GitHub Codespaces for Jupyter Notebooks – An Intro and How To Guide

GitHub Codespaces is a cloud-based development environment that allows developers to easily set up a development environment within the browser. It allows you to create, edit, and run your code directly from your browser, without the need for additional software or hardware. This is especially helpful when working with Jupyter Notebooks, which require a specific setup to run locally.

In this article, we will walk through the process of setting up a GitHub Codespace for Jupyter Notebooks and integrating it with GitHub Actions to automate the process.

Setting Up a GitHub Codespace for Jupyter Notebooks

Before we dive into the setup, it is important to note that GitHub Codespaces is still in beta, and may have certain limitations. Additionally, you will need a GitHub account to proceed.

  1. Navigate to the repository where you want to create a Codespace.
  2. Click on the “Code” button on the repository page.
  3. Click on the “Open with Codespaces” dropdown button.
  4. Choose “New Codespace”.
  5. Customize your Codespace settings. Choose the operating system, version of Python, and other tools you want to include in the environment.
  6. Click on “Create Codespace”.
  7. Once your Codespace is created, you can open the Jupyter Notebook by clicking on the “Open Jupyter Notebook” button.

Integrating GitHub Actions

With GitHub Actions, you can automate the process of building and testing your code. In this section, we will show you how to create a GitHub Action that sets up the Codespace and runs the Jupyter Notebook.

  1. Navigate to the repository and click on the “Actions” tab.
  2. Click on the “Set up a workflow yourself” button.
  3. Add the following code to the “YAML” file:
name: Jupyter Notebook

on: [push]

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Setup Codespace
        uses: actions/setup-codespaces@v2
          codespace-name: "My Codespace"
          image: ""
          personal-access-token: ${{ secrets.CODING_ACCESS_TOKEN }}
      - name: Run Jupyter Notebook
        run: |
          jupyter notebook --ip= --no-browser --port=8888 --allow-root

This will create a GitHub Action that sets up the Codespace, runs the Jupyter Notebook, and then saves the results to the repository.

Save the YAML file.

Go to the “Secrets” tab and add a new secret called “CODING_ACCESS_TOKEN”. This is a personal access token that is used to authenticate the GitHub Actions workflow. You can generate a new personal access token by going to your GitHub profile settings, selecting “Developer settings”, and then clicking on “Personal access tokens”.

Push your code to the repository to trigger the GitHub Action.

In this article, we have shown you how to set up a GitHub Codespace for Jupyter Notebooks, and how to integrate it with GitHub Actions to automate the process. This can save a lot of time and make the development process more efficient, especially when working on complex projects.