Get Galaxy

Here you will find information on obtaining and setting up a Galaxy instance with default configuration.


Get Started

For Production or Single User

If setting up or running a production Galaxy service or creating your own personal Galaxy instance, use the latest release branch, which only receives stable code updates.

Cloning new

If you do not have a Galaxy repository yet or you do not want to update the existing instance, run:

$ git clone -b release_24.1

Updating existing

If you have an existing Galaxy repository and want to update it, run:

$ git fetch origin && git checkout release_24.1 && git pull --ff-only origin release_24.1

For Development

To obtain Galaxy for development, use the default branch after cloning: dev. This is the branch that pull requests should be made against to contribute code (unless you are fixing a bug in a Galaxy release).

$ git clone

Start It Up

Galaxy requires a few things to run: a virtualenv, configuration files, and dependent Python modules. However, starting the server for the first time will create/acquire these things as necessary. To start Galaxy, simply run the following command in a terminal window:

$ sh

This will start up the Galaxy server on localhost and port 8080. Galaxy can then be accessed from a web browser at http://localhost:8080. After starting, Galaxy's server will print output to the terminal window. To stop the Galaxy server, use Ctrl-C in the terminal window from which Galaxy is running. If Galaxy does not start, you may be using the conda python. See the admin docs for more details.

Next Steps

You can find extensive documentation for setting up Galaxy in the Admin Documentation. Below you will find common first steps.


Since the release 18.01 Galaxy will run fine without an explicit configuration file, but if you want to modify its settings you need to create one. A good start is to copy the sample and rename it to galaxy.yml. You can do so with this command:

cp config/galaxy.yml.sample config/galaxy.yml

Galaxy over network

To access Galaxy over the network, modify the config/galaxy.yml file by changing the http setting. Galaxy will bind to any available network interfaces on port 8080 instead of the localhost if you add the following:

  app_server: gunicorn
    # listening options
    bind: ''

For additional options see the Listening and proxy options section of the documentation.

Become an Admin

To control Galaxy through the UI (installing tools, managing users, creating groups, etc.), user must become an administrator. Only registered users can become admins. To give a user admin privileges add the user's Galaxy login email to the configuration file config/galaxy.yml. If you don't have the file set it up using the instructions above. The entry looks like this:

# this should be a comma-separated list of valid Galaxy users

Install Tools

Galaxy comes with a small set of basic tools pre-installed. To install additional tools, follow the instructions on Installing tools into Galaxy from the Tool Shed.

Join the Discussion

To stay up-to-date on new Galaxy features and bug fixes, as well as to discuss future features, consider joining

Keep your instance backed up

Like any other application, Galaxy directories and Galaxy database tables should be backed up, and any disaster recovery plans should be regularly tested to make sure everything is working as expected.

Configure for production

The above instructions are intended for users wishing to develop Galaxy tools and Galaxy itself. To deploy a production-ready installation of Galaxy, some changes from the default configuration are highly recommended. If nothing else, switching to PostgreSQL database (from the default SQLite) is heavily endorsed to prevent database locking issues that can arise with multiple users.

Please see the Running Galaxy in a production environment page for more details.

Keep your code up to date

Galaxy development occurs in GitHub. Changes are stabilized in the release_YY.MM branches and then merged to master for each YY.MM.point release.

To be made aware of new Galaxy releases, please join the Galaxy Developers mailing list. Each release is accompanied by release notes.

At any time, you can check to see if a new stable release is available by using the git log command:

$ git log ..origin/master
commit 3a2ff46c28172ef78510f4bea2f4be75ce660667
Merge: 8b538f17f 90de3f258
Author: Martin Cech <>
Date:   Wed Feb 22 10:56:57 2017 -0500

    Merge branch 'release_17.01'

If git log produces no output, Galaxy is up-to-date. If git log produces a list of commits, a new version is available. We suggest checking the accompanying release notes first (if the release is to a newer major version of Galaxy), but you can also immediately pull the commits to your local Galaxy clone with:

$ git pull

In the unlikely event that something goes wrong with updated code, you can return to an older release by using the release tag name from the release list page and the git checkout command. For example, to return to the latest version of the January 2015 release, use:

$ git checkout release_15.01

You can also use tags to check out specific releases:

$ git tag

Restore the fresh backup if a database update was required, and then restart Galaxy to get back to where you started.


  • Offline start: The initial Galaxy run requires Internet access to download the pre-built Python wheels of Galaxy's dependencies.
  • The basic Galaxy install is a single-user instance and is only accessible by the local user. As with many web-based applications, enable cookies in the web-browser for full functionality.
  • A common practice when using any web browser is to stay current with software updates to maximize performance and security. If moving forward to production server with login enabled, please make sure you and your end-users are current.
  • Some tools shipped with Galaxy have dependencies that need to be satisfied manually. Please see details here.

Additional Info

Get Galaxy without Git

If you don't have Git (and thus cannot run the git command), you can download Galaxy in an archive instead: zipped or tar/gzipped.

Be aware that using archives makes it more difficult to stay up-to-date with Galaxy code because there is no simple way to update the copy.

Get Galaxy for Development

If you're doing development or making changes to Galaxy, it is best practice to fork Galaxy in GitHub and update to/from your fork. See the GitHub fork documentation for details.

Shutting down Galaxy

Below are simplified instructions for shutting down local Galaxy server. If your configuration is more complicated, getting help from an administrator is recommended.

Galaxy is by default controlled by gravity. You can start/stop/restart Galaxy using the galaxyctl command. If Galaxy is running in the foreground, you can terminate the processes by pressing Ctrl-C on your keyboard. If Galaxy is running in the background you can activate your Galaxy's virtualenv and then run galaxyctl stop, e.g

. /path/to/galaxy/.venv/bin/activate
galaxyctl stop

Installation automation

If you're looking to automate your installation, try the Galaxy Ansible Training that's available from the Galaxy Training Network. Alternatively you can look into Galaxy KickStart Ansible playbook.