How to set up a Jupyter Notebook server in the cloud

Have you heard about Jupyter notebooks? Do you know how they can help you with your data science and machine learning projects? If you haven't been living under a rock, you probably know that Jupyter Notebooks are a powerful tool for data exploration, statistical analysis, and machine learning. They allow you to write, run, and share code in an interactive notebook environment.

But what if you want to run your Jupyter Notebook server in the cloud? Maybe you want to share your work with others, or you don't have a powerful enough computer to run your notebooks locally. Whatever your reason may be, setting up a Jupyter Notebook server in the cloud is easier than you might think.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of setting up a Jupyter Notebook server in the cloud. We will cover the following topics:

Choosing a cloud provider

Before we dive into the technical details, let's discuss the cloud provider you should choose. There are many cloud providers that offer virtual machines, but we recommend you go with one of the following:

These cloud providers offer a wide range of virtual machine options at affordable prices. AWS and GCP even offer a free tier that allows you to run a virtual machine for free up to a certain limit.

Creating a virtual machine

Once you have chosen a cloud provider, you need to create a virtual machine. The process of creating a virtual machine varies depending on the cloud provider you choose. However, the basic steps are as follows:

  1. Log in to your cloud provider account.
  2. Navigate to the virtual machine section.
  3. Choose a machine type and configuration that meets your needs.
  4. Launch the virtual machine.

You will need to select the operating system you want to use for your virtual machine. We recommend using Ubuntu, as it is lightweight and easy to use.

Installing Jupyter Notebook

Now that you have created your virtual machine, it's time to install Jupyter Notebook. Follow these steps:

  1. Open a terminal window on your virtual machine.
  2. Install Python and pip if they are not already installed. Use the following command:
sudo apt-get install python3-pip
  1. Install Jupyter Notebook using pip. Run this command:
pip3 install jupyter

Configuring Jupyter Notebook

Jupyter Notebook is now installed on your virtual machine, but we need to configure it. Follow these steps to set up your server:

  1. Generate a Jupyter configuration file using this command:
jupyter notebook --generate-config
  1. Open the Jupyter configuration file using this command:
nano ~/.jupyter/
  1. Uncomment and modify the following lines:
c.NotebookApp.ip = '*'
c.NotebookApp.open_browser = False
c.NotebookApp.port = 8888

The first line allows your server to listen on all IP addresses. The second line ensures that the browser does not automatically open when you run Jupyter Notebook. The third line sets the port number that Jupyter Notebook uses by default.

  1. Generate a password for your Jupyter Notebook server using the following command:
jupyter notebook password

You will be prompted to enter and confirm a password. This password is used to secure your Jupyter Notebook server, so make sure it is a strong one!

Securing your Jupyter Notebook server

Your Jupyter Notebook server is now set up and ready to use, but we need to secure it to prevent unauthorized access. Follow these steps:

  1. Create a self-signed SSL certificate using the following command:
openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout mykey.key -out mycert.pem

This command creates a private key and a self-signed SSL certificate that is valid for 365 days.

  1. Edit the Jupyter Notebook configuration file again using the following command:
nano ~/.jupyter/
  1. Uncomment and modify the following lines:
c.NotebookApp.certfile = '/home/username/mycert.pem'
c.NotebookApp.keyfile = '/home/username/mykey.key'
c.NotebookApp.password_required = True
c.NotebookApp.token = ''

Replace 'username' with your username on your virtual machine. The first two lines tell Jupyter Notebook where to find the SSL certificate and private key you just created. The third and fourth lines enforce password authentication and token authentication, respectively.

  1. Restart your Jupyter Notebook server using the following command:
jupyter-notebook --certfile=mycert.pem --keyfile=mykey.key

You will be prompted to enter the password you set up earlier.

Congratulations, your Jupyter Notebook server is now secured and ready to use!


Setting up a Jupyter Notebook server in the cloud is a great way to collaborate on data science and machine learning projects. It allows you to run your notebooks from anywhere and share your work with others. Follow the steps we outlined in this article to create your own Jupyter Notebook server in the cloud. Happy coding!

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