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Running the Jupyter Notebook

Launching Jupyter Notebook App

The :ref:`notebook_app` can be launched by clicking on the Jupyter Notebook icon installed by Anaconda in the start menu (Windows) or by typing in a terminal (cmd on Windows):

jupyter notebook

This will launch a new browser window (or a new tab) showing the :ref:`dashboard`, a sort of control panel that allows (among other things) to select which notebook to open.

When started, the :ref:`notebook_app` can access only files within its start-up folder (including any sub-folder). No configuration is necessary if you place your notebooks in your home folder or subfolders. Otherwise, you need to choose a :ref:`notebook_app` start-up folder which will contain all the notebooks.

See below for platform-specific instructions on how to start :ref:`notebook_app` in a specific folder.

Change Jupyter Notebook startup folder (Windows)

  • Copy the Jupyter Notebook launcher from the menu to the desktop.
  • Right click on the new launcher and change the Target field, change %USERPROFILE% to the full path of the folder which will contain all the notebooks.
  • Double-click on the Jupyter Notebook desktop launcher (icon shows [IPy]) to start the :ref:`notebook_app`. The notebook interface will appear in a new browser window or tab. A secondary terminal window (used only for error logging and for shut down) will be also opened.

Change Jupyter Notebook startup folder (Mac OS)

To launch :ref:`notebook_app`:

  • Click on spotlight, type terminal to open a terminal window.
  • Enter the startup folder by typing cd /some_folder_name.
  • Type jupyter notebook to launch the :ref:`notebook_app` The notebook interface will appear in a new browser window or tab.

Shut down the Jupyter Notebook App

Closing the browser (or the tab) will not close the :ref:`notebook_app`. To completely shut it down you need to close the associated terminal.

In more detail, the :ref:`notebook_app` is a server that appears in your browser at a default address (http://localhost:8888). Closing the browser will not shut down the server. You can reopen the previous address and the :ref:`notebook_app` will be redisplayed.

You can run many copies of the :ref:`notebook_app` and they will show up at a similar address (only the number after ":", which is the port, will increment for each new copy). Since with a single :ref:`notebook_app` you can already open many notebooks, we do not recommend running multiple copies of :ref:`notebook_app`.

Close a notebook: kernel shut down

When a notebook is opened, its "computational engine" (called the :ref:`kernel`) is automatically started. Closing the notebook browser tab, will not shut down the :ref:`kernel`, instead the kernel will keep running until is explicitly shut down.

To shut down a kernel, go to the associated notebook and click on menu File -> Close and Halt. Alternatively, the :ref:`dashboard` has a tab named Running that shows all the running notebooks (i.e. kernels) and allows shutting them down (by clicking on a Shutdown button).

Executing a notebook

Download the notebook you want to execute and put it in your notebook folder (or a sub-folder of it).

Then follow these steps:

  • Launch the :ref:`notebook_app` (see :ref:`previous section <launching_notebook>`).
  • In the :ref:`dashboard` navigate to find the notebook: clicking on its name will open it in a new browser tab.
  • Click on the menu Help -> User Interface Tour for an overview of the :ref:`notebook_app` user interface.
  • You can run the notebook document step-by-step (one cell a time) by pressing shift + enter.
  • You can run the whole notebook in a single step by clicking on the menu Cell -> Run All.
  • To restart the :ref:`kernel` (i.e. the computational engine), click on the menu Kernel -> Restart. This can be useful to start over a computation from scratch (e.g. variables are deleted, open files are closed, etc...).

More information on editing a notebook:


Save notebooks: modifications to the notebooks are automatically saved every few minutes. To avoid modifying the original notebook, make a copy of the notebook document (menu File -> Make a copy ...) and save the modifications on the copy.


Pay attention to not open the same notebook document on many tabs: edits on different tabs can overwrite each other! To be safe, make sure you open each notebook document in only one tab. If you accidentally open a notebook twice in two different tabs, just close one of the tabs.

More info on the :ref:`notebook_app` environment see :ref:`references`.

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