Data management

Share data files with your users

Sometimes you might need to distribute a set of files to all your users, so they don’t have to re-download it once per person. This is particularly useful in educational contexts, where you might be teaching a course that reads a common dataset.


If you are teaching with large datasets, you might run out of memory! So consider teaching with just a subset of data before distributing large datasets to your users.

The shared directory

There are two folders that are used together to allow Administrators to share data files with all users.


All users have a directory called shared in their home directory. This is a readonly directory - users and administrators can not write to it. However, anybody can access and read from the shared directory. This is how a user accesses a data file distributed by a hub administrator.


(administrators only) Admin users also have a directory called shared-readwrite in their home directory. This is the same folder as the shared directory, but writeable! Any files admins put here will be immediately visible in all users’ shared directories.

A workflow for sharing datasets

To share datasets with users, admins should put the dataset in ~/shared-readwrite. If they are distributing notebook / content that reads this dataset, it should refer to files in ~/shared/ rather than in ~/shared-readwrite. This will prevent accidental erasures / writes on behalf of admins.


This is an experimental feature, and the names of these directories and their structure are subject to change.