Skip to main content

Manage users, tools and libraries in Galaxy

Project description

Nebulizer Logo

Command-line utilities to help with managing users, data libraries and tools in a Galaxy instance, using the Galaxy API via the Bioblend library.

Quick Start

This quick start gives some examples of using nebulizer commands to perform remote administration tasks on a Galaxy instance from the command line.

Getting Nebulizer

It is recommended to install Nebulizer via pip in a virtualenv, for example:

% virtualenv .venv; . .venv/bin/activate
% pip install nebulizer

This will provide an executable called nebulizer with a number of subcommands for performing different tasks remotely on Galaxy instances.

Nebulizer Basics

To interact remotely with a Galaxy instance using Nebulizer requires at minimum the URL of the instance and then either an API key or a user login name.

For example to list data libraries available on Galaxy Main:

% nebulizer -k 9b376af2250818d14949b3c list_libraries


% nebulizer -u list_libraries

(in this second case nebulizer will prompt for the Galaxy password to authenticate the user login.)

Specifying full API keys and Galaxy URLs each time a command is run is tedious, so Nebulizer can store URL-key pairs locally to make this easier.

For example to store the API key for Galaxy main:

% nebulizer add_key main 9b376af2250818d14949b3c

stores the API key and URL pair and associates it with the alias main.

Alternatively Nebulizer can fetch the API key itself if the user login is provided instead, for example:

% nebulizer -u add_key main

The stored alias can then be used as a substitute for the URL with the the stored API key being fetched behind the scenes. Then to list the data libraries again it is sufficient to do just:

% nebulizer list_libraries main

To find out which user is associated with an alias do:

% nebulizer whoami main

The following sections contain examples of how Nebulizer might be used to perform various administrive tasks.

Managing Users

List users matching specific name:

nebulizer list_users galaxy --name="*briggs*"

Add a new user:

nebulizer create_user galaxy -p pa55w0rd

Managing Data Libraries

List data libraries:

nebulizer list_libraries galaxy

Create a data library called NGS data and a subfolder Run 21:

nebulizer create_library galaxy \
  --description="Sequencing data analysed in 2015" "NGS data"
nebulizer create_library_folder localhost "NGS data/Run 21"

List contents of this folder:

nebulizer list_libraries galaxy "NGS data/Run 21"

Upload files to it from the local system:

nebulizer add_library_datasets galaxy "NGS data/Run 21" ~/Sample1_R*.fq

Add a file which is on the Galaxy server filesystem to a library as a link:

nebulizer add_library_datasets galaxy --server --link "NGS data/fastqs" \

Managing Tools

List all tools that are available in a Galaxy instance:

nebulizer list_tools galaxy

List all the cuff... tools that were installed from a toolshed:

nebulizer list_tools galaxy --name="cuff*" --installed

List all the tool repositories that are installed along with the tools that they provide:

nebulizer list_installed_tools localhost --list-tools

List all the tool repositories that have available updates or upgrades:

nebulizer list_installed_tools localhost --updateable

Install the most recent FastQC from the main toolshed:

nebulizer install_tool localhost \
  --tool-panel-section="NGS: QC and manipulation" \ devteam fastqc

Update FastQC tool to latest installable revision:

nebulizer update_tool localhost devteam fastqc

Checking status of a Galaxy server

‘Ping’ a Galaxy instance to check it’s alive and responding to requests:

nebulizer ping localhost


All functionality is available as subcommands of the nebulizer utility.

User Management

  • list_users: List users in Galaxy instance.

  • create_user: Create new Galaxy user.

  • create_batch_users: Create multiple Galaxy users from a template.

  • create_users_from_file: Create multiple Galaxy users from a file.

Data Library Management

  • list_libraries: List data libraries and contents.

  • create_library: Create new data library.

  • create_library_folder: Create new folder in a data library.

  • add_library_datasets: Add datasets to a data library.

Tool Management

  • list_tools: List tools in Galaxy instance.

  • list_tool_panel: List tool panel contents.

  • list_installed_tools: List installed tool repositories.

  • install_tool: Install tool from toolshed.

Bulk Tool Repository Management

  • list_repositories: List installed tool repos for (re)install.

  • install_repositories: Install tool repositories listed in a file.

Local API Key Management

  • add_key: Store new Galaxy URL and API key.

  • list_keys: List stored Galaxy API keys.

  • remove_key: Remove stored Galaxy API key.

  • update_key: Update stored Galaxy API key.

Other commands

  • ping: ‘Ping’ a Galaxy instance.

  • whoami: Print user details associated with API key.

Hints and Tips

Managing Galaxy API keys

Nebulizer stores the URL-key pairs in the file .nebulizer located in the user’s home directory. This file consists of tab-delimited lines with the following columns:


This file can be edited by hand using a text editor such as vi; however Nebulizer provides a set of commands for querying and modifying the file contents.

To list the stored aliases with associated Galaxy URLs and API keys:

% nebulizer list_keys

To add a new alias called ‘production’ for a Galaxy instance:

nebulizer add_key production http::// 5e7a1264905c8f0beb80002f7de13a40

Update the API key for ‘production’:

nebulizer update_key production --new-api-key=37b6430624255b8c61a137abd69ae3bb

Remove the entry for ‘production’:

nebulizer remove_key production

Multiple URL-key pairs can be stored; only the associated aliases need to be unique. For example:

% nebulizer -u add_key palfinder
...prompt for password...
% nebulizer list_libraries palfinder

Handling SSL Certificate Verification Failures

Nebulizer commands will fail for Galaxy instances which are served over https protocol without a valid SSL certificate, reporting an error like:

[SSL: CERTIFICATE_VERIFY_FAILED] certificate verify failed (_ssl.c:590), 0 attempts left: None

In this case adding the --no-verify (-n) option turns off the certificate verification and should enable a connection to be made.

Accessing Galaxy with Email & Password instead of API key

It is possible to use your normal Galaxy login credentials (i.e. your email and password) to access the API on a Galaxy instance without using the API key, using the -u/--username option, e.g.:

nebulizer -u list_libraries "NGS data/Run 21"

You will be prompted to enter the password; however you can also use the -P/--galaxy_password option to specify it explicitly on the command line.

Installing Multiple Tool Repositories from a List

It is possible to install a list of tool repositories into a Galaxy instance by using the install_repositories command:

nebulizer install_repositories galaxy tools.tsv

The tools.tsv file must be a tab-delimited list of repositories, one repository per line in the format:


For example:        devteam bowtie_wrappers 9ca609a2a421    NGS: Mapping

A list of tool repositories already installed in a Galaxy instance can be generated in this format using the list_repositories command:

nebulizer list_repositories galaxy > tools.tsv

In principle the combination of these two commands can be used to ‘clone’ the installed tools from one Galaxy instance into another.

For example to replicate the tools installed on the ‘Palfinder’ instance:

nebulizer list_repositories > palfinder.tsv
nebulizer install_repositories palfinder.tsv

Deprecated Utilities

The following additional utilities are included for backwards compatibility but are deprecated and likely to be removed in a future version:

  • manage_users: list and create user accounts

  • manage_libraries: list, create and populate data libraries

  • manage_tools: list and install tools from toolsheds

They are not documented further here.


Nebulizer is licensed under the Academic Free License (AFL).

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

nebulizer-0.4.0.tar.gz (35.7 kB view hashes)

Uploaded source

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page