Authentication and User Basics#

The default Authenticator uses PAM (Pluggable Authentication Module) to authenticate system users with their usernames and passwords. With the default Authenticator, any user with an account and password on the system will be allowed to login.

Create a set of allowed users (allowed_users)#

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

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

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


If this configuration value is not set, then all authenticated users will be allowed into your hub.

Configure admins (admin_users)#


As of JupyterHub 2.0, the full permissions of admin_users should not be required. Instead, you can assign roles to users or groups with only the scopes they require.

Admin users of JupyterHub, admin_users, can add and remove users from the user allowed_users set. 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 be configured as follows:

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

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

Each Authenticator may have different ways of determining whether a user is an administrator. By default, JupyterHub uses the PAMAuthenticator which provides the admin_groups option and can set administrator status based on a user group. For example, we can let any user in the wheel group be an admin:

c.PAMAuthenticator.admin_groups = {'wheel'}

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 the admin panel or the REST API. When a user is added, the user will be automatically added to the allowed_users set and database. Restarting the Hub will not require manually updating the allowed_users set 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 allowed users set 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 ability 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.

Use DummyAuthenticator for testing#

The DummyAuthenticator is a simple Authenticator that allows for any username or password unless a global password has been set. If set, it will allow for any username as long as the correct password is provided. To set a global password, add this to the config file:

c.DummyAuthenticator.password = "some_password"