Preparing the environment#

An environment is defined as an immutable set of dependencies and files.

Since Plasma uses jupyter-repo2docker, it relies on the same set of rules and patterns as repo2docker to create the environments.

Create a new repository#

Plasma fetches the environments from publicly accessible Git repositories from code sharing platforms such as GitHub.

To create a new environment with its own set of dependencies, it is recommended to create a new repository on GitHub.

The plasmabio organization defines a couple of template repositories that can be used to bootstrap new ones:

To create a new repository using one of these templates, go to the organization and click on New.

Then select the template from the Repository Template dropdown:

Creating a new repository from a template

How to specify the dependencies#

repo2docker relies on a specific set of files to know which dependencies to install and how to build the Docker image.

These files are listed on the Configuration Files page in the documentation.

In the case of the Python Template, they consist of an environment.yml and postBuild files:

Creating a new repository from a template

Testing on Binder#

Since both Plasma and Binder use repo2docker to build the images, it is possible to try the environment on Binder first to make sure they are working correctly before adding theme to the JupyterHub server.

The template repository has a Binder button in the file. This button will redirect to the public facing instance of BinderHub,, and will build a Binder using the configuration files in the repository.

You can use the same approach for the other environments, and update the Binder link to point to your repository.

Make sure to check out the documentation below for more details.

Extra documentation#

To learn more about repo2docker, check out the Documentation.

To learn more about Binder, check out the Binder User Guide.