Getting started with the dev team

This page contains a starting point for people who would like to help maintain the BinderHub deployment at

Make sure you have access on the Google Cloud project

Go to and see if you have binderhub listed in your projects. If not, message one of the Binder devs on the Gitter Channel to get access.

Install kubectl and the gcloud SDK

The most important tool for keeping an eye on the Kubernetes deployment is kubectl and the gcloud SDK. These will let you run queries on the deployment from your command line. To set this up, check out the Zero to JupyterHub Google SDK section. (everything before the part where you create a google cloud cluster).

When you run gcloud init for the first time, it’ll ask you to authenticate and to choose a project / default region. You should authenticate with the email that’s been given privileges to work on, choose the project binderhub, and use the region us-central1.

We recommend enabling kubectl autocompletion as well.

Set up kubectl to connect to

Once you have kubectl installed, you can connect it with To do so, run the following command:

gcloud container clusters get-credentials prod --zone us-central1 --project binderhub

This will open a log-in page in your browser. If you’ve got access, you’ll be able to log in and your kubectl will now be able to run commands with

You can test this out by running:

kubectl --namespace=prod get pod

and a list of all running Binder pods should be printed.

Connect to the staging deployment

Now that you’re connected to prod it’s time to connect to staging. To do so, pull the staging credentials on to your local machine:

gcloud container clusters get-credentials staging --zone us-central1-a --project binderhub

You can now switch between the prod and staging deployments by changing your kubectl context. See the Kubectl context documentation for more information.

Look at the project Grafana

Another useful resource is the Grafana dashboard. This has information about the current state of the binder deployment. Take a look at all of these plots and familiarize yourself with them. They’re quite useful in spotting and debugging problems in the future.

Start helping out!

There are many ways that you can help debug/maintain/improve the deployment. The best way to get started is to keep an eye on the Gitter Channel as well as the Grafana dashboard. If you see something interesting, don’t hesitate to ask questions or make suggestions!