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Co-authored-by: Martin Hjelmare <>

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ImJoy elFinder Binder Open In Colab PyPI Version Test

A web file browser for managing data on remote jupyter servers, specifically built for the ImJoy project, an open source platform for deploying computational tools to the end user.

The frontend is built with elFinder and a Python backend server.

What is elFinder

elFinder is an open-source file manager for web, written in JavaScript using jQuery and jQuery UI, the project is maintained by Studio 42.

Try their online demo here.


Python 3.6+ is required.

pip install -U imjoy-elfinder

Basic Usage

In your terminal, run the following command:

imjoy-elfinder --thumbnail

(The thumbnail option enables thumbnail for images, it will create a folder named .tmb under your current folder, you can also disable that by remove the --thumbnail option.)

You will then see the following message:

==========ImJoy elFinder server is running=========

Depending on where you started the command, the file browser will show your current folder as root directory or HOME.

In order to browse your own directory, you can manually set the root directory by passing --root-dir=/PATH/TO/MY/FOLDER.


Use it with remote Jupyter notebook server

If you don't have jupyter notebook, run:

pip install -U jupyter

Next, install ImJoy elFinder with jupyter server proxy extension:

pip install -U imjoy-elfinder[jupyter]

Now start Jupyter notebook as you would do normally, for example:

jupyter notebook --ip=

You will get a web file browser at http://YOUR_NOTEBOOK_URL/elfinder (depending on what you get from your notebook, for example, the url can be http://localhost:8000/elfinder).

Start a demo with MyBinder

  1. Start an instance on MyBinder:

  2. You should be able to see a file browser.

Security Considerations

Please be aware that there is potential risk to use ImJoy elFinder locally or remotely over the internet.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Try to set root-dir to a folder containing the files you actually need, as minimal as possible, avoid exposing the entire file system.

  2. For remote servers, use it via the Jupyter proxy such that the access will be protected by jupyter token or password. also, do not turn off the authentication in Jupyter.

  3. For running it locally, we use allow-origin header (CORS) to protect access from a random website, for that to work, please use a modern browser and keep it updated.

  4. Update ImJoy elFinder regularly with 'pip install -U imjoy-elfinder', in case there is security updates.


  • For developers, you can enable hot reloading by using hupper:
hupper -m imjoy_elfinder
  • Install all development requirements with:
pip install -r requirements_dev.txt

You can also watch additional files by add -w (e.g.: hupper -m imjoy_elfinder -w imjoy_elfinder/templates/elfinder/main.js)