One of the key questions we get from academic around the use of Azure Notebooks http://notebooks.azure.com is that its critical that we know whether specific python packages can be made available to students.
The easy answer is yes and there are actually a couple of options for academics, so that you can ensure packages are available within your academic notebooks:
1. You can install them yourself within your notebook using the command "!pip install" in most cases just simply remember the ! command.
2. You can drop into the Terminal and install packages from the bash shell, via pip, conda, etc as you would do on your personal machine. see https://notebooks.azure.com/help If you do this in the library directory into a virtual environment, the installed bits will be there when students Clone that library - they have to activate that environment to use it.
3. There is now a "start-up" script called aznbsetup.sh that runs each time a container is started. whatever pip, wget, etc. commands you put there will be run upon start-up of the notebook. note that each container starts fresh.
For more details please see http://notebooks.azure.com HELP section