Installing prerequisites

Make sure you have Python 3.6 installed on your system. If you don’t have it yet, follow these instructions.

Resolwe Bioinformatics requires PostgreSQL (9.4+). Many Linux distributions already include the required version of PostgreSQL (e.g. Fedora 22+, Debian 8+, Ubuntu 15.04+) and you can simply install it via distribution’s package manager. Otherwise, follow these instructions.

The pip tool will install all Resolwe Bioinformatics’ dependencies from PyPI. Installing some (indirect) dependencies from PyPI will require having a C compiler (e.g. GCC) as well as Python development files installed on the system.


The preferred way to install the C compiler and Python development files is to use your distribution’s packages, if they exist. For example, on a Fedora/RHEL-based system, that would mean installing gcc and python3-devel packages.

Optional prerequisites

If you want to run or develop tests with large input or output files, then install the Git Large File Storage extension.

Preparing environment

Fork the main Resolwe Bioinformatics’ git repository.

If you don’t have Git installed on your system, follow these instructions.

Clone your fork (replace <username> with your GitHub account name) and change directory:

git clone<username>/resolwe-bio.git
cd resolwe-bio

Prepare Resolwe Bioinformatics for development:

pip install --pre -e .[docs,package,test]


We recommend using pyvenv to create an isolated Python environment for Resolwe Bioinformatics.

Preparing database

Add a postgres user:

createuser -s -r postgres

Running tests


Change directory to the tests Django project:

cd tests

Run docker:

docker-compose up


On Mac or Windows, Docker might complain about non-mounted volumes. You can edit volumes in Docker => Preferences => File Sharing The following volumes need to be shared:

  • /private
  • /tmp
  • /var/folders

/private is shared by default. When you attempt to add /var/folders it might try to add /private/var/folders which will cause Docker complaining about overlapping volumes. Here’s a workaround: Change /private to /var/folders and then add /private again.

To run the tests, use:

./ test resolwe_bio --parallel 2


If you don’t specify the number of parallel test processes (i.e. you just use --parallel), Django will run one test process per each core available on the machine.


If you run Docker in a virtual machine (i.e. if you use MacOS or Windows) rather that directly on your machine, the virtual machine can become totally unresponsive if you set the number of parallel test processes too high. We recommend using at most --parallel 2 in such cases.

To run a specific test, use:

./ test resolwe_bio.tests.<module-name>.<class-name>.<method-name>

For example, to run the test_macs14 test of the ChipSeqProcessorTestCase class in the test_chipseq module, use:

./ test resolwe_bio.tests.processes.test_chipseq.ChipSeqProcessorTestCase.test_macs14

Using Tox

To run the tests with Tox, use:


To re-create the virtual environment before running the tests, use:

tox -r

To only run the tests with a specific Python version, use:

tox -e py<python-version>

For example, to only run the tests with Python 3.5, use

tox -e py35


To see the list of available Python versions, see tox.ini.


To control the number of test processes Django will run in parallel, set the DJANGO_TEST_PROCESSES environment variable.

Since running tests for all processes may take a long time, there is an option to run partial tests based on what files have been changed between HEAD and a specific commit (e.g. master). The Tox environments that run partial tests have the -partial suffix, e.g.:

tox -e py35-partial

To configure the commit against which the changes are compared you should set the RESOLWE_TEST_ONLY_CHANGES_TO environmental variable (it is set to master by default).

Running tests skipped on Docker

To run the tests that are skipped on Docker due to failures and errors, set the RESOLWEBIO_TESTS_SKIP_DOCKER_FAILURES environment variable to no.

For example, to run the skipped tests during a single test run, use:


To run the skipped tests for the whole terminal session, execute:


and then run the tests as usual.

Running tests with large files

To run the tests with large input or output files, ensure you have the Git Large File Storage extension installed and run the tests as usual.

Adding tests with large files

If a test file is larger than 1 MiB, then put it in the resolwe_bio/tests/files/large/ directory. Git Large File Storage (LFS) extension will automatically pick it up and treat it appropriately.

To ensure contributors without Git LFS or users using the source distribution can smoothly run the tests, decorate the tests using large files with the following:

@skipUnlessLargeFiles(<large-file1>, <large-file2>, ...)

where <large-file1>, <large-file2>, ... represent the names of large files used inside a particular test.

The decorator will ensure the test is skipped unless these files are present and represent real large files (not just Git LFS pointers).

Building documentation

python build_sphinx


To build the documentation, you must use Python 3 (Python 2 is not supported).

Preparing release

Follow Resolwe’s documentation on preparing a release. Resolwe code is automatically released to PyPI when tagged, but this is not supported in Resolwe Bioinformatics yet. After you have completed the first part, follow the steps below to release the code on PyPI.

Clean build directory:

python clean -a

Remove previous distributions in dist directory:

rm dist/*

Remove previous egg-info directory:

rm -r *.egg-info

Create source distribution:

python sdist

Build wheel:

python bdist_wheel

Upload distribution to PyPI:

twine upload dist/*