Google Colab with Private Repos in Other organizations

Well, I’ve tried a number of other hosted Jupyter environments from Google AI Platform Notebook to Saturn and I keep coming back to Google Colab for one reason mainly:

  1. We don’t have things that are that complex (yet!), so simplicity is key and Colab is just so simple to use with everything you need already loaded (and did I mention free!)
  2. The biggest reason though is their very nice integration with Github, it is just so convenient (without messing with SSH deployment keys and so forth) to use Oauth to get to the repos and store the data there.

The biggest gotcha is that you can’t see the private repos of other organizations that you belong to. There is a security feature in Github and you have to allow Third party access to those repos.

You need to:

  1. So go to your login on GitHub and choose Applications and the tab that is Authorized OAuth Applications and then click on Colaboratory and there you see in Organization Access and whole list of all the organizations to which you below. Then click Grant for those organizations that get Oauth access.
  2. The above is the safest way, but if you want to run wide open (and let any third party application party), go to that organization Settings > Third-party access and the default there is Access restricted so click on remove restrictions

This is on by default with every organization, but at least it applies to all repos. As usual, this is a security issue, so make sure you really need it (like with Colab access :-). It would of course be way better if Colab operating as an application and didn’t need full unfettered access so pick option 1 is you can. It is more management but ultimately safer.

I’m Rich & Co.

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