C. TItus Brown showed us this really cool service called binder in the mRNAseq data analysis workshop on Saturday.

If you go to


and paste in a github repository like


that contains some data and some jupyter notebooks, binder will redirect you to a page like


where it builds a docker image from the github repository. From this page you can launch the docker image on Google Container Engine, and get a link that launches the container.


or a markdown badge like Binder

(check it out, if the service is running, that link is live, and gives you your own machine in Google's data center).

You can share that to your students, and if the student clicks on it, he gets his own copy of the notebook that he can edit, recalculate, generate plots, print. The jupyter notebook also supports an in-browser terminal and general file editor.

Titus has been using it for data science workshops. It's great because you don't need to install anything on the workshop machines except a web browser. and if you need to setup additional software on the server side, you can include a Dockerfile in the github repository.

When it works, binder is awesome. Here are a few example repositories:

One that includes julia (jupyter defaults to python, but supports over 40 languages)


Titus's repo that installs R and links R to jupyter


LIGO Gravitational Wave tutorial