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Run Llama3 (or any LLM / SLM) on Your MacBook in 2024


I'm gonna be real with you: the Cloud and SaaS / PaaS is great... until it isn't. When you're elbow-deep in doing something with the likes of ChatGPT or Gemini or whatever, the last thing you need is your AI assistant starts choking (It seems that upper network connection was reset) because 5G or the local WiFi crapped out or some server halfway across the world is having a meltdown(s).

That's why I'm all about running large language models (LLMs) like Llama3 locally. Yep, right on your trusty MacBook. Sure, the cloud's got its perks, but here's why local is the way to go, especially for me:

  1. Privacy: When you're brainstorming the next big thing, you don't want your ideas floating around on some random server. Keeping your data local means it's yours, and that's a level of control I can get behind.

  2. Offline = Uninterrupted Flow: Whether you're on a plane, at a coffee shop with spotty wifi, or just hate being at the mercy of your internet connection, having an LLM on your local machine means you can brainstorm, draft,and refine ideas anytime, anywhere.

  3. Speed: Local models tend to be faster than cloud-based ones, simply because there's no round trip to a remote server. This makes for a much smoother, more responsive experience. Okay, depends on your hardware, and a MBP M2 with 8Gb RAM isn't the number cruncher et all. But instead to use 8B models, 4B highly tuned are running perfectly fine, like Phi3 (

  4. Experimentation: Want to tweak parameters, try out different model versions, or play around with custom prompts? Having a local setup gives you a sandbox to tinker and explore without worrying about cloud costs or throttling.

Alright, Enough Talk. Let's Get This Thing Running

If you're ready to ditch the cloud and take control of your AI, here's the lowdown on how to get Llama 3 up and running on your MacBook:

  1. Ollama is Your Friend: Download the Ollama app for macOS. It's a simple way to manage and run various LLM models locally. Just grab it from their website: wget; unzip

  2. Run Llama3: Move into Application, start up, and allow the command line setup. Open the terminal and run the following command: ollama run llama3; this will download the model if you don't have it already and start it up.

  3. Hugging: Want to play with other models from Hugging Face? No problem. Just download the .gguf file and create a simple model file with the details from the model card on Hugging Face.


    Create the modelfile:

    vi mf-mistral 

    <-- SNIPP

    FROM "./capybarahermes-2.5-mistral-7b.Q3_K_S.gguf "

    PARAMETER stop "<|im_start|>"

    PARAMETER stop "<|im_end|>"

    TEMPLATE """


    {{ .System }}<|im_end|>


    {{ .Prompt }}<|im_end|>



    SNAP --> 

    Create your model:

    ollama create h1 -f mf-mistral 

    ollama run h1

    list all installed models:

    ollama list

Pro Tip: Tailor your prompts for product ideation! Instead of generic questions, focus on specific problem areas or target audiences.


"give me some quotes from steve ballmer"

Ready to Roll?

Running Llama 3 locally on your MacBook is a game-changer for product ideation. You'll have the freedom, speed, and privacy to unleash your creativity and build products that truly matter to your users.


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