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

branch: master
contrib Slight (but quick) documentation improvement.
doc Delete installation.rst
router-ipc Set up a router-ipc directory to house the AsyncSender ipc pipes.
static Make static test directory with some test pages.
submodules Upgrade jquery and jquery-ui-touch-punch.
templates Get IPython widgets working with the cell server
tests Make the interact test page served from the static directory, and mak…
timing Fix simple testing scripts for the new session id handling.
.gitignore Always open dialog below cursor; keep focus on textbox
.gitmodules Update CodeMirror repository URL to new location on GitHub
LICENSE.txt Clarify the licensing situation, since we are importing Sage code in …
Makefile Switch to OrbitControls, which now supports having z being the up dir… Merge advanced installation into the simple one. Add SageCellComm class that basically resets the timeout anytime a co… Make the temporary directory settable from the command line and from … Allow the user to create permalinks with interact values and bookmarks Make the permalink generator retry in the event of a collision Allow the user to create permalinks with interact values and bookmarks Implement readonly and locations parameters to interacts Add linear algebra exercise example. Use instead of wrap-jquery shell script Erase IPython kernel connection file before starting the kernel. Add cone, cylinder, and box functions Add an OPTIONS handler for / for health checks Initial port of William's exercise string decorator Fix shell reply message handling, and kill an unnecessary reply message. Get appropriate info for the statistics log messages Add stream_message function Fix typo in namespace deletion Return error from permalink web server when code is not found use the remote ip from proxy headers Sage module for IPython was moved in Sage - adjust the path. Set up a router-ipc directory to house the AsyncSender ipc pipes. Fix typo affecting kernels that are pre-forked Make the temporary directory settable from the command line and from … Log startup/shutdown/tornado exceptions.

This is Sage Cell - a Sage computation web service.

Please note that installation instructions below may be outdated. The most reliable source of build instructions at the moment is in contib/vm scripts.

Security Warning

If you are going to run a world accessible Sage Cell 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 (e.g. git). If you need to know more precisely what tools are needed, please consult the scripts for building virtual machine images in contib/vm scripts.

  1. Make sure you have a recent enough version of git: 1.8.5 is good enough, while 1.7.9 isn't.
  2. Install required npm packages:

    sudo apt-get install npm
    # On Debian based systems we need to make an alias
    sudo ln -s /usr/bin/nodejs /usr/bin/node
    sudo npm install -g inherits requirejs coffee-script
  3. Download repositories from GitHub:

    # Create a directory for building images and go there.
    mkdir sc_build
    cd sc_build
    # Get clone_repositories, make it executable, and run it.
    chmod u+x clone_repositories

    Note: these are the largest downloads that happen during installation, but not the only ones - you have to have Internet access during the following steps as well.

  4. Build Sage (export MAKE="make -j8" or something similar can speed things up):

    mv github/sage .
    cd sage
    make start

    Note that we are building a special branch of Sage for the Cell server, do NOT use your regular Sage installation!

  5. Prepare Sage for Sage Cell:

    ./sage -sh -c "easy_install pip"
    ./sage -i
    ./sage -i pyzmq
    # we need a more recent pyzmq than Sage provides
    ./sage -sh -c "pip install -U pyzmq"
    # We need IPython stuff not present in spkg.
    pushd local/lib/python/site-packages
    rm -rf IPython*
    rm -rf ipython*
    mv ../github/ipython .
    pushd ipython
    ../sage develop
    # we need a cutting-edge matplotlib as well for the new interactive features
    mv ../github/matplotlib .
    pushd matplotlib
    ../sage install
    ./sage -sh -c "easy_install ecdsa"
    ./sage -sh -c "easy_install paramiko"
    ./sage -sh -c "easy_install sockjs-tornado"
    ./sage -sh -c "easy_install lockfile"
  6. Build Sage Cell:

    mv ../github/sagecell .
    cd sagecell/static
    ln -s ../../local/share/jmol .
    cd ..
    ../sage -sh -c "make -B"


  1. Go into the sage/sagecell directory (you are there in the end of the above instructions).
  2. Copy to
  3. Edit according to your needs. Of particular interest are host and username entries of the _default_config 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. Start the server via

    ../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.


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

Browser Compatibility

The Sage Cell Server 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.

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