Idea: JupyterLite in a USB stick


JupyterLite is a really cool way to give people a Jupyter interface and data science environment very quickly. It is a great way to teach Python, programming, and basic data analysis with an environment that is compatible with WebAssembly, and is a much lower-overhead approach than scaling cloud resources via something like

However, running JupyterLite usually entails downloading a lot of data, especially in the first action when you download a full JupyterLite/Pyodide distribution. This is inaccessible for people that have poor access to internet, which is a lot of people!

However, JupyterLite is still small enough that it should fit on a USB stick (it is something like 16mb). In some cases, it might be easier to get JupyterLite to somebody via USB than via the internet!


Give people a fully-functional and self-contained Jupyter + data science environment via JupyterLite on a USB stick.

You could load the following onto a USB stick

  • A JupyterLite distribution
  • A small-ish dataset
  • A collection of notebooks that demonstrate actions on that dataset
  • Some way to launch JupyterLite via a double-click

You could then put all of those onto a USB stick that somebody could simply plug-in, drag-and-drop, and then double-click to launch. It might be an effective way to provide access to these environments for people who do not have reliable internet.

BONUS POINTS: it would be really cool to use a “branded USB stick as a service” company to generate a bunch of these to hand out to people at JupyterCon 2023 :slight_smile:

This post came out of a conversation with @jtp at the JupyterLite workshop. I wanted to write it down here in case others because we both thought it was a cool idea.