Introduction to Using Jupyter Notebook on Raspberry Pi


Raspberry Pi, the credit-card-sized computer, has revolutionized the tech world, especially for enthusiasts working on various projects including networking, single board computers, maker projects, and software development. One exciting capability of the Raspberry Pi is its ability to run Jupyter Notebooks, a powerful tool for interactive computing.

What is Jupyter Notebook?

Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents containing live code, equations, visualizations, and narrative text. It supports several programming languages, including Python, which is particularly well-suited for Raspberry Pi users.

Why Use Jupyter Notebook on Raspberry Pi?

  1. Interactive Coding: Jupyter Notebook provides an interactive environment for experimental and exploratory computing.
  2. Documentation: Alongside code, you can add explanatory texts, making it ideal for educational purposes and documentation of projects.
  3. Data Visualization: It offers robust tools for visualizing data, which is essential for many Raspberry Pi projects.
  4. Versatility: It's a versatile tool that can be used for software development, data analysis, machine learning projects, and more.

Setting Up Jupyter Notebook on Raspberry Pi

  1. Preparing Your Raspberry Pi:
  • Ensure your Raspberry Pi is set up with the latest OS and connected to the internet.
  • It's recommended to use Raspberry Pi 3 or later for optimal performance.
  1. Installing Jupyter Notebook:
  • Open a terminal and update your system with sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade.
  • Install Jupyter by running pip3 install jupyter.
  1. Launching Jupyter Notebook:
  • Run the command jupyter notebook.
  • This will start the Jupyter Notebook server and open your default web browser to the Jupyter interface.
  1. Accessing Jupyter Remotely (Optional):
  • You can also access your Jupyter Notebook remotely by running it on your Raspberry Pi's IP address.
  • Start the server with jupyter notebook --ip='*' --port=8888 --no-browser.
  • Access it via http://[Your_Raspberry_Pi_IP]:8888 on your computer's browser.

Getting Started with Your First Notebook

  1. Create a New Notebook: Click on 'New' in the top right corner and select 'Python 3' to start a new notebook.
  2. Writing Code: You can start typing Python code in the cells. To run the code, press Shift + Enter.
  3. Adding Explanatory Text: Click on 'Insert' to add new cells. You can choose 'Markdown' from the drop-down menu in the cell to write explanatory text.
  4. Saving and Sharing: You can save your notebook and share it as a .ipynb file, which others can open in their Jupyter environment.

Advanced Tips for Raspberry Pi Developers Using Jupyter Notebook

Integrating with GPIO Pins

One of the unique aspects of Raspberry Pi is its General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) pins, which allow for physical device interactions. Jupyter Notebook can be an excellent platform for prototyping and testing code that interacts with these pins.

  • Python Libraries: Use libraries like RPi.GPIO or gpiozero in your notebooks to control and read from the GPIO pins.
  • Real-time Testing: Instantly test your scripts that interact with sensors, LEDs, or other peripherals connected to your Raspberry Pi.

Networking and Server Applications

For developers working on networking projects or server-side applications, Jupyter Notebook offers an environment to test and demonstrate concepts in real-time.

  • Network Analysis: Use Python libraries like Scapy or NetworkX in your notebooks for network packet analysis or network graphing.
  • Web Server Prototyping: Develop Flask or Django-based mini web server scripts within Jupyter before deploying them on the Raspberry Pi.

Utilizing Single Board Computer Capabilities

Leverage the single-board computer (SBC) capabilities of Raspberry Pi in your Jupyter Notebooks for more sophisticated projects.

  • Machine Learning and AI: Run machine learning models using libraries like TensorFlow or PyTorch. Raspberry Pi 4's improved CPU and RAM capabilities make it feasible for light ML tasks.
  • IoT Projects: Integrate IoT applications directly in your notebook. Control and monitor IoT devices, and analyze real-time data from sensors.

Remote Access and Collaboration

Maximize the portability and network capabilities of Raspberry Pi for remote access and collaboration on projects.

  • Remote Access Setup: Configure your Raspberry Pi for secure remote access. Use Jupyter Notebook as a collaborative tool, allowing team members to access and work on the same notebook.
  • Version Control with Git: Learn to integrate Git with Jupyter for version control. This is essential for collaborative development and keeping track of changes in your projects.

3D Printing and Maker Projects

For those involved in 3D printing and maker projects, Jupyter Notebook can be an invaluable tool for planning and prototyping.

  • Design and Prototyping: Use libraries like Matplotlib for creating designs and visualizations. This can be particularly helpful in the planning phase of your maker projects.
  • Controlling 3D Printers: Experiment with scripts to control 3D printers connected to your Raspberry Pi, streamlining the printing process.

Example Project: Building a Temperature Monitoring System with Raspberry Pi and Jupyter Notebook

Project Overview

In this project, we will create a simple temperature monitoring system using a Raspberry Pi and Jupyter Notebook. We will use a DS18B20 temperature sensor, which is widely available and easy to use. This project will demonstrate how to read sensor data, process it, and visualize it in real-time using Jupyter Notebook.

What You'll Need

  • Raspberry Pi (any model with GPIO pins)
  • DS18B20 Temperature Sensor
  • 4.7k Ohm Resistor
  • Breadboard and Jumper Wires
  • Raspberry Pi OS installed with Jupyter Notebook

Step 1: Setting Up the Hardware

  1. Connect the DS18B20:
  • Connect the VDD pin of the sensor to a 3.3V pin on the Raspberry Pi.
  • Connect the GND pin to a ground pin on the Raspberry Pi.
  • Connect the Data pin to a GPIO pin (e.g., GPIO4).
  • Place the 4.7k Ohm resistor between the VDD and Data lines. This acts as a pull-up resistor.
  1. Verify Connections:
  • Double-check all connections are secure and correctly placed.

Step 2: Configuring Raspberry Pi

  1. Enable 1-Wire Interface:
  • Open the Raspberry Pi Configuration tool.
  • Navigate to the 'Interfaces' tab and enable the 1-Wire interface.
  • Reboot your Raspberry Pi.
  1. Testing Sensor:
  • After rebooting, open a terminal and type sudo modprobe w1-gpio and sudo modprobe w1-therm to load the necessary modules.
  • Navigate to /sys/bus/w1/devices/. You should see a directory starting with 28-. This is your sensor.
  • Inside this directory, the w1_slave file contains the temperature reading.

Step 3: Creating the Jupyter Notebook

  1. Launch Jupyter Notebook:
  • Open a terminal and type jupyter notebook.
  • Create a new Python 3 notebook.
  1. Writing Code:
  • Import necessary libraries (os, glob, time).
  • Initialize the temperature sensor (use the os and glob libraries to locate the sensor's data file).
  • Write a function to read the temperature from the sensor.
  • Write a loop to read the temperature at regular intervals (e.g., every 10 seconds).
  1. Visualizing Data:
  • Use matplotlib to plot the temperature in real-time.
  • Update the plot for each new reading.

Step 4: Running the Project

  • Run the cells in your Jupyter Notebook to start reading and plotting the temperature.
  • Observe how the temperature changes over time.


The versatility and power of the Raspberry Pi, when combined with the interactive and intuitive interface of Jupyter Notebook, open up a world of possibilities for developers, hobbyists, and educators alike. From simple data visualizations to complex IoT and machine learning projects, the synergy between these two tools can bring your projects to life in ways that were previously complex or inaccessible.

As we explored in this guide, setting up Jupyter Notebook on a Raspberry Pi is straightforward, and its applications are vast. By integrating with GPIO pins, exploring networking and server applications, and even diving into maker projects, you can expand the horizons of what's possible with your Raspberry Pi.

The temperature monitoring project serves as a perfect starting point for those new to this setup. It not only provides a hands-on experience with real-world applications but also encourages tinkering and exploration, which are at the heart of the Raspberry Pi community.

Whether you are a seasoned developer or a curious beginner, the journey of discovering the capabilities of Raspberry Pi with Jupyter Notebook is bound to be exciting and rewarding. So, boot up your Raspberry Pi, launch Jupyter Notebook, and start exploring the limitless potential at your fingertips.

Happy coding!