Common Features

A container launched from any Jupyter Docker Stacks image runs a Jupyter Notebook server by default. The container does so by executing a start-notebook.sh script. This script configures the internal container environment and then runs jupyter notebook, passing it any command line arguments received.

This page describes the options supported by the startup script as well as how to bypass it to run alternative commands.

Notebook Options

You can pass Jupyter command line options to the start-notebook.sh script when launching the container. For example, to secure the Notebook server with a custom password hashed using IPython.lib.passwd() instead of the default token, you can run the following:

docker run -d -p 8888:8888 jupyter/base-notebook start-notebook.sh --NotebookApp.password='sha1:74ba40f8a388:c913541b7ee99d15d5ed31d4226bf7838f83a50e'

For example, to set the base URL of the notebook server, you can run the following:

docker run -d -p 8888:8888 jupyter/base-notebook start-notebook.sh --NotebookApp.base_url=/some/path

Docker Options

You may instruct the start-notebook.sh script to customize the container environment before launching the notebook server. You do so by passing arguments to the docker run command.

  • -e NB_USER=jovyan - Instructs the startup script to change the default container username from jovyan to the provided value. Causes the script to rename the jovyan user home folder.
  • -e NB_UID=1000 - Instructs the startup script to switch the numeric user ID of $NB_USER to the given value. This feature is useful when mounting host volumes with specific owner permissions. For this option to take effect, you must run the container with --user root. (The startup script will su $NB_USER after adjusting the user ID.) You might consider using modern Docker options --user and --group-add instead. See the last bullet below for details.
  • -e NB_GID=100 - Instructs the startup script to change the primary group of$NB_USER to $NB_GID (the new group is added with a name of $NB_GROUP if it is defined, otherwise the group is named $NB_USER). This feature is useful when mounting host volumes with specific group permissions. For this option to take effect, you must run the container with --user root. (The startup script will su $NB_USER after adjusting the group ID.) You might consider using modern Docker options --user and --group-add instead. See the last bullet below for details. The user is added to supplemental group users (gid 100) in order to allow write access to the home directory and /opt/conda. If you override the user/group logic, ensure the user stays in group users if you want them to be able to modify files in the image.
  • -e NB_GROUP=<name> - The name used for $NB_GID, which defaults to $NB_USER. This is only used if $NB_GID is specified and completely optional: there is only cosmetic effect.
  • -e CHOWN_HOME=yes - Instructs the startup script to change the $NB_USER home directory owner and group to the current value of $NB_UID and $NB_GID. This change will take effect even if the user home directory is mounted from the host using -v as described below. The change is not applied recursively by default. You can change modify the chown behavior by setting CHOWN_HOME_OPTS (e.g., -e CHOWN_HOME_OPTS='-R').
  • -e CHOWN_EXTRA="<some dir>,<some other dir> - Instructs the startup script to change the owner and group of each comma-separated container directory to the current value of $NB_UID and $NB_GID. The change is not applied recursively by default. You can change modify the chown behavior by setting CHOWN_EXTRA_OPTS (e.g., -e CHOWN_EXTRA_OPTS='-R').
  • -e GRANT_SUDO=yes - Instructs the startup script to grant the NB_USER user passwordless sudo capability. You do not need this option to allow the user to conda or pip install additional packages. This option is useful, however, when you wish to give $NB_USER the ability to install OS packages with apt or modify other root-owned files in the container. For this option to take effect, you must run the container with --user root. (The start-notebook.sh script will su $NB_USER after adding $NB_USER to sudoers.) You should only enable sudo if you trust the user or if the container is running on an isolated host.
  • -e GEN_CERT=yes - Instructs the startup script to generates a self-signed SSL certificate and configure Jupyter Notebook to use it to accept encrypted HTTPS connections.
  • -e JUPYTER_ENABLE_LAB=yes - Instructs the startup script to run jupyter lab instead of the default jupyter notebook command. Useful in container orchestration environments where setting environment variables is easier than change command line parameters.
  • -v /some/host/folder/for/work:/home/jovyan/work - Mounts a host machine directory as folder in the container. Useful when you want to preserve notebooks and other work even after the container is destroyed. You must grant the within-container notebook user or group (NB_UID or NB_GID) write access to the host directory (e.g., sudo chown 1000 /some/host/folder/for/work).
  • --user 5000 --group-add users - Launches the container with a specific user ID and adds that user to the users group so that it can modify files in the default home directory and /opt/conda. You can use these arguments as alternatives to setting $NB_UID and $NB_GID.

SSL Certificates

You may mount SSL key and certificate files into a container and configure Jupyter Notebook to use them to accept HTTPS connections. For example, to mount a host folder containing a notebook.key and notebook.crt and use them, you might run the following:

docker run -d -p 8888:8888 \
    -v /some/host/folder:/etc/ssl/notebook \
    jupyter/base-notebook start-notebook.sh \
    --NotebookApp.keyfile=/etc/ssl/notebook/notebook.key
    --NotebookApp.certfile=/etc/ssl/notebook/notebook.crt

Alternatively, you may mount a single PEM file containing both the key and certificate. For example:

docker run -d -p 8888:8888 \
    -v /some/host/folder/notebook.pem:/etc/ssl/notebook.pem \
    jupyter/base-notebook start-notebook.sh \
    --NotebookApp.certfile=/etc/ssl/notebook.pem

In either case, Jupyter Notebook expects the key and certificate to be a base64 encoded text file. The certificate file or PEM may contain one or more certificates (e.g., server, intermediate, and root).

For additional information about using SSL, see the following:

Alternative Commands

start.sh

The start-notebook.sh script actually inherits most of its option handling capability from a more generic start.sh script. The start.sh script supports all of the features described above, but allows you to specify an arbitrary command to execute. For example, to run the text-based ipython console in a container, do the following:

docker run -it --rm jupyter/base-notebook start.sh ipython

Or, to run JupyterLab instead of the classic notebook, run the following:

docker run -it --rm -p 8888:8888 jupyter/base-notebook start.sh jupyter lab

This script is particularly useful when you derive a new Dockerfile from this image and install additional Jupyter applications with subcommands like jupyter console, jupyter kernelgateway, etc.

Others

You can bypass the provided scripts and specify your an arbitrary start command. If you do, keep in mind that features supported by the start.sh script and its kin will not function (e.g., GRANT_SUDO).

Conda Environments

The default Python 3.x Conda environment resides in /opt/conda. The /opt/conda/bin directory is part of the default jovyan user’s $PATH. That directory is also whitelisted for use in sudo commands by the start.sh script.

The jovyan user has full read/write access to the /opt/conda directory. You can use either conda or pip to install new packages without any additional permissions.

# install a package into the default (python 3.x) environment
pip install some-package
conda install some-package