Faster Galaxy with uWSGI

I recently switched out local Galaxy server to be run using uWSGI and supervisord instead of the standard (which uses Paste under the hood). I followed the Galaxy scaling guide and it was pretty accurate except for a few details. I won’t be showing the changes to Galaxy config files, they are exactly as related on that page.

I installed supervisord by doing pip install supervisor in the virtualenv that Galaxy uses. Then I put a supervisord.conf in the config/ directory of our Galaxy install and it starts like this:




The [inet_http_server] section directs supervisord to listen on localhost port 9001. The following two sections, [supervisord] and [supervisorctl] need to be present but can be empty. The rest of the configuration is as per that on the Scaling page with a few changes I’ll explain below:

command         = /opt/galaxy/.venv/bin/uwsgi --plugin python --ini-paste /opt/galaxy/config/galaxy.ini --die-on-term
directory       = /opt/galaxy
umask           = 022
autostart       = true
autorestart     = true
startsecs       = 10
user            = galaxy
environment     = PATH=/opt/galaxy/.venv:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin,PYTHON_EGG_CACHE=/opt/galaxy/.python-eggs,PYTHONPATH=/opt/galaxy/eggs/PasteDeploy-1.5.0-    py2.7.egg,SGE_ROOT=/var/lib/gridengine
numprocs        = 1
stopsignal      = TERM

command         = /opt/galaxy/.venv/bin/python ./scripts/ serve config/galaxy.ini --server-name=handler%(process_num)s --pid-file=/opt/galaxy/handler%(process_num) --log-    file=/opt/galaxy/handler%(process_num)s.log
directory       = /opt/galaxy
process_name    = handler%(process_num)s
numprocs        = 2
umask           = 022
autostart       = true
autorestart     = true
startsecs       = 15
user            = galaxy
environment     = PYTHON_EGG_CACHE=/opt/galaxy/.python-eggs,SGE_ROOT=/var/lib/gridengine

The SGE_ROOT is necessary because our cluster uses Sun Grid Engine and the SGE DRMAA library requires this environment variable. Otherwise this config uses uWSGI installed (using pip) in the virtualenv that Galaxy uses.

This snipped of nginx configuration shows what was commented out and what was added to link nginx to uWSGI:

#proxy_set_header REMOTE_USER $remote_user;
#proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host $host;
#proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
#proxy_set_header X-URL-SCHEME https;
#proxy_pass http://galaxy_app;
uwsgi_param UWSGI_SCHEME $scheme;
include uwsgi_params;

Then, how to start and stop it all? Firstly, the supervisord config. The basis for this was the debian-norrgard script from the supervisord initscripts repository. The final script is in this gist. Note these lines:


They link supervisord to Galaxy settings. Then /etc/init.d/galaxy is in this gist. It depends on the supervisord startup script and starts and stops Galaxy using supervisorctl.

Two things remain unsatisfactory:

  1. The shutdown of Galaxy doesn’t work reliably. The use of uWSGI’s --die-on-term and stopsignal = TERM in the supervisord.conf is an attempt to remedy this.

  2. The uWSGI config relies on the PasteDeploy egg. This exists on our Galaxy server because it was downloaded by the historical Galaxy startup script. With the switch towards wheel based (instead of egg based) packages, this script is no longer part of a Galaxy install. The uWSGI settings might need to be changed because of this, however, the PasteDeploy package is installed in the virtualenv that Galaxy uses, so perhaps no change is necessary. I haven’t tested this.

With these limitations, however, our Galaxy server is working and much more responsive than before.