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Freely available tools for computational molecular biology.

Project description


Until late September 2009, Biopython source code was hosted in CVS running
on the Open Bioinformatics Foundation (OBF) servers. We are now using git,
a distributed version control system. The CVS repositories at the OBF will
remain for a while as "read only" static backups of everything up to and
including Biopython 1.52 but will not be updated in future. See our website
for further details,

**Biopython README file**

"The Biopython Project": is an international
association of developers of freely available Python tools for computational
molecular biology.

Our website provides an online resource for modules,
scripts, and web links for developers of Python-based software for life
science research. This is hosted by the Open Bioinformatics Foundation or
O|B|F,, who also host BioPerl etc.

This Biopython package is made available under generous terms. Please
see the LICENSE file for further details.

If you use Biopython in work contributing to a scientific publication, we ask
that you cite our application note (below) or one of the module specific
publications (listed on our website):

Cock, P.J.A. et al. Biopython: freely available Python tools for computational
molecular biology and bioinformatics. Bioinformatics 2009 Jun 1; 25(11) 1422-3
doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btp163 pmid:19304878

**For the impatient**

To build and install Biopython, download and unzip the source code, go to this
directory at the command line, and type:

python build
python test
sudo python install

**System Requirements**

o "Python 2.4, 2.5, 2.6 or 2.7":
We are phasing out support for Python 2.4.
See below for notes about testing with Python 3.

o "NumPy": (optional, but strongly recommended)
This package is only used in the computationally-oriented modules.
It is required for Bio.Cluster, Bio.PDB and a few other modules. If you
think you might need these modules, then please install NumPy first BEFORE
installing Biopython. The older Numeric library is no longer supported in

o "ReportLab": (optional)
This package is only used in Bio.Graphics, so if you do not need this
functionality, you will not need to install this package. You can install
it later if needed.

o "psycopg2": (optional) or
"pgdb": (optional)
These packages are used by BioSQL to access a PostgreSQL database.

o "MySQLdb": (optional)
This package is used by BioSQL or Bio.GFF to access a MySQL database.

In addition there are a number of useful third party tools you may wish to
install such as standalone NCBI BLAST, EMBOSS or ClustalW.

**Python 3.x**

Python 3 support is still incomplete, but the majority of modules are
already functional. In order to be able to run Biopython with Python 3
you first need to convert the code. The conversion process is easy but
it has to be done BEFORE running

To convert the code to Python 3, the 2to3 tool is required (this comes
with Python 2.6+ and Python 3). On the top-level directory do:

$ 2to3 --nofix=long --no-diffs -n -w Bio BioSQL Tests Scripts Doc/examples
$ 2to3 --nofix=long --no-diffs -n -w -d Bio BioSQL Tests Scripts Doc/examples

The first command converts the code, the second command converts the
doctests (examples within the docstrings). You can in general ignore
the output of 2to3. The tool takes some time to complete, please be
patient (or use the -j option to set the number of threads used).

After 2to3 execution the normal install from source process should be
followed, i.e. "python3 build" etc (see below).


*** Make sure that Python is installed correctly ***

Installation should be as simple as going to the biopython source code
directory, and typing:

'python build'
'python test'
'sudo python install'

If you need to do additional configuration, e.g. changing the base
directory, please type 'python', or see the documentation for


Biopython includes a suite of regression tests to check if everything is
running correctly. To do the tests, go to the biopython source code directory
and type:

'python test'

Do not panic if you see messages warning of skipped tests:
test_DocSQL ... skipping. Install MySQLdb if you want to use Bio.DocSQL.

This most likely means that a package is not installed. You can
ignore this if it occurs in the tests for a module that you were not
planning on using. If you did want to use that module, please install
the required dependency and re-run the tests.


While we try to ship a robust package, bugs inevitably pop up. If you
are having problems that might be caused by a bug in Biopython, it is
possible that it has already been identified. Search the
"bug database": and mailing lists
to see if it has already been reported (and hopefully fixed).

If you suspect the problem lies within a parser, it is likely that the
data format has changed and broken the parsing code. (The BLAST and
GenBank formats seem to be particularly fragile.) Thus, the parsing
code in Biopython is sometimes updated faster than we can build Biopython
releases. You can get the most recent parser by pulling the relevant
files (e.g. the ones in Bio.SeqIO or Bio.Blast) from our git repository
on "github": .
However, be careful when doing this, because the code in github is
not as well-tested as released code, and may contain new dependencies.

Finally, you can send a bug report to the bug database or In the bug report, please let us know 1)
which operating system and hardware you are using, 2) Python version,
3) Biopython version (or git version/date), 4) traceback that occurs,
5) offending code, and 6) data file that causes the problem.

**Contributing, Bug Reports**

Biopython is run by volunteers from all over the world, with many
types of backgrounds. We are always looking for people interested in
helping with code development, web-site management, documentation
writing, technical administration, and whatever else comes up.

If you wish to contribute, please visit the
"web site":
and join our "mailing list":

**Distribution Structure**

README -- This file.

NEWS -- Release notes and news

LICENSE -- What you can do with the code.

CONTRIB -- An (incomplete) list of people who helped Biopython in
one way or another.

DEPRECATED -- Contains information about modules in Biopython that are
removed or no longer recommended for use, and how to update
code that uses those modules. -- Tells distutils what files to distribute -- Installation file.

Bio/ -- The main code base code.

BioSQL/ -- Code for using Biopython with BioSQL databases.

Doc/ -- Documentation.

Scripts/ -- Miscellaneous, possibly useful, standalone scripts

Tests/ -- Regression testing code

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