Skip to content


Switch branches/tags


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


SignalServer is a web app to accompany QCTools. Some early planning documentation is available in this Vision doc.



SignalServer is designed using docker in mind. Please install BOTH docker-engine and docker-compose before you start. Downloads of Docker for various OS are available at:




SignalServer requires docker-compose above version 1.7, please update if needed.

Once you have docker-engine and docker-compose installed and confirmed docker is running, you can install SignalServer.

For Mac Users

If you installed Docker by using Docker for Mac... there is one more step:

Create a directly where you want to mount the file volume for SignalServer. (default is /files) So create /files directly if you don't have a strong preference about it.

mkdir /files

Also make sure you give the /files directly the full permission. It may give an error if you don't give full permission.

Then you click on docker icon on the top right bar and select "preferences" and select "File Sharing" tab.

screen shot 2017-02-09 at 12 49 30 am

In the File Sharing tab, click '+' icon and select /files (the directory you created in previous step). And /files should be added to "File Sharing".

screen shot 2017-02-09 at 12 49 54 am

For Older Docker Environments

If you are running and older Mac or Windows environement with Docker Toolbox, you will need to uncomment the first 4 lines of or These four lines needs to be uncommented:

 #docker-machine create --driver virtualbox default
 #docker-machine start default
 #docker-machine env default
 #eval "$(docker-machine env default)"

Non Docker for mac users, window users

If you are using older version of mac or windows, you still need these above four lines, so please uncomment these before you run the quickstart.

Now SignalServer is ready to be installed.

Docker Troubleshooting

If you run this script often, or if your script got stuck and don't produce any output, you may want to remove the intermediate containers/images every once in a while.

docker ps -a -q | xargs docker rm -f
docker images -a -q | xargs docker rmi -f

Installing SignalServer

From git

git clone
cd signalserver

Environment variable

SignalServer has a capacity to accept large numbers of files. Thus, we provide an option to determine where the files are stored in your host OS.

For example, the host OS has only 8G of local storage but you mounted extra space in /data directly of your host OS. Then you could designate your file storage to be within /data directly. In this case, your file storage path is:


You can set this value either in the .env file or you can run with ./ script. Default value for this value is:


If you don't have any special arrangement for space, you can just edit the .env file with above line in the project root directly. Within the docker container, it will be stored in /var/signalserver/files directly.

Running SignalServer


When you have docker-engine and docker-compose installed and the .env file is created with above value, you just need to run below script.


Then, it should tell you where the IP address of the web server docker container is running.

If you didn't set up the .env file, but you still want to store the files at the specific location, you can also run the command following way.



In this point, your application is running on port of the localhost that tells you. However, you may not have frontend assets loaded.

If it is the case, you need to open the file and change the 1st line as below. In this example, this person's SignalServer folder is located on /Users/username/signalserver/Dockerfile-frontend So in this example, the first line of the should be changed as below.

docker build -t signalserver-frontend -f /Users/username/signalserver/Dockerfile-frontend .

(Note the trailing ., which is significant).

Once you changed your to your project's Dockerfile-frontend path, save the file and run After you run, run again following the first step.


And that should be it!


If doing a lot of development work and building many dockers, you may want to clean up by running docker ps -a -q | xargs docker rm -f and docker images -a -q | xargs docker rmi -f

API usage


Once you are running the SignalServer and you create your credential at the site, you can upload the file not only from the site, but also using the API from SignalServer. The curl command is as below.

curl -i -u "username:password" [signalserver IP]:8000/fileuploads/upload/ --upload-file [your file name]

Example: You want to upload the filename '5A_born_digital_ffv1.qctools.xml.gz' to the server and your username and password is user1 and password2

curl -i -u "user1:password2" --upload-file 5A_born_digital_ffv1.qctools.xml.gz

Check file existence

The file existence check returns true or false by given filename.

curl -i -u "username:password" [signalserver IP]:8000/fileuploads/check_exist/[your file name]

Example: You want to check the filename '5A_born_digital_ffv1.qctools.xml.gz' exist in the server or not. The server is and your username and password is user1 and password2

curl -i -u "user1:password2"

Delete a file from the server

The delete a file by given filename.

curl -i -u "username:password" [signalserver IP]:8000/fileuploads/delete_file/ --data "filename=[yourfilename]"

Example: You want to delete the filename '5A_born_digital_ffv1.qctools.xml.gz' from the server. The server is and your username and password is user1 and password2

curl -i -u "user1:password2" --data="filename=5A_born_digital_ffv1.qctools.xml.gz"

Create a new group

The create group allow you to create a new group. The name needs to be unique. (It will return error message if it is not.)

curl -u "username:password" [signalserver IP]:8000/groups/create_group -data="groupname=[your groupname]"

Example: You want to create a new group named 'panda_group'. The server is and your username and password is user1 and password2

curl -i -u "user1:password2" --data "groupname=panda_group"

Add a file to a group

The Add file allow you to add a file to a group. Both file and group needs to be exist in the server. (It will return error message if one or both of them is not.)

curl -u "username:password" [signalserver IP]:8000/groups/add_file -data="groupname=[your groupname]&filename=[your filename]"

Example: You want to add a file named 'cucumber.gocart.xml.gz' 'panda_group'. The server is and your username and password is user1 and password2

curl -i -u "user1:password2" --data "groupname=panda_group&filename=cucumber.gocart.xml.gz"

For Developers

Congratulations for reading this far. So you want to customize or change SignalServer or contribute, here is what you need to know.


  • Be able to install Docker, have a basic understanding of what Docker is, and be able to do basic system administration.

If you have no idea what Docker is, please review before proceeding.

Docker Video Tutorial

Also, please go over this docker compose tutorial for Wordpress (and please actually do deploy the Wordpress site by yourself). This project depends on docker compose. So it is good to have a basic understanding.

Welcome back. Assume you watched at least some of the tutorials and followed along the all the basics and you also deployed a Wordpress site. So now you know, how you deploy web application by single bash file. I hope you enjoyed your docker journey so far.

So let me explain SignalServer's architecture overall. There are roughly three components of this system. Froendend, backend, and queue system. I will list these below but they are all put together by docker and docker compose. So you don't have to do any configuration for each of the application.

  • Frontend - Bower Packagemement, Node Server (Bower's dependency) bootstrap, d3, jquery (all frontend asessets are installed by bower)

  • Backend - Django and Django RestFramework, Porgress (database)

  • Queue System - Celery, Rabbit MQ, Redis

When you open the docker-compose.yml file, you see this application uses 5 docker containers to put these application together. (Also, you can easily add one more worker for your queue system by changing docker-compose.yml e.g. your CPU utilization is low with one queue.)

Lastly, I recommend to use docker with it but it is not absolute requirement. You are free to choose whatever development environtment you like. Just to make sure it works with entire system at the end of the day.

Good luck and Have fun!