Starting with Jupyter (5 minutes)

In any web browser (laptop, desktop, tablet), go to https://notebook.nevis.columbia.edu.1 You’ll be prompted for your Nevis account name (just the name, no “@”) and password.2

When you visit notebook for the first time, you’ll see the Jupyter “home” window with the files in your home directory. You can perform elementary file operations from this screen: check the box next to a filename, and you’ll see an option near the top of the screen to rename or delete the file. The Upload button near the top left allows you to copy files from your laptop to the Nevis cluster.

The fun part is in the pop-up menu you get from clicking the “New” button near the top left:

  • Text File will give you a basic text editor. You will also get a text editor if you click on a text file on the home directory page. The Edit menu within the editor page will let you select which text editor you use; you know my favorite editor is Emacs, but you can use whatever you wish.

  • Folder lets you create a new sub-directory.

  • Terminal will give you access to a limited (but still useful) terminal emulator.

  • And then we have the notebook kernels…

In Jupyter, a “kernel” is an environment for interpreting commands. I installed lots of kernels on the notebook server for users to explore, but for this tutorial there are only two of interest: “Python 3” (which includes an interface to ROOT)3 and “ROOT C++”.

xkcd girls_and_boys

Figure 20: https://xkcd.com/1202/ by Randall Munroe


1

Take care: it’s “https”, not just “http”.

2

If you don’t have an active account on the Nevis particle-physics cluster, then you won’t be able to login. You’ll have to install Jupyter on your own system or proceed without it; go on to the next section.

3

Check with your working group. They may still use Python 2.