For my teachings, I installed a notebook server on a virtual machine on Azure. All the students will be able to connect the same login (the multi-user configuration is part of the roadmap). The students will not have to install the notebooks by themselves. They will be able to see what other students users do. Here are the steps I followed.
Step 1: create the virtual machine with Azure
I won't detail that, it is pretty straight forward. Just follow the tutorial Create a Virtual Machine Running Windows. I chose a Windows Server. The number of cores must depend on the number of users. I assume all students are not going to access the notebook at the same time except during the lectures. I chose eight cores. I might modify this post in case it is not enough.
Step 2: install Python (latest version - 3.4 today)
I chose the distribution Anaconda 3.4 64bit. This distribution is the most up to date (Python 3.4) and it contains the necessary modules to access a Linux server with a SSH connection (module paramiko). I did not change the default options. For my teachings, you also need to install (with pip):
Step 3: allow connection to the machine
Step 4: install OpenSSL
OpenSSL is not installed on Windows. I did it on c:\OpenSSL. This path will appear later.
Step 5: create an IPython profile for the server
rem for the regular installation rem cd c:\Python34\Script cd C:\Anaconda3\Scripts ipython profile create studentsrv
2015/09/04 I updated to Jupyter 4.0 which does not work the same way. You can create a profile the same way or just do:
It just creates a config file, it is better to rename it just after.
Step 6: create a certificate
The command line described in the post mentioned in the previous step does not work unless the config file is specified (see openssl error in reading openssl.conf file). From a command line, execute:
set PATH=%PATH%;c:\OpenSSL\bin cd %USERPROFILE%\.ipython\profile_studentsrv openssl req -config C:\OpenSSL\bin\openssl.cfg -x509 -days 365 -newkey rsa:1024 -keyout notebooksrv.key -nodes -out notebooksrv.crt
Step 7: create a password
Create a password for the notebook. The password is encrypted.
rem for the regular installation rem cd c:\Python34\Script cd C:\Anaconda3\Scripts python -c "import IPython;print (IPython.lib.passwd())"
Step 8: edit the configuration for the notebook
It is almost finished, we just need to update the configuration for the notebook server with all the necessary details. Don't forget to replace [user] by your username.
c = get_config() c.IPKernelApp.pylab = 'inline' c.NotebookApp.certfile = r'C:\Users\[user]\.ipython\profile_studentsrv\notebooksrv.crt' c.NotebookApp.keyfile = r'C:\Users\[user]\.ipython\profile_studentsrv\notebooksrv.key' c.NotebookApp.password = 'sha1:b86e933199ad:a02e9592e5 etc... ' c.NotebookApp.ip = '*' c.NotebookApp.port = 9999 c.NotebookApp.open_browser = False
Step 9: the final shortcut on the desktop
The last thing to do is to launch the notebooks. This is the command I use:
set PATH=%PATH%;c:\OpenSSL\bin set PATH=%PATH%;C:\Anaconda3;C:\Anaconda3\Scripts ipython notebook --profile=studentsrv --notebook-dir=c:\notebooks
2015/09/04 The command line changed. If you run it as it is (IPython 2.1 < 4.0)), it tells Unrecognized alias. The new way to launch the notebook is:
set PATH=%PATH%;c:\OpenSSL\bin set PATH=%PATH%;C:\PythonENSAE;C:\PythonENSAE\Scripts jupyter-notebook --config=C:\Users\user_name\.ipython\profile_name\ipython_notebook_config2.py --notebook-dir=c:\notebooks2015
It will probably evolve a little bit again as the current is not fully polished.
Step 10: try it
Everything is set up. The url to try is: https://[machinename].cloudapp.net:9999/. The browser will first ask you to approve a certificate it does not recognize. Once it is approved, you will have to enter the password. You can now download a notebook from anywhere (for example from ENSAE Algorithme et Programmation). You can then drag and drop it on the webpage to upload it to the server.
I created a folder for each user but everybody can look at anybody's folder. This server is more a way to do some exercises without installing everything. To work on sensible data, I recommend to follow the steps on your own in order to get your own server.
Step 11: store your notebooks on Azure BLob Storage
It requires to change the notebook configuration as described at: Using a different notebook store.