NB: This is nbdev v2, a major upgrade of nbdev. Whilst the differences
to nbdev1 aren’t huge, it does require some changes. The old version
docs are at nbdev1.fast.ai. You can use
'nbdev<2') to stop nbdev from
upgrading. To upgrade, follow the migration
nbdev is a notebook-driven development platform. Simply write
notebooks with lightweight markup and get high-quality documentation,
tests, continuous integration, and packaging for free!
nbdev makes debugging and refactoring your code much easier than in
traditional programming environments since you always have live objects
at your fingertips.
nbdev also promotes software engineering best
practices because tests and documentation are first class.
- Documentation is automatically generated using
Quarto and hosted on GitHub
Pages. Docs support LaTeX, are searchable,
and are automatically hyperlinked (including out-of-the-box support
for many packages via
- Publish packages to PyPI and conda as well as tools to simplify
package releases. Python best practices are automatically followed,
for example, only exported objects are included in
- Two-way sync between notebooks and plaintext source code allowing you to use your IDE for code navigation or quick edits
- Tests written as ordinary notebook cells are run in parallel with a single command
- Continuous integration out-of-the-box with GitHub Actions that run your tests and rebuild your docs
- Git-friendly notebooks with Jupyter/Git hooks that clean unwanted metadata and render merge conflicts in a human-readable format
- … and much more!
nbdev works on macOS, Linux, and most Unix-style operating systems. It works on Windows under WSL, but not under cmd or Powershell.
You can install nbdev with pip:
pip install nbdev
… or with conda (or mamba):
conda install -c fastai nbdev
nbdev must be installed into the same Python environment
that you use for both Jupyter and your project.
How to use nbdev
The best way to learn how to use nbdev is to complete either the written walkthrough or video walkthrough:
Alternatively, there’s a shortened version of the video
walkthrough with coding sections sped up
unsilence Python library – it’s 27 minutes faster, but a bit
harder to follow.
You can also run
nbdev_help from the terminal to see the full list of
nbdev_bump_version Increment version in settings.ini by one nbdev_changelog Create a CHANGELOG.md file from closed and labeled GitHub issues nbdev_clean Clean all notebooks in `fname` to avoid merge conflicts nbdev_conda Create a `meta.yaml` file ready to be built into a package, and optionally build and upload it nbdev_create_config Create a config file. nbdev_deploy Deploy docs to GitHub Pages nbdev_docs Create Quarto docs and README.md nbdev_export Export notebooks in `path` to Python modules nbdev_filter A notebook filter for Quarto nbdev_fix Create working notebook from conflicted notebook `nbname` nbdev_help Show help for all console scripts nbdev_install Install Quarto and the current library nbdev_install_hooks Install Jupyter and git hooks to automatically clean, trust, and fix merge conflicts in notebooks nbdev_install_quarto Install latest Quarto on macOS or Linux, prints instructions for Windows nbdev_merge Git merge driver for notebooks nbdev_migrate Convert all directives and callouts in `fname` from v1 to v2 nbdev_new Create an nbdev project. nbdev_prepare Export, test, and clean notebooks, and render README if needed nbdev_preview Preview docs locally nbdev_proc_nbs Process notebooks in `path` for docs rendering nbdev_pypi Create and upload Python package to PyPI nbdev_readme None nbdev_release_both Release both conda and PyPI packages nbdev_release_gh Calls `nbdev_changelog`, lets you edit the result, then pushes to git and calls `nbdev_release_git` nbdev_release_git Tag and create a release in GitHub for the current version nbdev_sidebar Create sidebar.yml nbdev_test Test in parallel notebooks matching `path`, passing along `flags` nbdev_trust Trust notebooks matching `fname` nbdev_update Propagate change in modules matching `fname` to notebooks that created them
Q: What is the warning “Found a cell containing mix of imports and computations. Please use separate cells”?
A: You should not have cells that are not exported, and contain a mix
import statements along with other code. For instance, don’t do
this in a single cell:
import some_module some_module.something()
Instead, split this into two cells, one which does
and the other which does
The reason for this is that when we create your documentation website,
we ensure that all of the signatures for functions you document are up
to date, by running the imports, exported cells, and
in your notebooks. When you mix imports with other code, that other code
will be run too, which can cause errors (or at least slowdowns) when
creating your website.
Q: Why is nbdev asking for root access? How do I install Quarto without root access?
A: When you setup your first project, nbdev will attempt to automatically download and install Quarto for you. This is the program that we use to create your documentation website.
Quarto’s standard installation process requires root access, and nbdev will therefore ask for your root password during installation. For most people, this will work fine and everything will be handled automatically – if so, you can skip over the rest of this section, which talks about installing without root access.
If you need to install Quarto without root access on Linux, first
to wherever you want to store it, then download
Quarto, and type:
dpkg -x quarto*.deb . mv opt/quarto ./ rmdir opt mkdir -p ~/.local/bin ln -s "$(pwd)"/quarto/bin/quarto ~/.local/bin
To use this non-root version of Quarto, you’ll need
(Alternatively, change the
ln -s step to place the symlink somewhere
else in your path.)
Q: Someone told me not to use notebooks for “serious” software development!
A: Watch this video. Don’t worry, we
still get this too, despite having used
nbdev for a wide range of
“very serious” software projects over the last three years, including
deep learning libraries, API
clients, Python language
extensions, terminal user
interfaces, and more!
If you want to contribute to
nbdev, be sure to review the
This project adheres to fastai’s code of
By participating, you are expected to uphold this code. In general, we
strive to abide by generally accepted best practices in open-source
Make sure you have
nbdev’s git hooks installed by running
in the cloned repository.
Copyright © 2019 onward fast.ai, Inc. Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this project’s files except in compliance with the License. A copy of the License is provided in the LICENSE file in this repository.