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Installing the GenoPub DAS2 Server


There are two ways to configure the GenoViz Genometry DAS2 server:

  • Classic mode: The annotations are organized into a directory structure on the file system.
  • GenoPub mode: The annotations are managed by the GenoPub (Genomic Annotation Publisher), which stores information about each annotation in a database. A web-based tool allows annotations to be easily added, described, and organized. Through the tool, users and groups are managed and annotation security is specified. Access to annotations is brokered by the DAS2 server so that only authorized users can gain access to these resources.

Here are instructions for installing the DAS2 server in GenoPub mode. Any java servlet container will work. Here we show how to do this with Tomcat. Likewise most relational databases can be appropriately configured. In this demonstration we are using MySQL. Lastly, these web apps were developed and run on Windows but since the majority of bioinformatics web servers use Linux, we use Red Hat Enterprise 5 in this tutorial.

System Requirements

Step 1: Check your java version

  • Check that your java version is 6+ or 1.6+ by typing 'java -version' on the command line
  • Download and install a new java if needed,
  • In MacOSX modify which java to use with the /Applications/Utilities/Java\ Preferences app

Step 2: Install and Configure Tomcat 5.5+

  • Make a new user called tomcat
  • Login as tomcat
  • Download and unzip Tomcat 5.5+ in the tomcat user's home directory, see
  • Add environmental variables to the tomcat user's ~/.bashrc file using a text editor
#example for tomcat 5.5.25
export CATALINA_HOME=/home/tomcat/apache-tomcat-5.5.25
export JAVA_HOME=/usr
export JRE_HOME=/usr
#increase the memory available to tomcat, set to 4G or more if you have it, note
32bit machines can only use 2G
export CATALINA_OPTS=-Xmx4096m
  • Load the variables into your current shell (e.g. ' source ~/.bashrc ')
  • Download the MySQL JDBC driver (MySQL Connector/J) from . Uncompress the zip file ( and place the ~/mysql-connector-java-xxx/ into your ~/ directory. This is needed for java apps to connect to a MySQL database.
  • Punch holes for port 8080 through any firewalls surrounding your computer
  • Enable the tomcat shell scripts to be executed (e.g. ' chmod -R 755 ~/ ')
  • Launch tomcat using the ~/ script
  • Verify that tomcat is visible by calling tomcat from a web browser http://yourComputersIP:8080/ (e.g. http://localhost:8080/). Ask someone off site to check it too.
  • Check the server log ~/ for errors
  • Shut down tomcat using the ~/ script

Step 3: Install the the GenoViz GenoPub DAS/2 Web app

  • Download the latest archive from
    • To build from the GenoViz project, change the '<property name="das2_genopub_mode" value="false"/>' to true in the genoviz/common.xml file and use ant to run the clean, all, release-das2server targets in the genoviz/build.xml file. The will be placed in the genoviz/dist/release directory.
  • Unzip the archive in the tomcat user's home directory
  • Move the ~/das2server-genopub/das2genopub directory into ~/ directory

Step 4: Install and Configure MySQL

  • MySQL 5+ ( comes as a standard install option in RedHat, if needed use yum as root to install MySQL
#To install mysql on RedHat Enterprise 5 and set the root password
su root
yum install mysql-server mysql
/etc/init.d/mysqld start
mysqladmin -u root password some_password
mysql -u root -p
  • Start the MySQL daemon '/etc/init.d/mysqld start'
  • Login as root 'mysql -u root -p'
  • Create a database user account called 'genopub'. Here is an example mysql command:
CREATE USER 'genopub'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'some_password';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON genopub.* TO 'genopub'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;
CREATE USER 'genopub'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'some_password';
  • Logout of the root mysql account and login to mysql as the genopub user, 'mysql -u genopub -p'
  • In mysql, run the ~/das2server-genopub/genopub.sql script to create the genopub database 'mysql> source ~/das2server-genopub/genopub.sql;'

Step 5: Configure the GenoViz GenoPub DAS/2 Web app

  • Modify the '~/' doc in a text editor
    • Change the '/path/to/das2genopub/genopubdata/' to the full path directory name where you want to store your data (e.g. '/home/tomcat/GenoPubData' )
    • Create that data directory. Note it should not be the same directory used to store data from the classic mode DAS/2 server.
    • Change the '' to point to a trusted admin
    • Change the '' replacing '' with the URL for your machine. This is the same one you used to verify your tomcat installation.
  • Modify the ~/ doc in a text editor
    • Set the docBase in <Context> to the relative path of the webapp application. (e.g. <Context path="/das2genopub" docBase="webapps/das2genopub" debug="0" reloadable="true">)
    • Set the 'your_genopub_db_password_here' in <RESOURCE> to the genopub user password you assigned in MySQL.
  • (Optional) Create a 'index.html' doc describing your server and place it in the '~/' directory. This will be hot linked in some applications.
  • (Optional) Likewise, add a favicon.ico to the '~/' directory representing your organization. This will be displayed in apps alongside your genopub server name.

Step 6: Launch it!

  • Be sure the mysql daemon is running...
  • Start up tomcat...
  • Launch the GenoPub tool: http://yourhost:8080/das2genopub/genopub . To programmatically access this sever using DAS/2 the URL is http://yourhost:8080/das2genopub/genome.
  • Login with the username 'admin' and the password 'admin'. Click the 'Change password' link on the top right of the screen and change the admin password. Click on the Users and Groups link and add yourself as a user. If you are an admin, click the 'Admin' radio button. Create a group. Add yourself. Quit your browser and try the URL again as yourself to make sure you can login.
  • Add some data. Note you need to belong to a group to be able to set the visibility permissions.
  • Click the 'Reload DAS/2 Server' link to add your new data to the server

Step 7: Register Your Das/2 Server

  • Register your http://yourhost:8080/das2genopub/genome URL, otherwise no one will know about your most excellent data. Note only datasets you designate as public will be visable to non authenticated users.
  • Currently, the DasRegistry does not support DAS/2 services. As a temporary work around, download the 'genopubRegistry.xml' file from the GenoViz Project, add an entry, and email it back to the GenoViz developers. If you have access to the GenoViz SVN, modify it directly.

Step 8: Visualize your data in IGB

  • The Integrated Genome Browser is fully DAS/2 and DAS/1 compliant and a good application for visualizing your genomic data.
  • Launch IGB using the web start links : IGB (1GB) or IGB (3GB)
  • Under the 'Data Access' tab, click the 'Configure...' button and add your server:
    • Server URL 'http://yourhost:8080/das2genopub/genome' NOTE the last word, it's genome NOT genopub
    • Server name 'YourOrg'
    • Server type 'DAS2'
    • Login 'your genopub login name'
    • Password 'your genopub password'
  • Click the 'Add' button, a confirmatory message should appear
  • Under the 'Data Access' tab, select a Species and a Genome Version where your data resides

For Non Linux 64-bit Installations

  • Download appropriate UCSC bedToBigBed and wigToBigWig executables from and replace those in the '~/' directory

Configuring GNomEx for FDT Uploads and Downloads

Fast Data Transfer is a utility developed by CalTech and CERN. See GenoPub can be configured with FDT, which is equipped to deal with the transfer of large data files over the internet. NOTE: At this time, FDT in GenoPub is set up to work with the Tomcatapplication server running on Unix and Linux based systems. GenoPub is not yet configured to use FDT on a Windows or Mac server.

  • Copy fdtServer.jar to /path/to/fdt/server.
  • Make sure port 54321 is not blocked by the firewall.
  • Create an fdt staging dir. This will be the directory that stages the files for the fdt uploads and downloads.

VERY IMPORTANT: the fdt stagin directory should be a sandbox directory that ONLY contains temporary fdt directories and files. Make sure that this directory does not contain any files or subdirectories that should be restricted from FDT transfers.

  • Start the fdt server in the background.
>nohup java -jar fdtServer.jar -rdt fdt_staging_dir &
  • Copy fdtClient.jar to your default web directory. (For example, create a directory called
fdt under var/www/html/ if your system is running the standard apache server.)
  • Make a directory for the fdt file monitor daemon and copy the necessary files:
>mkdir /path/to/fdtfilemonitor
>mkdir /path/to/fdtfilemonitor/tasks
>cp scripts/fdtFileDaemon.jar /path/to/fdtfilemonitor/
>cp scripts/ /path/to/fdtfilemonitor/
  • Modify /path/to/fdtfilemonitor/ Edit /path/to/fdtfilemonitor/ and /path/to/fdt_staging_dir to point
to your filepath locations.
  • Start the fdt file monitor daemon.
 >cd /path/to/fdtfilemonitor
 >nohup sh
  • Uncomment the fdt parameters in '~/' doc.

parameter                  value
----------------------    ---------------------------------------
fdt_supported             Y
fdt_directory               The fdt staging dir
fdt_directory_gnomex  The fdt staging dir. Only differs from fdt_directory when fdt server running on different machine than                           Orion (gnomex)
fdt_client_codebase     The URL to download fdtClient.jar. (Step 6). (Example
fdt_server_name         The machine (domain name) that the fdt server is running on. (Example: fdt_file_daemon_task_dir   Set to /path/to/fdtfilemonitor/tasks

  • In GenoPub, links for FDT Upload should now be available for upload annotation files. Also, when downloading, you will be prompted to choose
between a normal (HTTP via Flash) download and an FDT download.
  • When using the FDT Upload or Download, webstart will lauch the FDT GUI. To troubleshoot transfer problems,
click on the menu Options -> Show Transfer Logs.
Please send comments to the 
GenoViz Bug Tracker (Category GenoPub) if you encounter install issues or needed corrections.