A small, simple kernel example for IPython
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SimpleKernel.cs Working C# version Feb 5, 2015
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simple_kernel.py support for Python 3 Jan 19, 2016



A small, simple kernel example for Jupyter, specification version: 5.0


Download and run:

ipython console --KernelManager.kernel_cmd="['python', 'simple_kernel.py', '{connection_file}']"

ipython notebook --KernelManager.kernel_cmd="['python', 'simple_kernel.py', '{connection_file}']"

ipython qtconsole --KernelManager.kernel_cmd="['python', 'simple_kernel.py', '{connection_file}']"

Alternative way

Install Jupyter

$ git clone https://github.com/jupyter/notebook.git
$ cd notebook
$ mkvirtualenv jupyter-env
$ workon jupyter-env
(jupyter-env) $ pip install --pre -e .
(jupyter-env) $ pip install jupyter-console

Download project to the different directory, install (prepare kernel.json file with install_script.sh script) and run:

(jupyter-env) $ git clone https://github.com/dsblank/simple_kernel.git
(jupyter-env) $ ./install_script.sh
(jupyter-env) $ jupyter console --kernel simple_kernel

Testing kernel

You can test your project using jupyter_kernel_test project.

Clone this project:

(jupyter-env) $ git clone https://github.com/jupyter/jupyter_kernel_test
(jupyter_env) $ cd jupyter_kernel_test

Modify test_ipython.py file to look like this:

import unittest
import jupyter_kernel_test as jkt

class IRkernelTests(jkt.KernelTests):
    kernel_name = "simple_kernel"
    language_name = "simple_kernel"

    code_hello_world = "print('hello, world')"

if __name__ == '__main__':

and run this project with following command:

(jupyter-env) $ python test_ipython.py

Output should be similar to this:

### some debug information
Ran 5 tests in 1.034s

OK (skipped=3)

Current status


  • shell, heartbeat, and iopub channels working
  • signatures are correct
  • need to test control and stdin channels
  • need to handle "magics"


  1. when running a console, doesn't stop python when exiting


These references may be helpful in understanding the big picture of IPython and zmq.

  1. http://ipython.org/ipython-doc/dev/development/messaging.html - Messaging documentation
  2. http://andrew.gibiansky.com/blog/ipython/ipython-kernels/ - Useful document in making a kernel
  3. http://zeromq.github.io/pyzmq/api/index.html - 0MQ Documentation for low-level socket functionality

Other Kernel Examples

Here is a list of all of the standalone kernels (backends) that I know about. I don't think I got a single one to run, however.