These installation instructions are aimed at developers and will install Girder, and Minerva from source.

The top level directory of Girder cloned by git will be GIRDER_DIR.

Install of system dependencies

Ubuntu 14.04

Update apt package indices before you start.

sudo apt-get update
  • Install Minerva system dependencies
sudo apt-get install libgdal-dev libnetcdf-dev libpng12-dev pkg-config

Fedora 22

sudo dnf install git gcc-c++ libffi-devel make python-devel python-pip geos-devel gdal-devel netcdf-devel hdf5-devel


Conda installation and conda environment setup should be the first step in creating a development environment for Minerva.

mkdir MINERVA_DIR (pick name of your choice)
git clone
cd minerva
conda env create -f conda_env.yml python=2.7
source activate minerva-dev
  • Run mongo daemon
mongod &


  • If mongod fails to start with a message related to dbpath then follow the step below
mkdir MONGO_DATA (directory of your choice)
mongod --dbpath PATH_TO_MONGO_DATA &
  • Install Girder
cd ..
git clone -b 2.x-maintenance
cd girder
pip install -e .
girder-install web


  • Make sure that conda minerva-dev environment is active (source activate minerva-dev) for the next steps.

Now proceed to setup Girder admin user and assetstore in the next section

Setup Girder admin user and assetstore

  • Run Girder to ensure that it works. Mongo should already be running,

and you should follow the instructions for a source tree install (ignore if using conda environment instructions above).

  • Navigate to Girder in your browser, register an admin user.
  • Navigate to the Admin console in Girder, when you are logged in as an admin user, then click on the Assetstores section.
  • Create a default Assetstore.

Install large_image as a Girder plugin

This is needed because minerva depends on large_image plugin.

  • Install large_image plugin.
git clone
pip install -e .[mapnik]
girder-install plugin -s large_image
girder-install web --dev --plugins large_image

Install database_assetstore as a Girder plugin

This is needed because minerva depends on database_assetstore plugin.

  • Install girder_db_items plugin.
git clone
girder-install plugin -s database_assetstore
girder-install web --dev --plugins database_assetstore

Install of Minerva as a Girder plugin


  • You can skip the cloning step below if you are using Conda environment.
  • Clone the Git repository.
git clone
  • Install Minerva as Girder plugin.
girder-install plugin -s minerva
girder-install web --dev --plugins minerva


  • If the cryptography pip package in Girder fails to install, or fails when running Girder, try this
sudo pip uninstall cffi
sudo pip uninstall cryptography
sudo pip install -U cryptography

Configure Minerva

  • copy the minerva.dist.cfg file, located in the GIRDER_DIR/plugins/minerva/server/conf directory, to minerva.local.cfg in that same directory. Any property in minerva.local.cfg will take precedent over any property with the same name in minerva.dist.cfg. If the minerva.local.cfg file is absent, values will be read from minerva.dist.cfg. Change the encrypt_key value in minerva.local.cfg file; the value should be a 32 byte url-safe base-64 encoded string. You can either replace the existing string with one of equal length, using letters and numbers, and ending with an ‘=’, or generate one within python with the following code
from cryptography.fernet import Fernet
  • Run the Girder server
python -m girder


  • Navigate to the Admin console in Girder, when you are logged in as an admin user, then click on the Plugins section.
  • Enable the Minerva plugin, which will enable Gravatar, and Jobs plugins. Click the button to restart the server.

This will serve Minerva as your top level application. Girder will now be served at your top level path with /girder.

  • When the server is restarted, refresh the page, you will need to remove #/plugins from your URL as this is no longer valid.



http://localhost:8080 => serves Girder


http://localhost:8080 => serves Minerva

http://localhost:8080/girder => serves Girder

Data services

Several minerva components rely on having a data services server up and running. You can either connect to an existing server or spin up a local server using vagrant. See the Provisioning data services section for more details.