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WebAssembly modules for common genomics utilities
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tools Add seq-align repo (#4) Jan 25, 2020


WebAssembly modules for common genomics utilities, including:

  • samtools v1.10 (and htslib)
  • bedtools v2.29
  • seqtk v1.3
  • wgsim
  • bhtsne
  • seq-align


# Emscripten version to use (most tools were tested with 1.39.1)

# Fetch Emscripten docker image
docker pull robertaboukhalil/emsdk:$TAG

# Create the container and mount ~/wasm to /src in the container
docker run \
    -dt \
    -p 12345:80 \
    --name wasm \
    --volume ~/wasm:/src \

Compile a tool

# Go into your container
docker exec -it wasm bash

# Compile seqtk
cd biowasm/
make seqtk

# This will create tools/<tool name>/build with .js/.wasm files
ls tools/seqtk/build

Contribute new tool

First, add the tool as a git module:

# Fetch codebase
mkdir -p tools/seqtk
git submodule add tools/seqtk/src

# Get specific version of the tool
cd tools/seqtk/src
git checkout v1.3
cd -

# Stage changes for git
git add tools/seqtk/src .gitmodules

You should also create the following files:

tools/<tool>/   Details about the tool and dependencies  Script that will run to compile the tool to WebAssembly (can use `$EM_FLAGS` for common flags)
    patch       Patches that need to be applied to the code to compile it to WebAssembly (optional)


  • Add tests
  • Add support for compiling bioinformatics tools written in Rust such as sourmash and rust-bio
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