Setting Up JupyterLite with Xeus-Python Locally

What will you learn?

In this comprehensive guide, you will master the process of setting up and running a JupyterLite environment locally using the xeus-python kernel. By the end, you will seamlessly configure a lightweight Jupyter environment on your machine, enabling advanced Python functionality without complex server-side installations.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

Jupyter Notebooks are renowned for interactive computing and data analysis. However, deploying these notebooks in environments lacking Python or Jupyter installations can pose challenges. Enter JupyterLite – a browser-based version of Jupyter that operates without server-side components. But what if you desire to utilize xeus-python, an alternative Python kernel, within this setup? This guide simplifies the process by walking you through setting up a local development environment where you can harness the power of JupyterLite with xeus-python. This amalgamation offers both accessibility and advanced kernel features.

To begin, we’ll ensure jupyterlite is installed before integrating xeus-python into our lite environment. The steps involve generating a configuration file for your lite setup and configuring xeus-python to work seamlessly within the system. By following these instructions diligently, you’ll establish a versatile development space directly in your browser.


To initiate the setup:

  1. Install jupyterlite via pip:
pip install jupyterlite[full]

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  1. Create your project directory if it doesn’t exist:
mkdir my_jupyterlite_project && cd my_jupyterlite_project

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  1. Initialize your JupyterLite configuration:
jupyter lite init

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  1. To include xeus-python, download the compatible WebAssembly wheel from official releases and place it in _data/pypi/whl/.

  2. Update .jupyliterlite.json in your project root to incorporate xeus-python:

  "federated_extensions": [
      "extension": "./_data/pypi/whl/some_xeus_python_wheel.whl",
      "mime_extensions": [],
      "name": "@jupylab/xpython-kernel-extension"

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  1. Build and serve locally:
jupyter lite build && jupiter lite serve 

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The outlined procedure accomplishes essential tasks for running JupterLite with xeus-python:

  • Installing juypterlite[full] ensures all dependencies are met.
  • Initializing the configuration creates necessary files for workspace customization.
  • Adding xeus-python.wasm.wheel enables utilizing its features within the browser.
  • Updating .jupyterlite.json informs Jupiter Lite about additional kernels/extensions.
  • Building and serving locally compiles modifications into a web-friendly format accessible through any modern browser on localhost.

This process bridges standalone application functionalities with cloud-based flexibility while ensuring portability across devices without traditional software requirements.

  1. How do I update Jupyte rLi te or x e us-pytho n?

  2. To update either package, check for newer versions (pip list –outdated) and upgrade using pip (pip install –upgrade <package>).

  3. Can I add other libraries besides x eu s-pytho n?

  4. Yes! You can manually add wheels or specify packages during initialization/building to fetch them automatically from PyPI.

  5. Is there offline support available?

  6. Once initially served online to fetch assets, most functionalities should work offline due to service workers caching resources.

  7. Can I share my projects?

  8. Absolutely! Sharing involves distributing project folders/files so peers can open them similarly locally since everything runs client-side once correctly set up.

  9. Which browsers are supported?

  10. Most modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari should support this setup given their decent WebAssembly compatibility.


Setting up J u pyterL i te with x e us -pyt h on combines flexibility from both worlds: accessing robust computational tools without heavy installations nor compromising performance significantly due-to-browser limitations (thanks WebAssembly!). Whether teaching classes remotely or conducting workshops at conferences sans dedicated infrastructure � possibilities become vast yet manageable even by non-experts looking towards leveraging technology effectively within their fields.

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