Authentication and User Basics

The default Authenticator uses PAM to authenticate system users with their username and password. With the default Authenticator, any user with an account and password on the system will be allowed to login.

Create a whitelist of users

You can restrict which users are allowed to login with a whitelist, Authenticator.whitelist:

c.Authenticator.whitelist = {'mal', 'zoe', 'inara', 'kaylee'}

Users in the whitelist are added to the Hub database when the Hub is started.

Configure admins (admin_users)

Admin users of JupyterHub, admin_users, can add and remove users from the user whitelist. admin_users can take actions on other users’ behalf, such as stopping and restarting their servers.

A set of initial admin users, admin_users can configured be as follows:

c.Authenticator.admin_users = {'mal', 'zoe'}

Users in the admin list are automatically added to the user whitelist, if they are not already present.

Give admin access to other users’ notebook servers (admin_access)

Since the default JupyterHub.admin_access setting is False, the admins do not have permission to log in to the single user notebook servers owned by other users. If JupyterHub.admin_access is set to True, then admins have permission to log in as other users on their respective machines, for debugging. As a courtesy, you should make sure your users know if admin_access is enabled.

Add or remove users from the Hub

Users can be added to and removed from the Hub via either the admin panel or the REST API. When a user is added, the user will be automatically added to the whitelist and database. Restarting the Hub will not require manually updating the whitelist in your config file, as the users will be loaded from the database.

After starting the Hub once, it is not sufficient to remove a user from the whitelist in your config file. You must also remove the user from the Hub’s database, either by deleting the user from JupyterHub’s admin page, or you can clear the jupyterhub.sqlite database and start fresh.

Use LocalAuthenticator to create system users

The LocalAuthenticator is a special kind of authenticator that has the ability to manage users on the local system. When you try to add a new user to the Hub, a LocalAuthenticator will check if the user already exists. If you set the configuration value, create_system_users, to True in the configuration file, the LocalAuthenticator has the privileges to add users to the system. The setting in the config file is:

c.LocalAuthenticator.create_system_users = True

Adding a user to the Hub that doesn’t already exist on the system will result in the Hub creating that user via the system adduser command line tool. This option is typically used on hosted deployments of JupyterHub, to avoid the need to manually create all your users before launching the service. This approach is not recommended when running JupyterHub in situations where JupyterHub users map directly onto the system’s UNIX users.