Building Frozen Releases

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WormBase frozen releases are hosted on the virtualized server:

  • 500 GB disk space
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Debian "Lenny"

General Server Configuration

All WormBase-specific files are maintained in a shared directory.

ls /usr/local/wormbase
    logs/    // Cross-site logs
    WS100    // WS100 website
    WS110    // WS110 website
    WS120    // WS120 website

Each frozen release is a separate name-based VirtualHost. To prevent collision of libraries, version specific Perl modules are maintained in:


@INC is prepended with this path using mod_perl2 "PerlSwitches" option described below.

Users, groups, directories

Set up the basic users, groups, and directories as previously described.

Installing system libraries

Prepare the system by installing a slew of libraries.


Build AceDB as previously described.

Note that EACH virtual host will need its own xinetd configuration file and unique port on which acedb will bind.

Furthermore, the names of each service (acedb_WSXXX) and its port needs to correspond to the name of the service in /etc/services.


Install and configure MySQL as previously described.

Apache2 and mod_perl2

Install and configurate Apache2 and mod_perl2 as described.

Establishing A New Frozen Release

Copy software and libraries

It is easiest to set up a new frozen release if you do this when the desired release still resides on the development machine.

$ cd /usr/local/wormbase
$ rsync -Cav website-classic user@wb-dev2:/usr/local/wormbase
$ ssh wb-dev2
$ cd /usr/local/wormbase
$ mv website-classic [VERSION]

AceDB database

Copy the appropriate AceDB database to:

$ /usr/local/wormbase/acedb/wormbase_VERSION

MySQL databases

Copy mysql databases to the mysql data dir (/var/lib/mysql).

Append the database version to each mysql database if it isn't already versioned:

   species_[VERSION] or g_species_[VERSION]

Give access to each of these for the www-data user:

grant select on elegans_WS110.* to www-data@localhost;

Perl Libraries

If you rsync the website as decribed above, you shouldn't need to install Perl libraries. If you do, use follow the basic instructions on Managing Perl Libraries.

Invoke it as:

$ ./ /usr/local/wormbase/[VERSION]/extlib

Be sure to "rm -rf ~/.cpan" before beginning, as well as clearing your PERL5LIB environment variable.

BioPerl and GBrowse

For releases < WS200, install BioPerl 1.6.0 and GBrowse 1.69. This isn't entirely historically accurate, but it avoids security holes in GBrowse < 1.69.

$ cd /usr/local/wormbase/build/bioperl-1.6.0
$ perl ./Build.PL --install_base /usr/local/wormbase/VERSION/extlib
$ ./Build install
$ cd /usr/local/wormbase/build/Generic-Genome-Browser-1.69
$ perl Makefile.PL INSTALL_BASE=/usr/local/wormbase/VERSION/extlib
$ make
$ make install

For releases > WS200, install GBrowse 1.70:

$ cd /usr/local/wormbase/build/Generic-Genome-Browser-1.70
$ perl Makefile.PL INSTALL_BASE=/usr/local/wormbase/VERSION/extlib
$ make
$ make install

Fix configuration files

VirtualHost Configuration

Add an appropriate VirtualHost stanza for the frozen release to the apache2 configuration.

 $ sudo emacs /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default
 <VirtualHost *:80>
   Include /usr/local/wormbase/VERSION/conf/httpd.conf
   ServerName ws[VERSION]
   UseCanonicalName on
   PerlOptions +Parent
   # Versions prior to WS204
   PerlSwitches -Mlib=/usr/local/wormbase/VERSION/extlib \
                -Mlib=/usr/local/wormbase/WS200/lib \
                -Mlib=/usr/local/wormbase/WS200/cgi-perl/lib \
                -Mlib=/usr/local/wormbase/VERSION/extlib/lib \
   # Versions >= WS204 which used local::lib for library management   
   PerlSwitches -Mlib=/usr/local/wormbase/website-classic/extlib/lib/perl5 \
   PerlInterpStart 2
   PerlInterpMax 2

Be certain to remove or comment out the default configuration.


Create an xinetd.d/acedb_WSVERSION file for the server. The server port and path should correspond to one of the following:

WS100 ... 2005
WS110 ... 2006
WS120 ... 2007
WS130 ... 2008
WS140 ... 2009
WS150 ... 2010
WS160 ... 2011
WS170 ... 2012
WS180 ... 2013
WS190 ... 2014
WS200 ... 2015
WS204 ... 2016
WS205 ... 2017

Please keep this list up-to-date when establishing a new frozen release.


Add an entry in /etc/services for the corresponding service and port.


  • /usr/local/wormbase/[VERSION]/conf/perl.startup
  • Insert the VERSION into all appropriate "use lib" statements.
  • Add "use Apache2::compat" for mod_perl1 backwards compatability.


  • /usr/local/wormbase/[VERSION]/conf/httpd.conf
  • Change all occurrences of /usr/local/wormbase to /usr/local/wormbase/VERSION
  • Change the ServerName as appropriate
  • Prepend the version to both the error and access logs
  • Remove any unnecessary configuration (DAV, mailarch, etc)
  • In the "Location /db/" stanza, replace the PerlHandler line with:
  PerlResponseHandler   ModPerl::Registry
  • Edit the PerlRequire so that perl.startup is brought in AFTER configuration:
 PerlPostConfigRequire /usr/local/wormbase/VERSION/conf/perl.startu

  • /usr/local/wormbase/[VERSION]/conf/
  • Change the path to our root: /usr/local/wormbase/VERSION
  • Change the symbolic name of the acedb database to wormbase_VERSION
  • Append the version to all GFF databases


  • /usr/local/wormbase/[VERSION]/conf/gbrowse.conf/*.conf
  • Append the version to all GFF database conf files (conf/gbrowse.conf/*.conf).


  • /usr/local/wormbase/[VERSION]/lib/Apache/

The mod_perl handler resposible for adding headers and footers needs to be fixed so that it can correctly redirect / request to /index.html. See here for details.

Static Files

Copy appropriate static files to /usr/local/wormbase/data_freezes. See the existing contents for examples.

Support Databases

Copy the [VERSION] support databases file to


Migrating Frozen Releases

Fetch frozen releases and unpack

$ ssh brie4 
$ cd ~ftp/pub/wormbase
$ screen
$ scp -r data_freezes
  • Unpack acedb_VERSION.ace.tgz or elegans_VERSION.ace.tgz into /usr/local/wormbase/acedb/
  • Unpack GFF databases into /var/lib/mysql/
  • Prepend the version onto each mysql database: species_VERSION or g_species_VERSION


Follow the configuration directives above as described for establishing a new frozen release.


  • Install NCBI and WU-BLAST
  • Install BLAT and monitoring scripts; modify paths as req'd
  • WS190 index.html is a new version and needs to be pulled from the VMX
  • WS180 index.html is a new version and needs to be pulled from the VMX
  • WS170 index.html is a new version and needs to be pulled from the VMX
  • WS160 index.html is a new version and needs to be pulled from the VMX
  • WS100: modules, Ace, GBrowse, enable system config, local config, missing files!