Sunday, February 7, 2021

F# in Google Colab Notebooks

.NET Interactive

.NET Interactive is a tool provided by Microsoft which among other things makes it easy to use .NET (C#, F#, and PowerShell) in Jupyter Notebooks.

Google Colab

Google Colab is a free, cloud hosted Jupyter notebook environment that includes access to GPUs. The Colab environment provides kernels for R, Python 2, Python 3, and Swift by default.

F# on Colab

Colab doesn't currently offer a streamlined option for adding additional kernels. However, enabling .NET via .NET Interactive is relatively easy to accomplish.

1. In Colab upload an IPython Notebook (*.ipynb) file that includes the kernelspec set to ".net-fsharp"

2. Execute code to install the .NET SDK and .NET Interactive. Wait for all steps to complete. Note: A message will appear indicating that .net-fsharp is an unrecognized runtime. This can be ignored.

3. In the Colab File menu, select "Runtime" -> "Change runtime type" then "Save" on the resulting popup window.

4. You can now execute F# in new code cells. 

A Gist with the full example is below:

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