What is JupyterLab? A Comprehensive Guide to the Ultimate Data Science Platform

JupyterLab is an open-source, modern, interactive environment that provides versatile tools for working with a wide range of data types in a seamless manner. As a next-generation web-based interface for Project Jupyter, JupyterLab effectively replaces Jupyter Notebook as the go-to application for data science and machine learning enthusiasts. In fact, JupyterLab has been gaining immense popularity since its official release in 2018, with over 3 million users in 2021. Understanding JupyterLab is crucial to stay ahead in the fast-paced world of data science and related fields. This glossary page serves as your comprehensive guide to all things JupyterLab.

“JupyterLab is the next-generation web-based user interface for Project Jupyter, a powerful tool that revolutionizes the way we interact with data and code for scientific research.” – Fernando Pérez, Co-founder of Project Jupyter

What is JupyterLab? Definition of JupyterLab

JupyterLab is an interactive development environment created by Project Jupyter that enables you to work with various data types, including code, text, and data visualization components. It provides an extensive set of features to facilitate collaborative and reproducible workflows for data science, machine learning, and scientific computing. JupyterLab not only supports the classic Jupyter Notebook file format (.ipynb), but also text documents, image files, and even custom applications built using JupyterLab’s extension framework.

ℹ️ Synonyms: Jupyter Notebook, Jupyter, Jupiter Lab, IPython Notebook, Colab.

How it Works

JupyterLab combines different web technologies to provide a powerful yet user-friendly interface for working with documents and activities. The server runs in the background, executing code and returning results to the front-end components, which render the output text and graphics. You can perform various tasks like editing text files, running interactive code cells in notebooks, and plotting data visualizations using real-time editing and collaboration tools.

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JupyterLab’s core components include:
* Code editor for scripting in popular programming languages such as Python, R, and Julia
* Jupyter Notebook for combining code, text, and images in a single document
* Terminal for running command-line tools and interacting with the underlying operating system
* File browser for managing workspace and resources efficiently
* Extension manager for customizing the interface and adding functionality

Benefits of Using JupyterLab

  • Intuitive Interface: JupyterLab offers an easy-to-use and customizable interface for interactive computing with support for multiple programming languages.
  • Versatility: JupyterLab allows users to work with various data types, including code, text, and data visualization, thus encouraging reproducible and collaborative workflows.
  • Efficient Environment: With built-in tools to manage files, code execution, and output display, JupyterLab helps increase productivity for data scientists, researchers, and professionals.
  • Extensibility: JupyterLab’s open architecture allows developers to create their own extensions for adding functionality and integrating with external resources.
  • Community Support: As an open-source project, JupyterLab benefits from the support of a global community of contributors, providing a wealth of valuable documentation, resources, and updates.

JupyterLab Use Cases

Hand-in-hand with data science, machine learning, and scientific computing, JupyterLab can be employed across various domains and applications, including:

  • Exploratory data analysis and visualization
  • Development of machine learning models
  • Solving mathematical and computational problems
  • Teaching and learning programming concepts and data science techniques
  • Real-time collaboration for research or business projects
  • Technical documentation and scientific writing

Best Practices

Ensuring a smooth workflow in JupyterLab involves adopting optimal strategies like using version control systems, such as Git, to keep track of the changes to the codebase, regularly updating to the latest JupyterLab version, and using extensions to enhance functionality while minimizing code clutter. Additionally, following established coding conventions and adequate commenting will maintain readability and ease of understanding, making it simpler for team members and future developers to contribute to the project.

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Most Recommended Books About JupyterLab

  • 1. “JupyterLab: Evolution of the Jupyter Notebook” by Dan Toomey
  • 2. “Learning JupyterLab: Build effective data-driven applications with the next-generation Jupyter interface” by Alex Kouznetsov
  • 3. “Mastering JupyterLab: Leverage the power of Jupyter notebooks and create interactive applications” by Mohamed Amine Tekaia


JupyterLab is an essential tool for anyone involved in data science, machine learning, and scientific computing. Its versatility, extensibility, and ease of use make it the perfect environment for research, teaching, and collaboration. With the continuous support and contributions from the global community, JupyterLab will remain a vital resource for shaping the future of interactive computing.

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Back in 2013, I founded Echo with the simple business idea: "Connect great tech companies around the globe with the brightest software engineers in Eastern Europe." We've employed hundreds of talents so far and keep going.
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li-url Lou Reverchuk

IT Entrepreneur

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