Trial Projects

When you first start using CoCalc, you will see a banner saying

“Upgrade this project, since it is on an unpaid trial server and has no internet access.”

To remove the warning message from the top of your project, at least one collaborator must upgrade the project to run on members-only hosting and have network access.

Note

CoCalc will never charge you, except after you explicitly purchase a subscription or course package.

Ways to remove the banner

Purchase upgrades

A $14/month standard subscription can be used to upgrade four projects, unlock internet access, etc. (pricing page). Go ahead and apply your upgrades to the project. You can easily change which projects you have upgraded at any time. Thank you for being a customer!

Student in a course

Ask your teacher/instructor to buy a course package and distribute the upgrades to the student projects (which should include yours). If it is just for a short project or a small course, they might as well want to get a “personal” subscription, which can also be used to upgrade your student project!

Alternatively, if you’re a student in a course, ask your instructor to enable the “Students pay” option in course settings, which makes available a special one-time $14 fee for a four month subscription to you.

In both cases, we are available to talk to the teacher/instructor directly and explain CoCalcs course functionality. For inquiries, contact us at help@sagemath.com.

For more details, read the Upgrading student projects section in the teaching guide.

Via a project collaborator

If one of your colleagues/friends has upgrades to share, add her/him to your the project as a collaborator. The can apply their upgrades to your project!

All users of the project benefit fully of the upgrade applied by one collaborator.

Disable banner (paying customers)

Alternatively, once you are a paying customer, you’ll find a new checkbox in Account Preferences that’s lets you hide the warning banner for yourself when using a free trial project:

[x] Hide free warnings: do not show a warning banner when using a free trial project (thanks for being a customer)

Can’t afford to purchase upgrades

You may continue using your project for free, despite the warning message. However, please keep in mind that (1) you can’t pull in external data from the internet to the project, (2) the project will get randomly restarted and runs on servers with lower hosting quality, and (3) CoCalc itself really needs your support in order to survive.

Reasons for purchasing a subscription

The Purpose of CoCalc is to make it easy to use SageMath (and other open-source software like Python, R, Octave, Julia, LaTeX, etc.), collaboratively and to generate a stable revenue source to hire full-time developers to develop CoCalc and ultimately SageMath.

Warning

Subscription revenue is currently enough to pay for server infrastructure but not enough to cover employee costs. This means the company behind CoCalc will eventually no longer be able to operate the service. See http://wstein.org/talks/2016-06-sage-bp/bp.pdf for more info about the challenges of funding SageMath development.

Internet Access

Outgoing internet connections. A couple of users abused CoCalc to attack other servers on the internet. That triggered a complete shutdown of the CoCalc website by our hosting service provider. To avoid that from happening again, we had to disable outgoing connections to the internet. With such an “internet upgrade”, you can again download files from other servers, install software packages that load from other servers, use git in a Linux Terminal to work with GitHub, etc.

Email from a project. Also due to abuse of trial projects, an Internet Access upgrade is required to do either of the following:

  • invite people via email without a CoCalc account to a project
  • allow @mentions in a project to send out emails

Essentially, if a project doesn’t have Internet Access, then no emails are sent related to that project.

Better support

Subscribers get higher priority on feature-requests and much more involved support responses.

Members only hosting

The free servers are of lower hosting quality, sometimes overloaded and periodically restarted. They are cheap Google preemptible instances. A side effect of the cheapness is that the underlying server of your trial project is randomly restarted at least once every 24 hours.

More resources

You can purchase additional compute, memory, and storage resources. (see Project Upgrades)

Upgrades can be shared

You can share your upgrades with friends, co-workers and family.

Fund improvement of CoCalc

Improvements are made daily! You can follow CoCalc’s development at https://github.com/sagemathinc/cocalc/

Support those who cannot afford to pay

When you get a paid subscription, or donate, you help fund the free-tier offering for those who can’t afford a subscription. We all know of some countries (and plenty of individuals in every country) that are going through extremely difficult financial times.

Funding SageMath development

A long-term goal is to generate enough revenue to fund development of SageMath. However, that goal is far away. Read about directly funding SageMath.