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Control JupyterLab from Python notebooks.

The goal is to provide access to most of the JupyterLab environment from Python notebooks. For example:

  • Adding widgets to the main area DockPanel, left, right or top area

  • Build more advanced interfaces leveraging SplitPanel, Toolbar and other Lumino widgets

  • Launch arbitrary commands (new terminal, change theme, open file and so on)

  • Open a workspace with a specific layout

  • Listen to JupyterLab signals (notebook opened, console closed) and trigger Python callbacks

Try it online#

Try it in your browser with Binder:


Or with JupyterLite:



Add Jupyter Widgets to the JupyterLab interface#


Execute Commands#


Custom Python Commands and Command Palette#


Build small applications#


Compatibility with RetroLab#

A subset of the features can be used in RetroLab:



You can install using pip:

pip install ipylab

Or with mamba / conda:

mamba install -c conda-forge ipylab

Running the examples locally#

To try out the examples locally, the recommended way is to create a new environment with the dependencies:

# create a new conda environment
conda create -n ipylab-examples -c conda-forge jupyterlab ipylab ipytree bqplot ipywidgets numpy
conda activate ipylab-examples

# start JupyterLab
jupyter lab

Under the hood#

ipylab can be seen as a proxy from Python to JupyterLab over Jupyter Widgets:



# create a new conda environment
mamba create -n ipylab -c conda-forge jupyter-packaging nodejs python -y

# activate the environment
conda activate ipylab

# install the Python package
python -m pip install -e ".[dev]"

# link the extension files
jupyter labextension develop . --overwrite

# compile the extension
jlpm && jlpm run build