Details on the first pilot in the Health Societal Challenge: integrating the Open PHACTS functionality on the BDE platform
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

Deployment instructions pilot cycle 1 for SC 'Health'


This repository is meant to provide insight into the technical procedure and requirements of deploying the first pilot for Societal Challenge "Health" and to guide you to install it by yourself. By understanding the technology and the process-flows, we hope to encourage you to use it for your own domain. The goal of the pilot is to facilitate the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform functionality via Docker containers on the Big-Data-Europe infrastructure. The Open PHACTS platform is built for researchers in Drug Discovery, however by design the technology itself is independent from the domain. Once you got familiar with the code and got it running by yourself, you should have enough experience to upload your own Linked Data, and create your own API.


The Open PHACTS foundation (BigDataEurope consortium partner) is dedicated to developing and sustaining the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform. The platform is the result of an Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) project and facilitates researchers to access and query publicly-available pharmacological data. Stian Soiland-Reyes is the main contributor and leader of the Open PHACTS docker work. In collaboration with the VU University Amsterdam (both a member of the Open PHACTS foundation and the BigDataEurope consortium), the Open PHACTS foundation leads the work on Societal Challenge "Health" (SC1) in the BigDataEurope project. All the data brought together by Open PHACTS is free to access, to help researchers in drug discovery to find and use the information they the BigDataEurope consortium.


Roughly minimal hardware requirements:

  • ~ 150 GB of disk space
  • ~ 10 GB of RAM
  • ~ 4 CPU core

Recommended hardware:

  • ~ 250 GB of SSD disk
  • ~ 128 GB of RAM
  • ~ 8 CPU cores

Fast Internet connection (during build of data containers)

Windows Prerequisites:

Linux prerequisites:

  • A recent x64 Linux distribution (e.g. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Centos 7)
  • Docker 1.7.1 or later
  • Docker Compose 1.5.2 or later

Linux installation

Available for recent x64 Linux install At this moment the installation is only using docker-compose and docker-machine. The BigDataEurope Docker infrastructure also uses docker-swarm and its own conventions, templates, namespace allocation etc. The migration process is in progress.

For instructions please visit: Open PHACTS Docker images

Windows installation

Successfully tested on a Windows 10 Home (version 1511) machine with Intel Core i7-6920HQ CPU @ 2.90GHz, 32 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

Step 1: Removing previous installation of Docker Toolbox

If this is the first time you install Docker Toolbox on your machine, things should be fine and you can skip to the next step. But if not, this tutorial only works if you removed the previous install. The reason is that the Toolbox comes with the Oracle VirtualBox, which is quite buggy in Windows 10. For example, when you close the VirtualBox GUI, it might still run in the background which causes GUI problems and even more important, messing up config files. If you have important work which would be lost by the reinstall, please make a backup, or do not continue this manual. The easiest way to uninstall the Toolbox stuff is simply removing the .docker and .VirualBox folders from your home directory and just reinstall Docker Toolbox over it. It might be that Windows does not allow you to remove the folders because an active docker-machine/VirtualBox instance blocks the delete option. In that case check if the service is not on auto-start and reboot the machine and try to remove it again.

Step 2: Installing Docker Toolbox

  • Download and install Docker Toolbox
  • After install, never open Oracle Virtualbox, because it can mess up the config for some reason.
  • Also never open Docker Quickstart, because it automatically generates a default machine that does not have the right settings to run this pilot.

Step 3: Creating a docker-machine

  • Open a Command prompt (click on magnifying glass left bottom and type 'cmd')
  • Create a docker-machine with a 150GB virtual disk (this is the minimum): docker-machine create --virtualbox-disk-size 150000 -d virtualbox default Expected output similar to:
Creating CA: /home/username/.docker/machine/certs/ca.pem
Creating client certificate: /home/username/.docker/machine/certs/cert.pem
Image cache does not exist, creating it at /home/username/.docker/machine/cache...
No default boot2docker iso found locally, downloading the latest release...
Downloading to /home/username/.docker/machine/cache/boot2docker.iso...
Creating VirtualBox VM...
Creating SSH key...
Starting VirtualBox VM...
Starting VM...
To see how to connect Docker to this machine, run: docker-machine env default

Step 4: Connecting to the 'default' docker machine via SSH

Step 4.1: SSH IP and port

First, you'll need to find the ip address of your docker machine and the SSH access port.

To find the SSH port and IP address, type: docker-machine -D ssh default and find the line that looks like: &{{{<nil> 0 [] [] []} docker [0xe878d0] <nil> []} 50533 <nil>} is the IP and 50533 is the port in this example

Step 4.2: import the private certificate key

Importing the private certificate key in your SSH client is needed to login via ssh without password (currently I don't know how to find the password and the machine is automatically generated). The key is stored in the id_rsa file in `.docker/machine/machines/default' folder. The import procedure depends on your ssh client, but for PuTTY you can find the instructions here

Step 4.3: login!

Note, the username is the name of your docker-machine which is default in our example. Now you should be able to (at least locally on your machine) login via ssh : ssh default@ and get something like:

login as: docker
Authenticating with public key "imported-openssh-key" from agent
                        ##         .
                  ## ## ##        ==
               ## ## ## ## ##    ===
           /"""""""""""""""""\___/ ===
      ~~~ {~~ ~~~~ ~~~ ~~~~ ~~~ ~ /  ===- ~~~
           \______ o           __/
             \    \         __/
 _                 _   ____     _            _
| |__   ___   ___ | |_|___ \ __| | ___   ___| | _____ _ __
| '_ \ / _ \ / _ \| __| __) / _` |/ _ \ / __| |/ / _ \ '__|
| |_) | (_) | (_) | |_ / __/ (_| | (_) | (__|   <  __/ |
|_.__/ \___/ \___/ \__|_____\__,_|\___/ \___|_|\_\___|_|
Boot2Docker version 1.11.2, build HEAD : a6645c3 - Wed Jun  1 22:59:51 UTC 2016
Docker version 1.11.2, build b9f10c9

Step 5: From your ssh terminal install docker-compose

You will additionally need to install Docker Compose. The exact version used below might be out of date, see the install guide for details.

sudo -i
curl -L`uname -s`-`uname -m` > /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

Step 6: continue with installation steps from Linux instructions

Now everything should be the same for any OS (thats at least Dockers promise :-) ), and you can continue from here. note: all the commands are run from your ssh terminal