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.