Recently I’ve fallen in love with the IPython Notebook. It’s the
Python REPL on steroids and I’ve probably just scratched the surface of what it
can actually do. This will be a short post because long posts make me feel pain
when I think about blogging more again. This is also really more about setting
up launchctl than IPython, but hopefully that’s useful too.
Starting it from the command line is kind of a pain (it tries to save .ipynb
files in your current directory, it warns you to save files before closing tabs)
so I thought I’d just set it up to run in the background each time I run
ipython. Here’s how you can get that set up.
Create a virtualenv with iPython
First, you need to install the ipython binary, and the other packages you need
to run IPython Notebook.
# Install virtualenvwrapper, then source it pip install virtualenvwrapper source /path/to/virtualenvwrapper.sh
mkvirtualenv ipython pip install ipython tornado pyzmq
Starting IPython When Your Mac Boots
Open a text editor and add the following:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>Label</key> <string>com.kevinburke.ipython</string> <key>ProgramArguments</key> <array> <string>/Users/kevin/.envs/ipython/bin/ipython</string> <string>notebook</string> </array> <key>RunAtLoad</key> <true/> <key>StandardOutPath</key> <string>/Users/kevin/var/log/ipython.log</string> <key>StandardErrorPath</key> <string>/Users/kevin/var/log/ipython.err.log</string> <key>ServiceDescription</key> <string>ipython notebook runner</string> <key>WorkingDirectory</key> <string>/Users/kevin/.ipython_notebooks</string> </dict> </plist>
You will need to replace the word
kevin with your name and relevant file
locations on your file system. I also save my notebooks in a directory called
.ipython_notebooks in my home directory, you may want to add that as well.
Save that in
/Library/LaunchDaemons/<yourname>.ipython.plist. Then change the
sudo chown root:wheel /Library/LaunchDaemons/<yourname>.ipython.plist
Finally load it:
sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/<yourname>.ipython.plist
If everything went ok, IPython should open in a tab. If it didn’t go okay, check
/var/log/system.log for errors, or one of the two logfiles specified in your
That’s it! I’ve also found it really useful to run an nginx redirecter locally,
as well as a new rule in
/etc/hosts, so I can visit
http://ipython and get
redirected to my notebooks. But that is a topic for a different blog post.