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@minrk /
Last active Mar 23, 2016

run and validate a notebook
#!/usr/bin/env python
simple example script for running notebooks and reporting exceptions.
Usage: ` foo.ipynb [bar.ipynb [...]]`
Each cell is submitted to the kernel, and checked for errors.
import os,sys,time
from Queue import Empty
from IPython.kernel import KernelManager
except ImportError:
from IPython.zmq.blockingkernelmanager import BlockingKernelManager as KernelManager
from IPython.nbformat.current import reads, NotebookNode
def run_notebook(nb):
km = KernelManager()
km.start_kernel(stderr=open(os.devnull, 'w'))
kc = km.client()
except AttributeError:
# 0.13
kc = km
shell = kc.shell_channel
# simple ping:
cells = 0
failures = 0
for ws in nb.worksheets:
for cell in ws.cells:
if cell.cell_type != 'code':
# wait for finish, maximum 20s
reply = shell.get_msg(timeout=20)['content']
if reply['status'] == 'error':
failures += 1
print "\nFAILURE:"
print cell.input
print '-----'
print "raised:"
print '\n'.join(reply['traceback'])
cells += 1
print "ran notebook %s" %
print " ran %3i cells" % cells
if failures:
print " %3i cells raised exceptions" % failures
del km
if __name__ == '__main__':
for ipynb in sys.argv[1:]:
print "running %s" % ipynb
with open(ipynb) as f:
nb = reads(, 'json')

If I have a notebook that has cells ready to be run (say they produce plots form an experiment), and I run this on that notebook, when I open the notebook, the output is still note created. Is it possible to run the notebook offline, and then overwrite the nb with the newly run version?


@hugadams I had the same question, and I discovered this:


Neither the above code, nor runipy, seem to run actually run an IPython notebook as the notebook itself runs it: if I have a "%load" directive in a notebook, and I run all the cells via the interactive menu, the "%load" magic loads the code in a new cell, and this cell is then executed. On the opposite, the various headless runners that I have found just skip the new cell.

It would be really useful to be able to run notebook headless. Currently it is hard to do quality assurance on notebooks.


@minrk would it be possible to update this script for IPython 3?


@minrk Second that request. Tried to run but got a:

AttributeError: 'ZMQSocketChannel' object has no attribute 'execute'

@minrk I got the same error as @twiecki. AttributeError: 'ZMQSocketChannel' object has no attribute 'execute' am I missing something?

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