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A simple web app for searching lists of primers to find the ones that bind the best to a target region.

An instance is freely available for use at

Setting up a development environment

PrimerFinder is written in Ruby using the Rails framework.

First, make sure you've got the version of Ruby specified in the Gemfile. As of this writing, that's 2.2.4. You'll almost certainly want to use a Ruby version manager to install and manage different versions of the language. I (@hrs) like to use chruby with ruby-install, but RVM and rbenv are also popular.

You can check your Ruby version with ruby -v.

We use bundler to manage library dependencies. Install the necessary libraries ("gems") specified in the Gemfile by running:

$ gem install bundler
$ bundle

After setting up, you can run the application using Heroku Local:

$ heroku local

Running tests

Once you've set up your dev environment, you should be able to run the tests! PrimerFinder has a small suite of unit and feature tests. Run them with:

$ rake


The canonical instance of PrimerFinder is hosted on Heroku. It should be fairly easy to deploy your own copy there, if you'd like to:

  • Create a new Heroku instance.
  • Associate it with your local repository.
  • git push heroku master

Everything should just work.


PrimerFinder's licensed under the GNU General Public License.


Use the following guides for getting things done, programming well, and programming in style.


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