when it works well but is a horrible debugging experience if one doesn't understand the implications of techniques used. In order to mitigate this, we choose to be explicit in the way it does things

Core Features

We support the following:

  • 3D parallelism, including one-forward-one-backward pipeline engine
  • ZeRO-1 optimizer
  • FP32 gradient accumulation
  • Parameter tying/sharding



  • Python >= 3.10
  • PyTorch >= 2.0.0
  • Flash-Attention >= 2.5.0

To install (in a new env):

pip install torch
pip install packaging; pip install "flash-attn>=2.5.0"  --no-build-isolation
pip install nanotron

Also nice to have: pip install transformers datasets python-etcd tensorboardX

We also support a set of flavors that you can install using pip install -e [$FLAVOR]:

  • dev: Used is you are developping in nanotron. It installs in particular our linter mechanism. On top of that you have to run pre-commit install afterwards.
  • test: We use pytest in order to run out testing suite. In order to run tests in parallel, it will install pytest-xdist, which you can leverage by running pytest -n 12 tests (12 is the number of parallel test)

Quick examples

In the /examples directory, you can find a few example configuration file, and a script to run it.

You can run a sample training using:

torchrun --nproc_per_node=8 --config-file examples/debug_run_train.yaml

And run a sample generation using:

torchrun --nproc_per_node=8 --ckpt-path checkpoints/text/4

Development guidelines

If you plan on developing on nanotron, we suggest you install the dev flavor: pip install -e ".[dev]"

We use pre-commit to run a bunch of callbacks on each commit, mostly normalization code in order for the codebase to stay consistent. Please do run pre-commit install.

For the linting:

pre-commit install
pre-commit run --config .pre-commit-config.yaml --all-files

Features we would like to add:

  • Support torch.compile
  • More optimized kernels
  • Support Zero3
  • Other PP schedules (such as Interleaved 1f1b...)
  • Ring attention / Sequence Parallelism
  • 3D Parallel MoEs
  • Supporting more architectures (Mamba..)
  • ...


We would like to thank everyone working on LLMs, especially those sharing their work openly from which we took great inspiration: Nvidia for Megatron-LM/apex, Microsoft for DeepSpeed, HazyResearch for flash-attn

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