Galaxy VM

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In collaboration with the people running the NBIC Galaxy server, the BioAssist Engineering Team has made scripts that can extract a Galaxy Virtual Machine that has all the NBIC galaxy tools available. Users can download the virtual machine and run it on their local hardware.

This project is meant to help people that would otherwise have to upload huge datasets to a remote server, or that are concerned about privacy of data.

Getting the VMware image

The latest virtual machine image is available at It is a VMware virtual machine image. To run the VM you will need a version of the VMware hypervisor, for evaluation or small deployments the free versions (VMware Player, VMware Server or VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi)) can be used, for a production environment it is recommended to run on VMware vSphere. Other hypervisors are currently not directly supported by NBIC, but if you disable the VMware Tools in the virtual machine you should be able to run it in KVM, VirtualBox, Xen or VirtualPC as well. We are always interested to hear about your experiences with other hypervisors.

Minimal system requirements

The virtual machine can run with as little as 1GB of RAM assigned to it. It has a 100GB virtual harddisk and it requires a single network interface that is connected to your network (no NAT or local machine network). The actual amount of memory required depends on the number of users and the kind of jobs you run. When working with large datasets it can not hurt to assign an ample amount of memory.

Some considerations for installation

  • The Virtual Machine image is based on CentOS 5.5 64-bit (RedHat Enterprise Linux compatible). You should configure the virtual machine for this distribution or the closest match.
  • The image has an admin login account with username admin and password install123 and supports sudo to execute administrative tasks. Please take the hint and change the password of this account before making your VM available on the network.
  • If the virtual machine is configured to request an IP address by DHCP. If DHCP is available, but it fails to bring up the network interface there is a mismatch between the MAC address of the virtual machine and the MAC address configered in the image. You can resolve this by editing the file /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and update the line HWADDR with the correct MAC address. If DHCP is not available you need to reconfigure the network with command sudo system-config-network-tui for your network, please consult with your network administrator for the correct network settings. On reboot the machine should display the URL to access galaxy on the console.
  • To access the Galaxy you should go to http://<ip-address>/galaxy/ the / at the end of the URL is currently required (will be fixed in a later release of the VM)
  • We strongly suggest that you make a snapshot or a copy of your virtual machine before going into production. This allows you to reset it to a clean state easily if required.

Some notes about disk usage

  • Currently the virtual machine has 100GB local storage. If necessary you can extend the size of the image, but this is not trivial. If disk space is a big issue you can also relocate the /nbic directory to a network shared disk. Consult with your system administrators to see if this is possible and how to set this up. Fast network access is recommended if you choose this option.
  • The virtual machine does not run any cleanup jobs yet, to prevent running out of diskspace you should configure the cleanup jobs. See the galaxy documentation on how to setup these jobs.