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Hardware and Software Requirements


Running the Ensembl web site can be rather taxing on hardware. At a minimum you will need:

  • A machine capable of running a UNIX-like OS* (e.g. Tru64, Solaris, Linux, OS X, etc.)
  • 4-8 Gb of RAM (A minimum of 4G required to run BioMart)
  • Up to 500 Mb hard drive space to install source code required by the web server
  • Depending on usage - temporary storage space for images/session information - for light usage less than 1G
  • about 1Gb of hard drive space for a local MySQL (or SQLite) database to store session configurations

You can run an Ensembl installation locally and connect remotely to our public MySQL server to retrieve genomic data. However if you require a full local installation, including some or all genomic databases, you will additionally need:

  • Around 1.3 Tb hard drive space in which to install the Ensembl MySQL databases, and about the same again for downloading and unpacking the data. Depending on your requirements, you may wish to install data for only one or more species. See below for the approximate size requirements for each species (note that the compara database is required, regardless of which subset of species you are using).

* Note that whilst Windows can run the required software, it is not officially supported as a platform for Ensembl. Additional documentation on using Ensembl on Windows can be found in the installation guide.


The Ensembl website system is built on open source software: Apache, mod_perl and MySQL. To install a local mirror of Ensembl you will need:

  • Apache 2 and mod_perl 2
  • Perl 5.14.x or better (used for running utility scripts)
  • MySQL 5.0.x (if installing genomic databases locally)

Species databases

Species Data size (Gb)
Ailuropoda melanoleuca 7.1
Anas platyrhynchos 4.6
Anolis carolinensis 8.5
Astyanax mexicanus 5.8
Bos taurus 60.8
Caenorhabditis elegans 2.5
Callithrix jacchus 8.2
Canis familiaris 12.7
Cavia porcellus 7.2
Choloepus hoffmanni 4.1
Ciona intestinalis 4.4
Ciona savignyi 2.8
Danio rerio 10.7
Dasypus novemcinctus 10.8
Dipodomys ordii 10.2
Drosophila melanogaster 10.8
Echinops telfairi 5.8
Equus caballus 11.2
Erinaceus europaeus 7.4
Felis catus 8.2
Ficedula albicollis 7.6
Gadus morhua 5.1
Gallus gallus 16.7
Gasterosteus aculeatus 4.9
Gorilla gorilla 8.2
Homo sapiens 592.9
Ictidomys tridecemlineatus 8.0
Latimeria chalumnae 8.6
Lepisosteus oculatus 6.3
Loxodonta africana 7.4
Macaca mulatta 9.4
Macropus eugenii 5.9
Meleagris gallopavo 4.2
Microcebus murinus 5.4
Monodelphis domestica 11.4
Mus musculus 99.1
Mustela putorius 13.6
Myotis lucifugus 6.8
Nomascus leucogenys 8.9
Ochotona princeps 9.0
Oreochromis niloticus 11.6
Ornithorhynchus anatinus 9.2
Oryctolagus cuniculus 9.1
Oryzias latipes 4.3
Otolemur garnettii 7.6
Ovis aries 35.2
Pan troglodytes 12.5
Papio anubis 9.5
Pelodiscus sinensis 8.1
Petromyzon marinus 3.9
Poecilia formosa 6.7
Pongo abelii 13.6
Procavia capensis 5.6
Pteropus vampyrus 5.7
Rattus norvegicus 17.0
Saccharomyces cerevisiae 0.5
Sarcophilus harrisii 9.0
Sorex araneus 5.4
Sus scrofa 26.8
Taeniopygia guttata 6.8
Takifugu rubripes 4.5
Tarsius syrichta 5.6
Tetraodon nigroviridis 4.4
Tupaia belangeri 6.5
Tursiops truncatus 6.2
Vicugna pacos 4.4
Xenopus tropicalis 10.6
Xiphophorus maculatus 10.7
Sub-total 1304.2
Ancestral 42.9
Archive 0.0
Compara 255.2
Mart 740.3
Ontology 0.2
Production 0.0
Stable 2.7
Website 0.1
Total 2345.6