Frequently Asked Questions

What is nbviewer?

IPython Notebook Viewer (or nbviewer in short) is a free webservice that allows you to see static html versions of hosted notebook files. As long as a notebook is publicly available, by giving its url to nbviewer you should be able to view it.

You can also directly browse collections of notebooks through github repositories directly on nbviewer

Bookmarklets, browser extension

Access bookmarklets, chrome extension and more here.

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

Nbviewer tries to get notebooks from the url given. If the remote location doesn't respond or the file nbviewer receives is not valid, you will get an error (4xx). Check that the remote file still exists and that you can convert it locally with nbconvert.

How do you render notebooks?

Nbviewer uses IPython's nbconvert to export .ipynb to HTML.

If you have IPython installed you can 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 nbviewer hosted?

Nbviewer is hosted on Rackspace who kindly gives the IPython open source project hosting. Thanks to them we are able to offer nbconvert as a service for free.

I want to remove/update a notebook on nbviewer.

We do not store any notebooks on the nbviewer website. You have to find the original place where the notebook is hosted to update/remove it. The update can take some time to appear on nbviewer as we cache rendered notebooks for a short period.

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 on a publicly available url. We recommend using github gists, which are full blown git repositories.

Can I share notebooks from a private GitHub repository?

No, you can't, but we are working on it. We'll be happy to have any help you can give us. In the meantime, you can use a secret gist if you wish. You might be interested in running nbviewer on your own machine or inside your network.

Can I run my own nbviewer?

We do our best so that you can run it locally or on the cloud. Please visit the nbviewer github repository for instructions.

Can I access nbviewer over https?

You can, but you will probably get a warning that the website does not have a valid certificate. We are not sure it is worth paying for an SSL certificate as nbviewer should not expose any sensitive information. 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 to the nbviewer github repository, or make a donation to ipython so that we can work on more awesome features.

Can I use nbviewer to convert my notebook to something else than html?

For the time being, no. We would like to allow that in the future. You can already use a ipython nbconvert to export to most 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 make an issue on github.