Microsoft account setup for Bonsai

  • Total time to complete: 10 minutes
  • Active time: 5 minutes
  • Provisioning time: 5 minutes

Bonsai currently runs on cloud services provided by Azure. To use Bonsai, you must:

  1. Create (or sign into) a Microsoft or Azure Active Directory (ADD) account.
  2. Enable Azure cloud services.
  3. Provision a Bonsai workspace.


If your company uses Azure Active Directory, you may already have a valid Azure subscription. Contact your IT team and ask to have your credentials added to the existing account before continuing.

Step 1: Create a Microsoft account

  1. Open the Bonsai UI. You are automatically directed to sign into your Microsoft account.
  2. Sign into your account or click Create one! if you need to create an account.
  3. Grant Bonsai access to your account if prompted.

Microsoft login screen

Screenshot of Microsoft account login window with "Create one!" circled, next to a screenshot of the permissions prompt for Bonsai.

Step 2: Enable Azure cloud services

When you sign in for the first time, the Bonsai UI looks for a valid Azure subscription. If you need an Azure services subscription, click the Go to Azure portal button and follow the prompts to sign up for an Azure free trial. You can use the free trial for 12 months.

Azure subscription screen

Screenshot of the Azure portal with a list of subscription options.


If you already have a valid Azure subscription, but have not created a Bonsai workspace, the UI will prompt you to visit the Azure portal and create a workspace. Otherwise, you are automatically directed to the Azure Portal after subscription sign up.

Step 3: Provision a Bonsai workspace

After signing up for an Azure subscription, you need to provision a Bonsai workspace as a resource in the Azure portal.

  1. Search for "Bonsai" in the Marketplace.

    Azure portal quickstart screen

    Screenshot of the Azure portal showing the results of searching for "Bonsai".

  2. Click on the search result to open your Bonsai resources list.

    Bonsai service page

    Screenshot of the Bonsai resource list screen in the Azure portal.

  3. Click Create bonsai to open the Create Bonsai page and allocate new resources.

  4. Select your subscription from the dropdown and create a new resource group. Resource groups are logical containers of Azure resources.

    Resource allocation screen

    Screenshot of the resource allocation screen with subscription and resource group provided.

  5. Name your workspace. The Location field will self-populate with the location associated with the Azure subscription.

    Resource allocation screen

    Screenshot of the resource allocation screen with workspace provided.

  6. Click Review + create and confirm the listed information is correct.

  7. Click Create to provision the following resources:

    • Azure Container Registry (basic tier) for storing exported brains and uploaded simulators.
    • Azure Container Instances for running simulations.
    • Azure Storage for storing uploaded simulators as zip files.

    Resource details review screen

    Screenshot of the create validation page.

  8. Wait for provisioning to finish. The process can take up to 5 minutes.

    Provisioning status screen

    Screenshot of Bonsai service page with a resource deployment in process.

  9. When provisioning completes, open the Bonsai UI and select your subscription and workspace from the available dropdowns to complete setup.

    Bonsai UI

    Screenshot of the Bonsai UI with the new Azure resources selected.

Next steps

Try a Bonsai quickstart: