Colaboratory

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Colaboratory?
Colaboratory is a research tool for machine learning education and research. It’s a Jupyter notebook environment that requires no setup to use.

What browsers are supported?
Currently, Colaboratory only works with the desktop version of Chrome. We're looking at supporting other browsers -- Colab has been an internal-only tool for several years, which is why we had not explored this previously. This will take some time. We don't have an ETA to share, but we're working on it.

Why do I have to apply to get access?
In order to provide a great user experience, we’re initially limiting access to create or edit notebooks. Please do sign up, and we’ll email you as soon as it’s available for you to use.

Is it free to use?
Yes. Colaboratory is a research project that is free to use.

What is the difference between Jupyter and Colaboratory?
Jupyter is the open source project on which Colaboratory is based. Colaboratory allows you to use and share Jupyter notebooks with others without having to download, install, or run anything on your own computer other than a browser.

What is the difference between Cloud Datalab and Colaboratory?
Colaboratory is a research project for the dissemination of research and machine learning education. It is not a fully supported or generally-available Google product. If you are looking for an interactive data science tool for your business, we highly recommend using Cloud Datalab.

How is this related to colaboratory.jupyter.org?
In 2014 we worked with the Jupyter development team to release an early version of the tool. Since then Colaboratory has continued to evolve, guided by internal usage.

Where are my notebooks stored, and can I share them?
All Colaboratory notebooks are stored in Google Drive. Colaboratory notebooks can be shared just as you would with Google Docs or Sheets. Simply click the Share button at the top right of any Colaboratory notebook, or follow these Google Drive file sharing instructions.

What happens if two users edit the same notebook at the same time?
Changes are visible instantaneously to all users, in the same way Google Docs changes are automatically visible to all editors.

Can I import an existing Jupyter/IPython notebook into Colaboratory?
Yes. Choose "Upload notebook" from the File menu.

What about Python3? (or R, Scala, ...)
Currently, Colaboratory only supports Python 2.7. Colab has been internal-only for years, and Python 2.7 is still what we use internally. We'd like to support this, but don't yet have any ETA. We're also aware that users are interested in support for other Jupyter kernels (eg R or Scala).

How can I search Colaboratory notebooks?
Use Drive's search box. Clicking on the Colaboratory logo at the top left of the notebook view will show all notebooks in Drive. You can also search for notebooks that you have opened recently using File->Open Recent.

Where is my code executed? What happens to my execution state if I close the browser window?
Code is executed in a virtual machine dedicated to your account. Virtual machines are recycled when idle for a while, and have a maximum lifetime enforced by the system.

How can I get my data out?
You can download any Colaboratory notebook that you’ve created from Google Drive following these instructions, or from within Colaboratory’s File menu. All Colaboratory notebooks are stored in the open source Jupyter notebook format ( .ipynb).

I found a bug or have a question, who do I contact?
Open any Colaboratory notebook. Then go to the Help menu and select ”Send feedback...”.