• author: Rob Mulla

Running a Local Chatbot with H2O GPT

Have you ever wanted to have your own chatbot application running on your local machine, without relying on an internet connection? What if I told you that you could link it to your local files and even customize its responses? And the best part is, it's 100% open source! In this article, I will guide you through the process of setting up H2O GPT, an open source Python library, on your machine so that you can have your own chatbot up and running.

Introduction to H2O GPT

Before we dive into the installation process, let me briefly introduce H2O GPT. H2O GPT is a powerful chatbot model that can be customized and fine-tuned to your specific needs. It is one of the best open source chatbot models available, developed by H2O, a leading company in AI and machine learning. With H2O GPT, you can create conversational AI applications, chatbots, and virtual assistants.

Why Open Source Matters

Open source software is gaining popularity among developers, and for good reason. It allows you to access the code, data, and model weights used to train the AI models. This means that you can download and use them for commercial applications without any restrictions. Open source models like H2O GPT provide transparency, allowing you to understand how the model works and make changes as needed. Additionally, open source communities often contribute to the development and improvement of these models.

Testing the Chatbot

Before we start the installation process, you might be interested in testing out the chatbot first. Luckily, there are online versions available that you can try out without the need for installation. To test the chatbot, you can use the user interface provided on the H2O GPT GitHub page or the hugging face interface. These interfaces will give you a feel for the chatbot's capabilities and help you decide if it's something you want to install on your machine.

Setting Up H2O GPT

To get started with H2O GPT on your local machine, you will need to clone the H2O GPT GitHub repository. Make sure you have the necessary dependencies and packages installed, including Python 3.10 and CUDA if you plan to run the larger Falcon models. If you don't have a GPU, you can still run some models in CPU mode.

Once you have cloned the repository and installed the required packages, activate the H2O GPT environment. This will ensure that you're working within the correct environment and avoid conflicts with other Python packages on your machine.

The Falcon Models

H2O GPT offers different versions of the Falcon models, named after the bird known for its speed and agility. These models come with varying numbers of parameters, with H2O GPT's versions fine-tuned specifically for conversation purposes. The 7 billion parameter model, which we will be running locally, requires a larger GPU to handle its size. The 40 billion parameter model is available but might require even more extensive GPU resources.

It's important to note that these foundational models are constantly evolving, with new models being released regularly. The H2O team actively tests and fine-tunes the latest open source models to adapt them for specific use cases. This close collaboration with the open source community ensures that you have access to the most cutting-edge models.

Running H2O GPT: Installation and Testing

To run H2O GPT, there are a few steps you need to follow. Let's break it down:


  1. First, make sure you have all the required dependencies by checking the requirements.txt file. This file lists all the dependencies needed to run H2O GPT.

  2. Follow the instructions provided in the readme document. Additionally, it is recommended to install the extra index to ensure a smooth installation process.

    pip install -r requirements.txt

    Note: Ensure you are in the correct environment to install the packages.

  3. Once the installation is complete, check if you have CUDA installed. Run the command nvidia-smi to see the available GPUs on your machine and the CUDA version installed.

Testing the Model

To test the model and generate responses, follow these steps:

  1. Run the command python generate to initiate the testing process.

  2. Provide the necessary arguments for H2O GPT to identify the model and set the desired configuration. For example:

    • Provide a base model (Version 3 of the Falcon 7B model):

    • Set the score model parameter to None:

    • Specify the prompt type as "human bot":

      --prompt_type=human bot
  3. Before executing the command, note that this might be your first time running it. In that case, the model weights will be downloaded to your computer, which could take some time. Check the cache directory in the Hugging Face Hub to see the downloaded models.

  4. Once the weights are downloaded, proceed with the command. However, if the model is too large to fit into the GPU memory, you might encounter an "out of memory" error.

  5. To resolve this issue, you can use tricks to load the model into the GPU memory more efficiently. Add the flag --load_8bit_version=True to the generate call. This will quantize the model and load it into the GPU memory in a more optimized way.

  6. After successfully loading the model, you can now test it. Run the command Ctrl C to exit the previous command.

  7. Alternatively, to test the graphical interface version of the model, create a script that contains all the necessary commands. Set the offline level to 1 and ensure the viewer's offline level is 1. Remove the argument that disabled the UI.

  8. Run the script and access the local interface by opening the URL in a browser. Here, you can interact with the model and input questions or prompts.

Customizing H2O GPT

One advantage of using open source models like H2O GPT is the ability to customize and control your model.

  1. Privacy: When using chatbots or language models hosted externally, there are concerns about data privacy. By using a private open source model, you can ensure that your data stays with you and is not shared or stored elsewhere.

  2. Model Fine-tuning: Open source models like H2O GPT allow you to fine-tune the model weights for specific tasks. This opens up possibilities for developing custom models tailored to specific domains, such as healthcare or financial advice.

  3. Transparency and Bias: Large language models, including open source models, may have biases or be overconfident in providing information. However, with open source models, you have visibility into the training data and process, allowing you to address any biases or inaccuracies.

InIn this article, we explored the process of setting up h2o gpt, an open source python library, on your local machine. we discussed the advantages of open source models like h2o gpt and how they offer transparency and flexibility. we also introduced the falcon models, which are fine-tuned for conversation purposes and available in different parameter sizes.

by following the instructions provided on the h2o gpt github repository, you can install h2o gpt and have your own chatbot running locally. whether you're building chatbots, virtual assistants, or other conversational ai applications, h2o gpt provides a powerful and customizable solution.

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, running H2O GPT involves proper installation, testing, and understanding the potential for customization and control. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can leverage H2O GPT for your language processing tasks and benefit from its flexibility and power.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more articles on exciting developments in the field of large language models!

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