Perl API Installation with Git


Ensembl uses Git and GitHub for storing the source code and keeping track of source code revisions. This system will help you keeping up to date with developments and bug fixes. You will need Git installed if you want to download Ensembl code. A list of graphical Git clients can be found here.

There is also an Ensembl Virtual Machine available for download which comes with the latest API pre-installed. You may download this and get started immediately with the API without having to go through the steps below. Full instructions are available here

Installation Procedure

  1. Create an installation directory

    $ cd
    $ mkdir src
    $ cd src
  2. Take a clone of BioPerl from GitHub and change to the correct version:

    $ git clone -b release-1-6-924 --depth 1
  3. Rename the bioperl-live directory. In the Unix command line, type:

    $ mv bioperl-live bioperl-1.6.924

    In classic Windows command line, use ren instead of mv.

  4. Install the Ensembl git tools to allow easy management of the Ensembl repos.

    $ git clone
    $ export PATH=$PWD/ensembl-git-tools/bin:$PATH
  5. Install the APIs that you need. You can install all the APIs using the git ensembl command:

    $ git ensembl --clone api

    Or you can install APIs individually as needed:

    $ git clone
    $ git clone
    $ git clone
    $ git clone
    $ git clone
    $ git clone

    APIs installed this way will automatically be on the release/110 branch.

  6. Set up your environment as described in the basic installation instructions.

In case you want to update the Perl APIs to a more recent version, keep in mind that the API and database versions must be identical; you can use a simple Git command to achieve this.

  1. Change the working directory to the directory into which you originally installed the APIs.

    $ cd
    $ cd src
  2. Use the git ensembl command to change branches:

    $ git ensembl --checkout --branch release/110 api

    Or update each repo individually:

    $ cd ensembl
    $ git checkout release/110
    $ cd ..

    Git will automatically add, modify or delete files so that your working directory will resemble the branch you selected.

Debugging an Installation

Sometimes installations can go wrong. You should follow our debugging installation guide to help diagnose and resolve installation issues.