Prototype in Jupyter on Multiple Kernels

For data scientists, it is a must to prototype in multiple virtual environments which isolate different (and often very divergent) sets of Python packages. This can be achieved by linking one Jupyter installation with multiple Python environments.

Use the command <code>which jupyter</code> to show the Jupyter location and <jupyter kernelspec list> to show available kernels, as shown below:

ubuntu@ip-172-31-36-77:~/projects/eye-processing$ which jupyter
ubuntu@ip-172-31-36-77:~/projects/eye-processing$ jupyter kernelspec list
Available kernels:
  .eyelinkparser    /home/ubuntu/.local/share/jupyter/kernels/.eyelinkparser
  eye-processing    /home/ubuntu/.local/share/jupyter/kernels/eye-processing
  pypupilenv        /home/ubuntu/.local/share/jupyter/kernels/pypupilenv
  python3           /usr/local/share/jupyter/kernels/python3

To make an environment a Jupyter kernel, first activate it and install ipykernel inside.

ubuntu@ip-172-31-36-77:~/projects/eye-processing$ source .venv/bin/activate
(.venv) ubuntu@ip-172-31-36-77:~/projects/eye-processing$ pip install ipykernel
Collecting ipykernel
Successfully installed...

Then use ipykernel to register the active environment as a jupyter kernel (choose a name and the destination, e.g. user space; consult python -m ipykernel install –help for more options).

(.venv) ubuntu@ip-172-31-36-77:~/projects/eye-processing$ python -m ipykernel install --name eye-processing --user
Installed kernelspec eye-processing in /home/ubuntu/.local/share/jupyter/kernels/eye-processing

The kernel should appear in the jupyter kernel lists. Notebooks may need restarting to notice it.

The environment appears in Jupyter kernels (VS Code).

Open kernel.json file under kernel’s path to inspect config details:

 "argv": [
 "display_name": "eye-processing",
 "language": "python",
 "metadata": {
  "debugger": true
"~/.local/share/jupyter/kernels/eye-processing/kernel.json" [noeol] 14L, 234B

Published by mskorski

Scientist, Consultant, Learning Enthusiast

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