Make an ephemeral hub#
We can support users who want a mybinder.org type experience, but with better resources & faster startup. They get redirected to us when the public mybinder.org deployment can not support them (like this), or just because they want this experience.
The primary features offered would be:
No per-user authentication required.
A shared, systemwide password is present to protect against cryptobros abusing these resources.
No persistent storage
Pre-pulled images, for faster startup.
(1) and (3) also help reduce the amount of user data we store, reducing data privacy issues as well.
The limitations of this set up are:
No users means no admin users, so the JupyterHub configurator is unavailable. All config must be set in our config files, and deployed via GitHub.
No home page is visible, so our home page customizations do not work.
We do not cull users, because that would cause problems with counting active users. This is a trade-off, as if we end up with a huge list of users, it might slow down hub deployments.
We will use tmpauthenticator to automatically create temporary users whenever any user comes to the hub. They will automatically get UUIDs assigned.
jupyterhub: hub: config: JupyterHub: authenticator_class: tmpauthenticator.TmpAuthenticator TmpAuthenticator: # This allows users to go to the hub URL directly again to # get a new server, instead of being plopped back into their # older, existing user with a 'start server' button. force_new_server: true
No persistent storage#
As users are temporary and can not be accessed again, there is no reason to provide persistent storage. So we turn it all off.
jupyterhub: custom: singleuserAdmin: # Turn off trying to mount shared-readwrite folder for admins extraVolumeMounts:  singleuser: initContainers:  storage: # No persistent storage should be kept to reduce any potential data # retention & privacy issues. type: none extraVolumeMounts: 
We want consistently faster startups wherever possible, as inconsistent start times is one of the big issues with folks using mybinder.org for events and workshops. So we enable the pre-puller functionality to make startups faster and more consistent.
This requires the user image is also set in config (and not via the JupyterHub
tmpauthenticator doesn’t support admin accounts anyway,
so this is fine.
jupyterhub: singleuser: image: name: <image-name> tag: <tag> prePuller: # Startup performance is important for this event, and so we use # pre-puller to make sure the images are already present on the # nodes. This means image *must* be set in config, and not the configurator. # tmpauthenticator doesn't support admin access anyway, so images # must be set in config regardless. hook: enabled: true continuous: enabled: true
Disabling home page customizations#
tmpauthenticator doesn’t actually show the home page - it just launches
users directly into the notebook server. This means our home page customizations
are not applied anywhere. So we set them to empty strings.
jupyterhub: custom: homepage: # tmpauthenticator does *not* show a home page by default, # so these are not visible anywhere. But our schema requires we set # them to strings, so we specify empty strings here. templateVars: org: name: "" url: "" logo_url: "" designed_by: name: "" url: "" operated_by: name: "" url: "" funded_by: name: "" url: ""
Customizing the uptime check to expect a HTTP
Our uptime checks expect a HTTP
200 response to consider a
hub as live. However, since we protect the entire hub at the Ingress level,
all endpoints will return a HTTP
401 asking for a password. We can configure
our uptime checks to allow for
401 as a valid response in the appropriate
cluster.yaml definition for this hub.
- name: <name-of-hub> display_name: <display-name> uptime_check: # This is an ephemeral hub, fully password protected with HTTP Basic Auth expected_status: 401
nbgitpuller for distributing content#
We encourage users to use nbgitpuller for distributing content. This allows creation of a specific link that will put users who click it on a specific notebook with a specific UI (such as lab, classic notebook, RStudio, etc).
The [http://nbgitpuller.link/](nbgitpuller link generator) supports mybinder.org style links, but for use with ephemeral hubs, just use the regular ‘JupyterHub’ link generator. Firefox and Google Chrome extensions are also available.