Google Collab or Google Colaboratory: what is it

Google Collaboratory

Surely you have heard of Google Collaboratory, also known as Google Colab, or maybe it is the first time that you read about this platform of the North American company. Be that as it may, it is important that you know well what is behind it and all that it can contribute to your projects, since it has some very interesting characteristics.

This platform is especially related to the world of artificial intelligence, machine learning, as well as the Python programming language...

What is Google Colaboratory?

Google Colaboratory, or Colab, It is one more service from the Google Research cloud. It is an IDE that allows any user to write source code in its editor and run it from the browser. Specifically, it supports the Python programming language, and is oriented to machine learning tasks, data analysis, educational projects, etc.

This service, based on Jupyter Notebook, is hosted totally free with your GMail account, and it requires no configuration, nor will you have to download or install Jupyter. It will offer you computing resources to be able to edit and test your code, such as GPGPUs of its servers, etc. Obviously, as something free, Google Colaboratory does not have unlimited resources nor are they guaranteed, but they vary according to the use that is being given to the system. If you want to remove these restrictions and get more, you will have to pay the Colab Pro or Pro + subscription.

It is important to note that when you access Colab with your account, what you get is a virtual machine where you can run your code, isolated from other users and resources. Therefore, you can restore the virtual machine to the original state if you have problems. This also implies that if you are executing some code in your VM and you close the browser, the machines will be removed after a period of inactivity to free up resources. However, you will have your notebooks in GDrive if you saved them, or you can download them locally (open source Jupyter format .ipynb).

Google Colab Features


When you access Google Colaboratory you will find a friendly, intuitive and easy-to-use environment. In fact, it has an index with documentation and help, as well as some examples to start taking your first steps, modify the codes already made and go testing.

Between the functions The most prominent of Google Colaboratory are:

  • Edit and run Python code.
  • Store your projects in Google Drive (GDrive) so you don't lose them.
  • Upload the codes from GitHub.
  • Share notebooks (text, code, results and comments).
  • You can import Jupyter or IPython notebooks.
  • Download any Colab notebook locally from GDrive.

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