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Table of Contents

Install Cytomine

Step 1 - Retrieve Cytomine-bootstrap

First of all, we retrieve the Cytomine-bootstrap installation procedure.

1.1 Install latest official release from Cytomine cooperative

If you want to install the last official release, copy/paste these commands:

Code Block
mkdir Cytomine_src/
cd Cytomine_src/
wget -O
mv Cytomine-bootstrap-master Cytomine-bootstrap

1.2 Install latest release with last developments from Cytomine ULiege

To install Cytomine with the last features from ULiège research team, copy/paste these commands:

Code Block
sudo apt-get install git
mkdir Cytomine_src/
cd Cytomine_src/
git clone
cd Cytomine-bootstrap

Step 2 - Install Docker

Then, we need to install the Docker engine.


If needed, you will find a complete documentation on the official site.

Step 3 - Configure Cytomine installation

Now, it is required to edit the Cytomine file in the Cytomine-bootstrap/ directory to prepare the installation of Cytomine Docker containers, using e.g.:


You have two deployment options:

3.1 If you want to deploy on a local host :

First of all, the variables "XXX_URL" will not be visible outside of your local server. So, due to the Docker architecture (isolation of the Docker's containers), we need to apply some changes to authorize network communication between our IMS and CORE containers (see below for further details). To do so, add these URL values (CORE_URL, IMS_URLS, UPLOAD_URL, RETRIEVAL_URLto your /etc/hosts file with the following format : "       XXX_URL".


NB : Please be careful that some problems might appear if you use localhost instead of CORE_URL for a connection to Cytomine. So, keep using CORE_URL.

3.2 If you want to make your Cytomine instance accessible from anywhere :

Contact your institutional system/network administrator before installing Cytomine so that they create DNS entries and make their HTTP port (80) accessible for CORE_URL, IMS_URLS and UPLOAD_URL.


Detailed explanation of configuration options

The following tables explain how to configure your installation. 

For a basic, simple installation, you need to configure only the mandatory variables.


Please use URLs that are not already present in your /etc/hosts file to avoid conflicts.

VariableImportanceExplanationExample value
CORE_URLMandatorythe URL dedicated to the Core of Cytominelocalhost-core

the URL(s) dedicated to one or more image server

Be careful that their value are space free even between two values

UPLOAD_URLMandatorythe URL for image upload


RETRIEVAL_URLAdvancedthe URL of retrieval serverlocalhost-retrieval
IIP_CYTO_URLAdvancedthe URL of Cytomine IIP serverlocalhost-iip-cyto
IIP_JP2_URLAdvancedthe URL of IIP server for JPEG2000localhost-iip-jp2


Storage Paths

You have to choose existing paths on an available filesystem where image files will be stored. Please note you have to specify paths without a "/" at the end (e.g. "/data", not "/data/").

VariableImportanceExplanationExample value
IMS_STORAGEMandatoryA pre-existing filesystem path to store images (withtout ending /)/data (but not /data/)
IMS_BUFFER_PATHMandatoryA pre-existing filesystem path to IMS buffer (without ending /)/data/buffer (but not /data/buffer/)
ALGO_PATHMandatoryA pre-existing filesystem path to store Cytomine softwares (without ending /)/data/algo
RETRIEVAL_PATHMandatoryA pre-existing filesytem path to store retrieval data (without ending /)/data/thumb
BACKUP_PATHIf backupA pre-existing filesystem path to store auto backup 

VariableImportanceExplanationExample value

Optional to test the app, mandatory otherwise

email params of the sending account 
SENDER_EMAIL_PASSOptional to test the app, mandatory otherwiseemail params of the sending account 
SENDER_EMAIL_SMTP_PORTOptional to test the app, mandatory otherwiseemail params of the sending account 
SENDER_EMAIL_SMTP_HOSTOptional to test the app, mandatory otherwiseemail params of the sending account 
RECEIVER_EMAILIf backupemail adress of the backup reports receiver 


VariableImportanceExplanationExample value
IRIS_ENABLEDAdvanced  Enable IRIS (see IRIS project) 
IRIS_IDAdvanced Usefull if we are admin of multiple IRIS version 
IRIS_ADMIN_EMAILAdvancedThe email adress where user will ask permissions for IRIS projects  


Other advanced configuration
VariableImportanceExplanationExample value
BACKUP_BOOLAdvancedTo enable an automatic daily backup, set to truefalse
IS_LOCALAdvancedTo deploy on distinct machines, set to falsetrue
RETRIEVAL_ENGINEAdvanced memory, redisredis
NB_IIP_PROCESSAdvancedNumber of simultaneous IIP processes20
BIOFORMAT_ENABLEDAdvancedEnable the bioformat convertor to support more formats (VSI, OME-TIFF,...) 



Step 4 - Deploy Cytomine

Then, you can generate your installation file and deploy Cytomine. Run following commands in the Bootstrap directory:

Code Block
sudo bash
sudo bash


Step 5 - Install test data (optional) - temporary unavailable

At the end of the installation we recommend to install test data (which takes roughly 30 additional minutes) in order to follow examples from our user guide.

Step 6 - Contact us and cite us (optional)

We kindly ask you to cite our (Marée et al., Bionformatics 2016) paper and website ( when using Cytomine in your work.

Please also consider contacting us to let us know who you are and why you are using Cytomine.



In case of problems, see page Known problems of v1.0 (and specially the entry "Error : postgis_data not found/not started").


Please note that server components might take one or two minutes to boot the first time (which will generate a "502 Bad Gateway message" or the browser to wait for a reponse). 



How to test your installation.

You can log into Cytomine through the http://CORE_URL (by default: http://localhost-core/) in your web browser using the admin session (the password was asked during installation). If you did not install the "test data", you will have an empty instance. You have to create a project, users, ...


Code Block
# Root logger option
log4j.rootLogger=DEBUG, stdout
# Direct log messages to stdout
log4j.appender.stdout.layout.ConversionPattern=%d{yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss} %-5p %c{1}:%L - %m%n



How to update your installation.

Docker is also used to easily update your Cytomine installation.


NB : If you add a custom container to your installation, you have to update this script.



How to uninstall Cytomine.

Please let us know why Cytomine does not meet your expectations.