Galaxy (biomedical software)

From LIMSWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
Developer(s) Galaxy development team
Initial release 2005 (2005)[1][2]
Written in Python
Operating system Unix-like
Type Laboratory informatics software
License(s) See wiki

Galaxy is free web-based, open-source collaboration software designed for "accessible, reproducible, and transparent computational biomedical research."[3] Galaxy's key features include dataset management, history management, data visualization, workflow specification, and an extensible tool set.[4] The program can be accessed either by one of several public servers or via an installation of a personal web instance.

It's worth noting Galaxy has no official version numbers. This is best explained by Greg Von Kuster of the Galaxy development team[5]:

Galaxy does not have versions as you'd find in commercial products. There is a strict requirement that Galaxy provide reproducible behavior always, so any new feature introduced into Galaxy (or any enhancement to an existing feature) must not break any older feature that came before. Because of this, you can always think of Galaxy as being "version 1" if it helps. Galaxy does, however have different distributed "builds" or [M]ercurial "changeset revision" numbers.

Product history

Galaxy was originally developed by Penn State's Anton Nekrutenko and Emory Univerity's James Taylor in 2005[1][2], citing "'a huge disconnect' between computer science development tools and algorithms on the one hand, and the researchers wanting to use them on the other."[6] As development continued on it over the years, Galaxy became increasingly popular; by January 2011 the Penn State-hosted main Galaxy instance handled more than 150,000 jobs and maintained more than seven terabases of user data, usage roughly growing at a rate of 5-10% each month.[6]


Base features of Galaxy include[7]:

  • data analysis
  • dataset management
  • workflow management
  • data uploads and downloads
  • data sharing
  • data visualization
  • filtering and sorting
  • history
  • FASTA manipulation
  • sequence and alignment management
  • quality control

Hardware/software requirements

Users wanting to use Main, the primary web instance, will simply need a web browser.

For users who wish to install their own instance, you will need:

  • Python 2.5 or greater
  • the ability to build Python eggs (Windows only)
  • -dev packages for OpenSSL and Bzip2 (Linux only)

For more information, visit the "Get Galaxy" page.

Videos, screenshots, and other media

Over 60 screencasts concerning how to use Galaxy are available via the Galaxy wiki.

For additional tutorials provided by other entities, check out the "Learn" section of the wiki. The "Galaxy 101" tutorial may also be of use.

Entities using Galaxy

Entities using Galaxy include[8]:

Cistrome, Emory University, Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre, Penn State University

Further reading

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Galaxy DNA-Analysis Software is Now Available "in the Cloud"". The Pennsylvania State University. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Penn State awarded grant to expand Galaxy biomedical analysis software". The Pennsylvania State University. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  3. "Galaxy Wiki - Events/IndianaU2012". The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 01 February 2013. 
  4. "Galaxy Wiki - Learn Galaxy". The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  5. Von Kuster, Greg (21 December 2011). "How to determine version of Galaxy from main page". The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Davies, Kevin (27 September 2011). "Galaxy Provides Life Support for NGS Exploration". Bio-IT World. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  7. "Galaxy - Web based platform for bioinformatics analysis" (PDF). Bioinformatics and Research Computing at MIT. 21 June 2012. pp. 1–53. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  8. "Galaxy - Community/Members". The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 29 September 2012.