[IPython-dev] Using IPython notebooks to teach Python

Sébastien Hinderer Sebastien.Hinderer at inria.fr
Thu Aug 28 04:05:15 EDT 2014

Dear all,

First of all, let me thank all those who have provided so useful
responses to the question about setting up a multi-user notebook server.

Basically, we will do it as all of you seem to have done it: creating a
Unix account for each user so that security relies on Unix permissions.
Technically, we will write our own scripts but they will definitely
devrive from existing work, so thanks again for having provided
valuable resources.

One issue I'm curious about and that did not seem to be addressed in the
resources I explored is the termination of webserver and
kernel processes. Since we develop the solution in the context of a
MOOC, there is the possibility of having plenty of users. So, letting
all the processes run forever does not seem an option. There is
indeed a limit in how many processes can run simultaneously on a system
and, perhaps even more importantly, the number of available TCP ports is
even smaller than that. Of course, the transpor beween web servers and
kernels can be set-up to use Unix local sockets, but the webservs will
all need a different port so if they are kept alive that means a limit
on the number of users.

Perhaps one possibility here would be to have a web server running in
front and redirecting connections to the notebook severs, based on a URL
prefix or a similar solution. Not sure whether/ how this can be
implemented, though.

Another suggestion, regarding IPython 3.0, would be to provide
configuration parameters to let a kernel and a web server stop after
some given idle time, or something like that.

Any comment on this aspect will of course be welcome!

Bes wishes,

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