The Jupyter Notebook is a web-based interactive computing platform. The notebook combines live code, equations, narrative text, visualizations, interactive dashboards and other media.  Use an interactive session to run a Jupyter notebook on Strelka.

The interactive Jupyter notebook session will run with 4 CPU cores and 1 GPU.  If you need to run larger jobs, get in touch with ITS at  

Create and connect to an interactive session

When using the interactive Jupyter notebook, your code will be running on Strelka worker nodes.  

  • Go to and log in with your Swarthmore credentials
  • Click on Interactive Apps Jupyter Notebook
  • Set the number of hours you require.  The maximum is 5 hours.  After the time limit expires, the session will end. 
  • Click Launch
  • Wait for the interactive job to be ready.  If there are resources available, this will take about a minute.  If the server is busy, it other jobs on Strelka will need to complete before there are resources available for your Jupyter session.
  • Click on the Connect to Jupyter button

If you are have a time-critical need or are planning for a group to use interactive Jupyter notebooks at the same time, get in touch with ITS at so we can plan for how make the resources available.

Switching to JupyterLab

The default view is Jupyter notebook.  To switch to the JupyterLab interface, edit the url in your browser: replace the "/tree?" at end of the url with "/lab".  JupyterLab is a newer interface that contains the notebook functionality along with other tools.  

Jupyter Help Documentation

Jupyter Notebook:


Installing python modules

To install a python module, use a virtual environment or install the module to your user directory: 

pip3 install --user [python-package-name]

Python Virtual Environments

To use a python virtual environment, create the virtual environment from the command line and then add it as a new Jupyter kernel.  Start a Jupyter interactive session, launch a terminal prompt and follow the instructions below.  We are using myenv as the name of the virtual environment, but you can select your own name (replace every instance of myenv with the actual name of your environment).  Thanks to Zain Rizvi for the basis for these instructions.  

Set up the virtual environment
cd <directory_for_your_project>
python3 -m venv myenv --system-site-packages
source myenv/bin/activate

Register kernel with Jupyter
python -m ipykernel install --user --name=myenv