Customizing User Resources#


For a list of all the Helm chart options you can configure, see the Configuration Reference.

User resources include the CPU, RAM, and Storage which JupyterHub provides to users. Most of these can be controlled via modifications to the Helm chart. For information on deploying your modifications to the JupyterHub deployment, see Applying configuration changes.

Since JupyterHub can serve many different types of users, JupyterHub managers and administrators must be able to flexibly allocate user resources, like memory or compute. For example, the Hub may be serving power users with large resource requirements as well as beginning users with more basic resource needs. The ability to customize the Hub’s resources to satisfy both user groups improves the user experience for all Hub users.

Set user memory and CPU guarantees / limits#

Each user on your JupyterHub gets a slice of memory and CPU to use. There are two ways to specify how much users get to use: resource guarantees and resource limits.

A resource guarantee means that all users will have at least this resource available at all times, but they may be given more resources if they’re available. For example, if users are guaranteed 1G of RAM, users can technically use more than 1G of RAM if these resources aren’t being used by other users.

A resource limit sets a hard limit on the resources available. In the example above, if there were a 1G memory limit, it would mean that users could use no more than 1G of RAM, no matter what other resources are being used on the machines.

By default, each user is guaranteed 1G of RAM. All users have at least 1G, but they can technically use more if it is available. You can easily change the amount of these resources, and whether they are a guarantee or a limit, by changing your config.yaml file. This is done with the following structure.

    limit: 1G
    guarantee: 1G

This sets a memory limit and guarantee of 1G. Kubernetes will make sure that each user will always have access to 1G of RAM, and requests for more RAM will fail (your kernel will usually die). You can set the limit to be higher than the guarantee to allow some users to use larger amounts of RAM for a very short-term time (e.g. when running a single, short-lived function that consumes a lot of memory).

Similarly, you can limit CPU as follows:

    limit: .5
    guarantee: .5

This would limit your users to a maximum of .5 of a CPU (so 1/2 of a CPU core), as well as guarantee them that same amount.


Remember to apply the change after changing your config.yaml file!

Set user GPU guarantees / limits#

It is possible to allocate GPUs to your user. This is useful for heavier workloads, such as deep learning, that can take advantage of GPUs.

For example, to create a profile that allocates one NVIDIA GPU:

    - display_name: "GPU Server"
      description: "Spawns a notebook server with access to a GPU"

This assumes that at least one of your Kubernetes nodes has compatible GPUs attached. The method for doing this differs according to your infrastructure provider. Here are a few links to help you get started:

You will also need to deploy the k8s-device-plugin following the instructions here.

To check that your GPUs are schedulable by Kubernetes, you can run the following command:

kubectl get nodes,GPUs:.status.capacity.'nvidia\.com/gpu'

Modifying user shared memory size#

It is also beneficial to increase the shared memory (SHM) allocation on pods running workloads like deep learning. This is required for functions like PyTorch’s DataLoader to run properly.

The following configuration will increase the SHM allocation by mounting a tmpfs (ramdisk) at /dev/shm, replacing the default 64MB allocation.

      - name: shm-volume
          medium: Memory
      - name: shm-volume
        mountPath: /dev/shm

The volume shm-volume will be created when the user’s pod is created, and destroyed after the pod is destroyed.

Some important notes regarding SHM allocation:

  • SHM usage by the pod will count towards its memory limit

  • When the memory limit is exceeded, the pod will be evicted

Modifying user storage type and size#

See the Customizing User Storage for information on how to modify the type and size of storage that your users have access to.

Expanding and contracting the size of your cluster#

You can easily scale up or down your cluster’s size to meet usage demand or to save cost when the cluster is not being used. This is particularly useful when you have predictable spikes in usage. For example, if you are organizing and running a workshop, resizing a cluster gives you a way to save cost and prepare JupyterHub before the event. For example:

  • One week before the workshop: You can create the cluster, set everything up, and then resize the cluster to zero nodes to save cost.

  • On the day of the workshop: You can scale the cluster up to a suitable size for the workshop. This workflow also helps you avoid scrambling on the workshop day to set up the cluster and JupyterHub.

  • After the workshop: The cluster can be deleted.

The following sections describe how to resize the cluster on various cloud platforms.

Google Cloud Platform#

Use the resize command and provide a new cluster size (i.e. number of nodes) as a command line option --num-nodes:

gcloud container clusters resize \
    --num-nodes <NEW-SIZE> \
    --zone <YOUR-CLUSTER-ZONE>

To display the cluster’s name, zone, or current size, use the command:

gcloud container clusters list

After resizing the cluster, it may take a couple of minutes for the new cluster size to be reported back as the service is adding or removing nodes. You can find the true count of currently ‘ready’ nodes using kubectl get node to report the current Ready/NotReady status of all nodes in the cluster.

Microsoft Azure Platform#

Use the scale command and provide a new cluster size (i.e. number of nodes) as a command line option --node-count:

az aks scale \
    --name <YOUR-CLUSTER-NAME> \
    --node-count <NEW-SIZE> \
    --resource-group <YOUR-RESOURCE-GROUP>

To display the details of the cluster, use the command:

az aks show --name <YOUR-CLUSTER-NAME> --resource-group <YOUR-RESOURCE-GROUP>

It may take some time for the new cluster nodes to be ready. You can use kubectl get node to report the current Ready/NotReady status of all nodes in the cluster.

Amazon Web Services Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)#

AWS EKS is an Amazon service providing an AWS-managed kubernetes control plane and a set of command-line tools, eksctl, to create and manager kubernetes clusters. It is but one way to deploy kubernetes with AWS infrastructure, but the following assumes that you have:

  1. a kubernetes cluster on deployed on EKS

  2. the eksctl command line tools installed and configured to point to your EKS cluster.

To scale an existing nodegroup using the eksctl command line tools:

eksctl scale nodegroup \
  --nodes-max <MAX-NUMBER-OF-NODES>\
  --nodes-min <MIN-NUMBER-OF-NODES>\

If you have a cluster autoscaler set up, you can also create an autoscaling nodegroup with the eksctl command line tool.

eksctl create nodegroup \
  --cluster <YOUR-CLUSTER-NAME> \
  --name <NODEGROUP-NAME> \
  --node-type <EC2-INSTANCE-TYPE(S)> \
  --nodes-max <MAX-NUMBER-OF-NODES>\
  --nodes-min <MIN-NUMBER-OF-NODES>\
  --ssh-access \
  --tags "<some-taint-key>=<some-taint-value>:<some-taint-effect>,<some-node-label-key>=<some-node-label-value>,<YOUR-CLUSTER-NAME>=true," \
  --node-labels "<some-node-label-key>=<some-node-label-value>,<AVAILABILITY-ZONE>,<AVAILABILITY-REGION>"

The tags<YOUR-CLUSTER-NAME>=<any-value-only-key-matters> and must be applied in order for the AWS cluster autoscaler to autoscale the nodegroup.

A tag must be added that corresponds to each of the node-labels that will be used as a nodeSelector when scheduling pods; with node-labels of the form <some-node-label-key>=<some-node-label-value>, these tags should be of the form<some-node-label-key>=<some-node-label-value>.

Taints can also be applied to the nodes in the nodegroup with tags of the form<some-taint-key>=<some-taint-value>:<some-taint-effect>

Finally, the AWS region (e.g., eu-west-1) and availability zone (e.g., eu-west-1a) can be set with node-labels:<AVAILABILITY-REGION> and<AVAILABILITY-ZONE>; and/or the --node-zones flag. Setting the availability zone is useful when singleUser pods could get scheduled to nodes in different availability zones; that scenario is problematic when using any persistentVolume storage backing that does not support mounting across availability zones (including the default gp2 storage in AWS EKS). In those cases, the PV gets created in the availability zone of the node to which the user’s pod is first scheduled and errors occur if in the future the same user pod is scheduled in a different availbility zone. Avoid this by controlling the zone to which nodegroups are deployed and/or by specifying an availability zone for the volumes in a custom StorageClass referenced in your values.yaml.