Using repo2docker

Docker must be running in order to run repo2docker. For more information on installing repo2docker, see Installing repo2docker.

repo2docker performs two steps:

  1. builds a Docker image from a git repo
  2. runs a Jupyter server within the image to explore the repo

To ensure you can run the software in your repository, you must

repo2docker is called with this command:

jupyter-repo2docker <URL-or-path to repo>

where <URL-or-path to repo> is a URL or path to the source repository.

For example, use the following to build an image of Peter Norvig’s Pytudes:


To build a particular branch and commit, use the argument --ref to specify the branch-name or commit-hash:

jupyter-repo2docker --ref 9ced85dd9a84859d0767369e58f33912a214a3cf


For reproducibile research, we recommend specifying a commit-hash to deterministcally build a fixed version of a repository. Not specifying a commit-hash will result in the latest commit of the repository being built.

Building the image may take a few minutes.

During building, repo2docker clones the repository to obtain its contents and inspects the repo for configuration files.

By default, repo2docker will assume you are using Python 3.6 unless you include the version of Python in your configuration files. repo2docker support is best with Python 2.7, 3.5, and 3.6. In the case of this repo, a Python version is not specified in their configuation files and Python 3.6 is installed.

Pytudes uses a requirements.txt file to specify its Python environment. repo2docker uses pip to install dependencies listed in the requirement.txt in the image. To learn more about configuration files in repo2docker visit Configuration Files.

When the image is built, a message will be output to your terminal:

Copy/paste this URL into your browser when you connect for the first time,
to login with a token:

Pasting the URL into your browser will open Jupyter Notebook with the dependencies and contents of the source repository in the built image.

Because JupyterLab is a server extension of the classic Jupyter Notebook server, you can launch JupyterLab by opening Jupyter Notebook and visiting the `/lab to the end of the URL:


To switch back to the classic notebook, add /tree to the URL:


To learn more about URLs in JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebook, visit starting JupyterLab.

--debug and --no-build

To debug the docker image being built, pass the --debug parameter:

jupyter-repo2docker --debug

This will print the generated Dockerfile, build it, and run it.

To see the generated Dockerfile without actually building it, pass --no-build to the commandline. This Dockerfile output is for debugging purposes of repo2docker only - it can not be used by docker directly.

jupyter-repo2docker --no-build --debug