User authentication and access

Authentication vs. Authorization

Authentication allows your users to prove who their are. Authorization gives users certain permissions depending on their identity (such as “access to your hub”, or “administrative privileges”).


Users can prove who they are by logging in via an authentication provider. Currently, the following providers are supported:

  1. Google. This includes public accounts, as well as Google Workspace accounts set up for your workspace or university. If you use the GMail interface to access your work / university email, it can be used here.

  2. GitHub. Extremely popular community of people creating, publishing and collaborating on code. Accounts are free, and many people already have them especially since the target community for most hubs are people who also write some kind of code.

  3. Username / Password via auth0. A traditional username / password interface where users can sign up. There are currently limited options for limiting who can sign up, so this should be only used in limited circumstances.

  4. <a different provider>. We may be able to support other authentication providers, depending on your specific needs and the provider’s complexity. Please reach out to us if none of these 3 work for your use-case.

We will ask you what provider you want when we set up the hub. We can change the provider after the fact, but only if absolutely necessary.


Not everyone who can authenticate is granted access to the hub - that would mean everyone with a account can log in if you use Google as your authentication provider! Instead, we support multiple ways for hub admins to specify which users are authorized to be on the hub.

Authorizing regular users

Currently, there are only two supported methods for authorizing regular users:

  1. Manually add users via the admin panel in JupyterHub

  2. (Google only) Allow all users who are logged in via a particular domain - so you can allow access to anyone who is part of your organization or educational institution.

Authorizing admin users

Admin users are authorized in a hub’s YAML config, with support from 2i2c staff.

Manage users from the administrator panel

The Administrator Panel can be used to maintain the list of users who are authorized to use your hub. You can access this panel by clicking the ‘Admin’ button in the top bar in your hub control panel. Alternatively, you can go to this URL in your browser: https://<your-hub-url>/hub/admin

To add users

  1. Click the Add Users button. The Add Users dialog box will pop up.

  2. Add one or more users, and hit the Add Users button to authorize all the users you just added.


The Add Users button in the Administrator Panel.


Fill in usernames and optionally make them administrators. You can add multiple users at once by putting a username on each line.

Finding usernames

Access is granted or revoked based on usernames, and these depend on the kind of (authentication provider)[admin/configuration/authentication] your hub is using. In general, it matches whatever the visible ‘username’ in your authentication provider is. The table below lists the available providers, and how to determine their username.




Email address


GitHub user name