Is there a free (even ad-supported) public JupyterHub available?

I’ve been searching online and I can’t seem to find one. In particular I’m interested if there’s a public free JupyterHub that has NbGrader support.

I think the closest you can get is which is a JupyterHub under the hood, we “just” added automatically building environments on top.

Not aware of any other options, so would be great to learn about them.

Thanks for your reply @betatim. As I understand, launches notebooks from a git repository, but that’s a bit different than “standard” JupyterHub where you log in and have your own files and environment that you can return to.

I know there’s Google CoLab, which is free and is similar to JupyterHub, but I prefer the “standard” JupyterLab feel (CoLab added a bunch of CSS that makes it feel less familiar), and it doesn’t support the growing number of JupyterLab extensions, and doesn’t have NbGrader support, etc.

That is correct. This is why I said “closest you can get” :slight_smile: I don’t know of a public, vanilla JupyterHub that is free to use.

Is the “free” a hard requirement? Depending on what you want to do you can rent a server for (very) little money and either setup a hub yourself or pay someone to set it up for you.

Hi @nscozzaro

We might be able to help with that. I have been thinking it would be nice to have a free version for jupyterhub like there is for notebooks. Any other special requirements (auth, infrastructure, backup, etc.) other than nbgrader?


Just another quick thought here - you can always try requesting something like this from Google, Microsoft, etc. There’s no reason that Colab has to use a custom proprietary UI, and if enough people ask for more “open source” or “standard” UIs, then it’ll make companies more likely to choose these when they decide what services to offer for free.

The challenge w/ creating a free JupyterHub is the question “who will pay for it?”. Colab runs because Google has a boatload of money. Jupyter doesn’t have any kind of company or organization behind it, it’s just an open source community, so somebody would need to volunteer the compute time (or give money for it). That somebody could be the tech companies, but they tend to use “free compute” to highlight their own products

1 Like

Given this discussion I actually just put together a rough draft publicly available JupyterHub if you’d like to check it out!

It’s called StudyHub, at

I haven’t added ads yet, but I’ll need to because my free Google Cloud credit has already decreased by $12 over the last few days, which seems like a lot to me. I can already see that unless it can attract a lot of users (that see a lot of ads), it will be hard to break even.
I tried decreasing the resource usage by switching to the f1-micro machine type, but it wouldn’t run, so now I’m back to the n2-standard-2.

For what it is worth, there’s also the alternative; it clearly must come with its own shortcomings, and I don’t know for example how well nbgrader fits into this if at all, bit it feels like it should not be ruled out without a fair trial :slight_smile: