LocalAI is an API written in Go that serves as an OpenAI shim, enabling software already developed with OpenAI SDKs to seamlessly integrate with LocalAI. It can be effortlessly implemented as a substitute, even on consumer-grade hardware. This capability is achieved by employing various C++ backends, including ggml, to perform inference on LLMs using both CPU and, if desired, GPU. Internally LocalAI backends are just gRPC server, indeed you can specify and build your own gRPC server and extend LocalAI in runtime as well. It is possible to specify external gRPC server and/or binaries that LocalAI will manage internally.
LocalAI uses a mixture of backends written in various languages (C++, Golang, Python, …). You can check the model compatibility table to learn about all the components of LocalAI.
As much as typical open source projects starts, I, mudler, was fiddling around with llama.cpp over my long nights and wanted to have a way to call it from
go, as I am a Golang developer and use it extensively. So I’ve created
LocalAI (or what was initially known as
llama-cli) and added an API to it.
But guess what? The more I dived into this rabbit hole, the more I realized that I had stumbled upon something big. With all the fantastic C++ projects floating around the community, it dawned on me that I could piece them together to create a full-fledged OpenAI replacement. So, ta-da! LocalAI was born, and it quickly overshadowed its humble origins.
Now, why did I choose to go with C++ bindings, you ask? Well, I wanted to keep LocalAI snappy and lightweight, allowing it to run like a champ on any system and avoid any Golang penalties of the GC, and, most importantly built on shoulders of giants like
llama.cpp. Go is good at backends and API and is easy to maintain. And hey, don’t forget that I’m all about sharing the love. That’s why I made LocalAI MIT licensed, so everyone can hop on board and benefit from it.
As if that wasn’t exciting enough, as the project gained traction, mkellerman and Aisuko jumped in to lend a hand. mkellerman helped set up some killer examples, while Aisuko is becoming our community maestro. The community now is growing even more with new contributors and users, and I couldn’t be happier about it!
Oh, and let’s not forget the real MVP here—llama.cpp. Without this extraordinary piece of software, LocalAI wouldn’t even exist. So, a big shoutout to the community for making this magic happen!