Frequently Asked Questions

What is this Notebook Viewer?

IPython Notebook Viewer is a free webservice that allows you to share static html versions of hosted notebook files. If a notebook is publicly available, by giving its url to the Viewer, you should be able to view it.

You can also directly browse collections of notebooks in public GitHub repositories, for example the IPython examples.

Bookmarklet and browser extensions

There are extensions and a bookmarklet for Chrome and Firefox here.

I got a 5xx/4xx error on a notebook.

Notebook Viewer tries to get notebooks from the url given. If the remote location doesn't respond or the file Notebook Viewer receives is not valid, you will get an error (typically 400). Check that the remote file still exists and that you can convert it locally with nbconvert.

If it's a 5xx error, it's probably a bug.

How do you render notebooks?

The Notebook Viewer uses IPython's nbconvert to export .ipynb files to HTML.

If you have IPython installed you have access to the same functionality and many more formats by invoking ipython nbconvert at a command line. Starting in IPython 2.0, you should be able to export notebooks in other formats using the file menu in the IPython notebook application.

Where is this Notebook Viewer hosted?

This Notebook Viewer instance is hosted on Rackspace, who kindly provide hosting for the IPython open source project. Thanks to Rackspace, we are able to operate nbconvert as a free service.

I want to remove/update a notebook from Notebook Viewer.

The Notebook Viewer does not store any notebooks. You have to find the original place where the notebook is hosted to update/remove it. Updates occur automatically, but can take some time to appear, as we cache rendered notebooks for approximately 10 minutes. To force an update, append ?flush_cache=true to the viewer URL.

I can't share this notebook I'm working on...

You can't directly share the url of a notebook you are working on as the server is probably running on a local machine (url starts with or localhost) or needs authentication (you have to type a password to access your notebook). You will have to put the notebook file somewhere with a publicly available url. We recommend using GitHub or gists.

Can I share notebooks from a private GitHub repository?

Not yet, but we would like to add this. We'll be happy to have any help you can offer. In the meantime, you can use a secret gist if you wish. You might be interested in running a Viewer on your own machine or inside your network.

Can I run my own Notebook Viewer?

Yes, absolutely. Please visit the GitHub repository for instructions.

Can I access Notebook Viewer over https?

You can, but you will probably get a warning that the website does not have a valid certificate. Alternatively, You can get a free SSL certificate from [Let's Encrypt] ( or buy from any vendor. We strongly recommend you get it from Let's Encrypt. If you need to embed an html notebook on another site, please use local export with nbconvert.

Is the broken link on a notebook? If so, we suggest you contact the original author. Otherwise, please open an issue on our issue tracker with the link to the broken page, and tell us which link is broken. We'll do our best to fix it.

Featured notebooks are notebooks we found that we like. If you think some should be removed, or others that should be added, feel free to contact us. The best way would be to directly submit a pull request on GitHub.

How can I contribute?

You can submit a pull request, or make a donation to IPython so that we can work on more awesome features.

Can I use the Notebook Viewer to convert my notebook to something other than html?

Not yet, but we plan to allow that in the future. You can already use ipython nbconvert locally to export to many formats. You can still help us by making a donation or contributing with your time.

I have more questions...

If something was not clear or not present, do not hesitate to reach out to the IPython mailing list or open an issue on GitHub.