Local Installation

The following instructions describe how to install augur (bioinformatics tooling) and auspice (our visualization app) on macOS or an Ubuntu-style Linux distribution. If you are using Windows, we have instructions for installing a Linux subsystem to get Nextstrain running.

If you have any issues with installing augur / auspice using any of these methods, please email us or submit a GitHub issue to augur or auspice.

Before digging in, it’s worth reading the difference between a local & container installation, both of which will install the components behind nextstrain and allow you to run and visualize analyses on your computer.

Table of Contents:


Download and install the latest version of Miniconda which will make the conda command available to you. We’re going to create a new environment called “nextstrain”, which automatically installs augur and dependencies. We’ll then install auspice into this environment.

curl http://data.nextstrain.org/nextstrain.yml --compressed -o nextstrain.yml
conda env create -f nextstrain.yml
conda activate nextstrain
npm install --global auspice

and we’re all done 🙌. The beauty of this is that whenever you want to use augur/auspice you can just jump into the “nextstrain” conda environment and you’re good to go!

conda activate nextstrain
# test things are installed / run analyses
augur -h
auspice -h
# when you're done, leave the environment
conda deactivate

Updating augur & auspice:

source activate nextstrain
pip install nextstrain-augur --upgrade
npm update --global auspice

Install augur with Python

If you’d rather not use conda to manage things, then you’ll have to do a bit more work! This requires you to manage your python installation (python 3.4 or above is required). Augur’s published on PyPi as nextstrain-augur, so you can install it with pip like so:

python -m pip install nextstrain-augur

Test your installation.

augur -h

Augur uses some common external bioinformatics programs which you’ll need to install to have a fully functioning toolkit.

  • augur align requires mafft
  • augur tree requires at least one of

  • Bacterial data (or any VCF usage) requires vcftools

On macOS, you can install these external programs using Homebrew with:

brew install mafft iqtree raxml fasttree vcftools

On Debian/Ubuntu, you can install them via:

sudo apt install mafft iqtree raxml fasttree vcftools

Other Linux distributions will likely have the same packages available, although the names may differ slightly.


Install auspice using npm

You’ll need to have an installation of Node.js to install auspice. This can be done via conda as simply as conda create -yn auspice nodejs=10, or by using nvm or by installing manually. Once this is done (check via node --version), then:

npm install --global auspice
auspice --help # to check things worked

Install augur from source

This is useful for debugging, modifying the source code, or using an unpublished feature branch. Similar to installing augur with python you’ll need a copy of python and the required dependencies.

We’re going to use conda to manage environments here, but there’s a number of ways you can do this.

# clone the GitHub repo
git checkout https://github.com/nextstrain/augur.git
cd augur
# make sure python & dependencies are installed.
# if you'd like to use the "augur" pre-made conda environment then:
conda env create -f environment.yml
conda activate augur
# install augur from source
pip install -e .[dev]
# test it works!
augur --version

Note that you can use pip install . as the final step, but this means changes to the source code won’t be reflected in your auspice version… which you probably want if you’re going to the trouble of installing from source!


Install auspice from source

This gives us the same advantages as installing augur from source 😀 Note that here I’m using conda to create an “auspice” environment with nodejs installed — if you’d prefer to do something else then just replace those two steps.

# use conda to create an environment with nodejs 10
conda create -yn auspice nodejs=10
conda activate auspice
# grab the GitHub auspice repo
git checkout https://github.com/nextstrain/auspice.git
cd auspice
# install using npm
npm install --global .
# test it works
auspice --version
auspice --help

Auspice should now be available everywhere, as long as you’re in this environment. Easy! At least on MacOS, changes to the source code are reflected in this system-wide install.

All source code is freely available under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License. Screenshots etc may be used as long as a link to nextstrain.org is provided.

This work is made possible by the open sharing of genetic data by research groups from all over the world. We gratefully acknowledge their contributions. Special thanks to Kristian Andersen, Allison Black, David Blazes, Peter Bogner, Matt Cotten, Ana Crisan, Gytis Dudas, Vivien Dugan, Karl Erlandson, Nuno Faria, Jennifer Gardy, Becky Garten, Dylan George, Ian Goodfellow, Nathan Grubaugh, Betz Halloran, Christian Happi, Jeff Joy, Paul Kellam, Philippe Lemey, Nick Loman, Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, Louise Moncla, Oliver Pybus, Andrew Rambaut, Colin Russell, Pardis Sabeti, Katherine Siddle, Kristof Theys, Dave Wentworth, Shirlee Wohl and Nathan Yozwiak for comments, suggestions and data sharing.

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© 2015-2019 Trevor Bedford and Richard Neher