How do I use Jupyter Notebooks?

The easiest way to start using a Jupyter Notebook is to open SWAN in CloudStor via your web browser at


Go to:

Sign-in with your institutional credentials - user name and password - and click 'Login'.  

You are now in CloudStor, which is a cloud computing environment.



Once you are logged in to the CloudStor environment, at the top of the page there is a black banner that shows several icons. Click on the swan icon.

From the 'Welcome to SWAN' (Service for Web-based Analysis) page, click on ‘Start my Notebook Session’.

You will notice here that you can see a 'Starting your session' message come up on the screen. This means that a Notebook is being created. It can take a minute or so.

When the next screen comes up you will see a Launcher on the right hand side. Underneath the heading 'Notebook' you will see a list of computer languages. Click on on the programming language you would like to use.

Your Notebook will now open. Select 'File' at the top left hand side of the screen and select 'Save Notebook As'. Name your new Notebook and click ‘Save’. It’s important to keep the file extension .ipynb to allow you to reuse and share that Notebook in SWAN.



Once the Notebook has opened, you can then begin typing in the grey code cell on the right hand side, underneath the name of your Notebook. The code cell will have a blue border once you click on it.

After you have typed commands into the cell, you can click on the 'Run' (triangle) button or click on Shift + Enter to execute the contents of the cell and advance to the next cell.

Coding in cells lets you break down your code, e.g. you might have a cell for loading libraries, a cell for reading data, a cell for analysing the data and a cell for visualising the output.

Remember to save your Notebook by clicking on 'File', then 'Save Notebook'.

Want to know more? You can find a detailed discussion on using Jupyter Notebooks at



When you start a new Notebook, SWAN will create a sub-folder in your CloudStor home folder called /SWAN_SESSIONS/ where is a UTC (Co-ordinated Universal Time) time stamp. If you save your notebook by clicking File/Save Notebook it will be saved to this folder as untitled.ipynb.

If you wish to save it to a specific name then click File/Save Notebook As and type a filename in the dialog box.

You can use the file navigator in the left hand side window to navigate to a specific location in CloudStor by clicking on the CloudStor folder first then navigating as you would in a normal CloudStor view.

Note this will not change the working folder in an active Notebook. You will need to change the folder within the workbook, but any new Notebooks will be saved to this folder.