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This is SageMathCell - a Sage computation web service.

Our mailing list is!forum/sage-cell

Security Warning

If you are going to run a world accessible SageMathCell server, you must understand security implications and should be able to implement reasonable precautions.

The worker account (which is your own one by default) will be able to execute arbitrary code, which may be malicious. Make sure that you are securing the account properly. Working with a professional IT person is a very good idea here. Since the untrusted accounts can be on any computer, one way to isolate these accounts is to host them in a virtual machine that can be reset if the machine is compromised.

Simple Installation

We assume that you have access to the Internet and can install any needed dependencies. If you need to know more precisely what tools are needed, please consult the scripts for building virtual machine images in contrib/vm. In particular, system packages installed in the base container are listed here.

  1. Install requirejs:

    sudo apt-get install npm
    # On Debian based systems we need to make an alias
    sudo ln -s /usr/bin/nodejs /usr/bin/node
  2. Get and build Sage (export MAKE="make -j8" or something similar can speed things up):

    git clone
    pushd sage
    ./configure --enable-download-from-upstream-url
    # read messages at the end, follow instructions given there.
    # possibly install more system packages (using apt-get, if on Debian/Ubuntu)
  3. Prepare Sage for SageMathCell:

    sage/sage -pip install lockfile
    sage/sage -pip install paramiko
    sage/sage -pip install sockjs-tornado
    sage/sage -pip install sqlalchemy
  4. Build SageMathCell:

    git clone
    pushd sagecell
    ../sage/sage -sh -c make

To build just the Javascript components, from the sagecell directory run

make static/embedded_sagecell.js

By default, Javascript dependencies are copied from an existing Sage install. To fetch dependencies from Github instead, you can run

export FETCH_SAGE_DEPS=yes
make static/embedded_sagecell.js


  1. Go into the sagecell directory (you are there in the end of the above instructions).

  2. Copy to (Or fill only with entries that you wish to change from default values.)

  3. Edit according to your needs. Of particular interest are host and username entries of the provider_info dictionary: you should be able to SSH to username@host without typing in a password. For example, by default, it assumes you can do ssh localhost without typing in a password. Unless you are running a private and firewalled server for youself, you’ll want to change this to a more restrictive account; otherwise anyone will be able to execute any code under your username. You can set up a passwordless account using SSH: type “ssh passwordless login” into Google to find lots of guides for doing this, like You may also wish to adjust db_config["uri"] (make the database files readable only by the trusted account).

  4. You may want to adjust to suit your needs and/or adjust system configuration. By default logging is done via syslog which handles multiple processes better than plain files.

  5. Start the server via

    ../sage/sage [-p <PORT_NUMBER>]

    where the default <PORT_NUMBER> is 8888 and go to http://localhost:<PORT_NUMBER> to use the Sage Cell server.

    When you want to shut down the server, press Ctrl-C in the same terminal.

Javascript Development

Javascript source files are compiled using Webpack. Sagecell depends on source files copied from the Jupyter notebook project. To start development navigate to the sagecell source directory and run

npm install
npm run build:deps

After this, all dependencies will be located in the build/vendor directory. You can now run

npm run build

to build build/embedded_sagecell.js


npm run watch

to build build/embedded_sagecell.js and watch files for changes. If a file is changed, embedded_sagecell.js will be automatically rebuilt.


See the LICENSE.txt file for terms and conditions for usage and a DISCLAIMER OF ALL WARRANTIES.

Browser Compatibility

SageMathCell is designed to be compatible with recent versions of:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Opera
  • Safari

If you notice issues with any of these browsers, please let us know.


The Sage Cell Server---providing a way to embed Sage computations into any web page.






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