Deploying EDD


Have Docker and Docker Compose installed on the target host. EDD is tested generally with the latest stable Docker version; these instructions are not guaranteed to work for any older versions of Docker or Docker Compose. Also have at least the bin and docker directories, along with docker-compose.yml and docker-compose.override.yml-example copied to the target host.

Initial configuration

There are many configuration options that can be set before launching EDD. The init-config script handles creating additional options based on included example files:

  • secrets: Directory contains secret values loaded into containers at launch; these values will generally be passwords, keys, and other secret information.
  • docker-compose.override.yml: Overrides the default configuration used to launch the Docker containers. Non-secret environment, and other launch options will be put into this file.

More information and example configuration options can be found in the example files, and copied into the files created automatically by the init-config script.

Starting EDD

Before starting a deployment, the Docker images used by the various EDD services must be present on the host computer. This is accomplished either by pulling already-built images from a Docker Registry, or building the images from the Dockerfiles included in the project. To pull the images, use docker compose pull. Customizing builds is beyond the scope of this document, consult the individual README files included with each Dockerfile if a custom build is required.

Publicly Available images

The images available to the public at the registry, or, are not guaranteed to be current with the latest version in git. If developing with EDD, always build the images.

TLS and domain configuration

EDD includes a set of Docker containers to auto-configure an Nginx webserver with TLS encryption via certificates generated with the Let’s Encrypt service. By setting some environment in the http service container, EDD will generate a configuration file for Nginx to proxy HTTP requests and secure connections with TLS.

To proxy requests to a container, set the environment variables VIRTUAL_HOST and VIRTUAL_PORT on that container. The values of these variables are the DNS hostname, and the port exposed on the container, respectively. These values are set automatically for the central EDD service by the init-config script, but only for a single domain, via the --domain option. For more advanced configuration, consult the documentation for the letsencrypt-nginx-proxy-compainion.

If alternate TLS configuration – or any other Nginx configuration – is desired, replace the default nginx service image with one containing options for your alternate configuration, or re-write the nginx.tmpl template.

Linking to an ICE server

The purpose of EDD is to store actionable datasets in synthetic biology engineering. An important piece of information in understanding this data is the genetic sequences of engineered organisms. The EDD uses another piece of JBEI software, the Inventory of Composable Elements, or ICE, to keep track of this information. Any functionality on EDD that deals with linking to strains will not work unless the EDD server is connected to an ICE server.

To link to an ICE server, EDD uses a Base64-encoded key. Create a key using a command like this:

openssl rand -base64 64 | tr -d '\n' > hmac.key

This will create a file named hmac.key. Copy this file to the secrets directory, and add a secret to the docker-compose.override.yml configuration for the services using edd-core and ice. The edd-core image will check for a secret named edd_ice_key, and the ice image will load in HMAC keys using the value of the ICE_HMAC_SECRETS environment.

Creating an EDD administrator account

Several parts of EDD’s configuration is contained within the running application’s database, instead of loaded from files at startup. A login account to the EDD application, with access to the administration interface, is the easiest way to edit this configuration. To create an administrator account, use this command, after EDD has finished startup:

docker compose exec http /code/ createsuperuser

The command will prompt for a username, email address, and password. Logging in with the username and password combination will send a confirmation email to the provided address. Once the email is validated, the account is active and an “Administration” link to the EDD will appear on every page, which will load the administration interface when clicked.

Customizing EDD

Inside the administration interface, a few items should be modified prior to serious use of the application.

  1. Set the site name and domain in Sites via the Django Admin. The default confirmation email will use as the name of the EDD site, because that is the default value. Access the Admin at ${EDD_URL}/admin/sites/site/, and then click through the item to edit the name and domain to match your deployment.
  2. Set Brandings to use. The admin section at ${EDD_URL}/admin/branding/branding/ sets the logo, favicon, and custom stylesheets used in EDD. Click through to Add Branding to upload these custom files and associate them with the default site set in the previous step.
  3. Add Social applications. This section is where you can configure logins using OAuth from other services, such as Google, LinkedIn, etc. This will also require a settings override to to add the Django apps for each login provider. See the django-allauth documentation for more details.

Custom Python configuration

The following configuration options are specific to EDD and may be overridden.

  • EDD_ALLOW_SIGNUP – boolean flag; if True, self-registration of accounts is enabled.
  • EDD_ALLOW_SHOW_PASSWORD – boolean flag; if True, show “Show password” button
  • EDD_DEPLOYMENT_ENVIRONMENT – string value, changes background color and adds a visual environment label to assist in telling apart testing vs production instances. A None value will result in no visual changes added to the interface.
  • EDD_ENABLE_GRAPHQL – boolean flag; if True, publish a GraphQL endpoint for EDD.
  • EDD_EXTERNAL_SCRIPTS – iterable of URL strings; these will be scripts added to the default EDD page template. Put links for any external scripts here, to avoid creating custom HTML templates.
  • EDD_IMPORT_BULK_CREATE_BATCH_SIZE – integer value, default None; the maximum number of bulk object creations to perform in a batch for the prototype import tool. None results in all objects up to EDD_IMPORT_PAGE_SIZE being created in a single batch (i.e. in one query).
  • EDD_IMPORT_BULK_PK_LOOKUP_BATCH – integer value, default 100; the maximum number of line or assay primary keys to include in a single bulk lookup query during the final execution of the prototype import. Affects import performance.
  • EDD_IMPORT_ERR_REPORTING_LIMIT – integer value, default 25; the maximum number of occurrences of any single type of error reported to clients of the prototype import via websocket notifications. Error occurrences beyond this limit are not reported to clients.
  • EDD_IMPORT_MTYPE_LOOKUP_ERR_LIMIT – integer value, default 25; the maximum number of measurement type identifier lookup errors to tolerate before aborting an import using the prototype import tool, or zero to look up all the types referenced in the file. Most measurement type identifiers are resolved by contacting third-party databases such as PubChem, so large numbers of lookups can be expensive. Keeping this number low makes the import more responsive, but raising it increases the amount of potentially useful user feedback generated by each import attempt.
  • EDD_IMPORT_PAGE_SIZE – integer value, default 1,000; the maximum number of resolved import records stored in a single cache page prior to finally executing the import. Affects import performance for both legacy and the prototype import.
  • EDD_IMPORT_PAGE_LIMIT – integer value; the maximum number of cache pages in a single import. Combined with EDD_IMPORT_PAGE_SIZE, this creates a limit on the number of values that can be imported and helps prevent erroneous or malicious imports from overwhelming the system. Affects import performance for both legacy and the prototype import.
  • EDD_IMPORT_CACHE_LENGTH – integer value, default 24 hours; the expiration time in seconds after which an import is expired from the cache, regardless of whether it has been executed. Affects import performance for both legacy and the prototype import.
  • EDD_IMPORT_UPLOAD_LIMIT – integer value, default 1048576 = 1 MB; the maximum size in bytes of files accepted by the user interface for the prototype import tool. This value is also displayed to users in help text and error messages. The limit configured here is enforced by the import user interface, and is displayed to users in help text and in error messages if they attempt a larger upload. This setting does not affect the upload limit for the import REST API endpoint. In a typical installation, the REST API upload limit is configured and enforced separately by an nginx reverse proxy. The 1MB default value for EDD_IMPORT_UPLOAD_LIMIT is consistent with the nginx default value of client_max_body_size.
  • EDD_LATEST_CACHE – string value; the name of the Django cache to use for storing a user’s latest viewed studies.
  • EDD_ONLY_SUPERUSER_CREATE – boolean flag, or the string “permission” (default False); if True, only superuser accounts may create new studies. If set to “permission”, only users with the “Main | Study | Can Add Study” permission configured via the admin site may create new studies.
  • ICE_FOLDER_SEARCH_PAGE_SIZE integer value; tunes the performance of part lookups in ICE folders by controlling the page size for parts from a folder
  • ICE_KEY_ID – string value, the identifier of the shared key used to communicate with ICE.
  • ICE_SECRET_HMAC_KEY – string value, base64-encoded key used to sign requests to ICE.
  • ICE_URL – URL of the ICE instance associated with EDD.
  • ICE_REQUEST_TIMEOUT – 2-tuple of integers, for the seconds to set connection and read timeouts in communication with ICE.
  • ICE_VERIFY_CERT – boolean flag; if True, use strict certificate verification when connecting to ICE. Note: older versions of EDD used the name VERIFY_ICE_CERT instead. EDD will check for this name and emit a warning; the old name will be removed at a future date.
  • REQUIRE_UNIPROT_ACCESSION_IDS – boolean flag; if True, protein measurement IDs must conform to the pattern of UniProt identifiers. Otherwise, arbitrary text may label a protein.

Starting EDD

Once configured, EDD is launched with either docker compose for a single-node deployment, or docker stack deploy for a Swarm deployment:

# For single-node deployment, launch in detached mode
docker compose up -d
# For Swarm deployment:
# 1. Make sure the swarm manager is set up
docker swarm init
# 2. Aggregate configuration files
docker compose config > stack.yml
# 3. Launch the stack (replace [NAME] with desired stack name)
docker stack deploy -c stack.yml [NAME]

To shut down EDD:

# For single-node deployment
docker compose down
# For Swarm deployment (replace [NAME] with deployed stack name)
docker stack down [NAME]