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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.)
  • 2-4 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 0.6 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 5.8.x or better (used for running utility scripts)
  • MySQL 5.0.x (if installing genomic databases locally)

Species databases

Species Data size (Gb)
Aedes aegypti 5.0
Anolis carolinensis 7.9
Anopheles gambiae 2.9
Bos taurus 10.3
Caenorhabditis elegans 2.8
Canis familiaris 10.2
Cavia porcellus 7.3
Choloepus hoffmanni 4.2
Ciona intestinalis 2.4
Ciona savignyi 2.7
Danio rerio 8.1
Dasypus novemcinctus 5.6
Dipodomys ordii 10.3
Drosophila melanogaster 1.3
Echinops telfairi 5.9
Equus caballus 7.5
Erinaceus europaeus 7.4
Felis catus 6.1
Gallus gallus 10.5
Gasterosteus aculeatus 4.9
Gorilla gorilla 7.4
Homo sapiens 66.3
Loxodonta africana 5.6
Macaca mulatta 6.5
Microcebus murinus 5.5
Monodelphis domestica 9.5
Mus musculus 30.7
Myotis lucifugus 5.5
Ochotona princeps 9.1
Ornithorhynchus anatinus 7.4
Oryctolagus cuniculus 6.1
Oryzias latipes 4.3
Otolemur garnettii 5.5
Pan troglodytes 9.9
Pongo pygmaeus 8.3
Procavia capensis 5.7
Pteropus vampyrus 5.8
Rattus norvegicus 11.7
Saccharomyces cerevisiae 0.2
Sorex araneus 5.5
Spermophilus tridecemlineatus 5.0
Taeniopygia guttata 5.6
Takifugu rubripes 4.4
Tarsius syrichta 5.7
Tetraodon nigroviridis 4.1
Tupaia belangeri 6.5
Tursiops truncatus 6.3
Vicugna pacos 4.4
Xenopus tropicalis 6.5
Sub-total 388.3
Compara 166.3
Go 8.9
Mart 177.7
Total 741.3