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$Id: README,v 1.17 2007/12/07 02:00:42 k Exp $
Copyright (C) 2001-2007 Toshiaki Katayama <>
= BioRuby
BioRuby is an open source Ruby library for developing bioinformatics
software. Object oriented scripting language Ruby has many features
suitable for bioinfomatics research, for example, clear syntax to
express complex objects, regular expressions for text handling as
powerful as Perl's, a wide variety of libraries including web service
etc. As the syntax of the Ruby language is simple and very clean, we
believe that it is easy to learn for beginners, easy to use for
biologists, and also powerful enough for the software developers.
In BioRuby, you can retrieve biological database entries from flat
files, internet web servers and local relational databases. These
database entries can be parsed to extract information you need.
Biological sequences can be treated with the fulfilling methods of the
Ruby's String class and with regular expressions. Daily tools like
Blast, Fasta, Hmmer and many other softwares for the biological
analysis can be executed within the BioRuby script, and the results
can be fully parsed to extract the portion you need. BioRuby supports
major biological database formats and provides many ways for accessing
them through flatfile indexing, SQL, web services etc. Various web
services including KEGG API can be easily utilized by the BioRuby.
BioRuby's official website is at ((<URL:>)).
You will find links to the related resouces including downloads,
mailing lists, Wiki documentations etc. in the top page.
* ((<URL:>))
--- WWW
The stable release is freely available from the BioRuby website.
* ((<URL:>))
--- CVS
If you need the latest development version, anonymous CVS is provided at
* ((<URL:>))
and can be obtained by the following procedure.
% cvs -d login
CVS password: cvs (login with a password 'cvs' for the first time)
% cvs -d co bioruby
--- RubyGems
((<RubyGems|URL:>)) version of
the BioRuby package is also available for easy installation.
* ((<URL:>))
* Ruby 1.8.2 or later -- ((<URL:>))
(Ruby 1.8.4 or later is recommended)
Some optional libraries can be utilized to extend BioRuby's functionality.
If your needs meets the following conditions, install them from the "Ruby
Application Archive" at ((<URL:>)).
For faster parsing of the BLAST XML output format:
* [RAA:xmlparser]
Creating faster flatfile index using Berkley DB:
* [RAA:bdb]
Accessing BioSQL database created by other Open Bio* libraries:
* [RAA:ruby-dbi] and at least one driver from [RAA:mysql-ruby],
[RAA:postgres], [RAA:oracle]
In the bioruby source directory (such as bioruby-x.x.x/), run install.rb
as follows:
% ruby install.rb config
% ruby install.rb setup
% su
# ruby install.rb install
If your operating system supports 'sudo' command (such as Mac OS X),
try the following procedure instead of the above.
% ruby install.rb config
% ruby install.rb setup
% sudo ruby install.rb install
You can run tests by
% ruby install.rb test
and run
% ruby install.rb --help
for more details.
--- RubyGems
If you are using RubyGems, just type
% gems install bio
If you want to use the OBDA (Open Bio Database Access) to obtain database
entries, copy a sample configtation file in the BioRuby distribution
/etc/bioinformatics/seqdatabase.ini (system wide configuration)
~/.bioinformatics/seqdatabase.ini (personal configuration)
and chage the contens according to your preference. For more
informations on the OBDA, see ((<URL:>)).
You can load all BioRuby classes just by requiring 'bio.rb'. All the
BioRuby classes and modules are located under the module name 'Bio' to
separate the name space.
#!/usr/bin/env ruby
require 'bio'
Also read other documentations in the 'doc' directory.
--- RubyGems
In RubyGems, you need to load 'rubygems' library before using 'bio'.
#!/usr/bin/env ruby
require 'rubygems'
require_gem 'bio'
BioRuby can be freely distributed under the same terms as Ruby.
Note that, install.rb included in the BioRuby package comes from
[RAA:setup] developed by Minero Aoki, and modified by Moses Hohman.
Current staffs of the BioRuby project can be reached by sending e-mail
to <>.
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