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GN2 Time Machines

GN1 time machines are pretty straightforward. With GN2 the complexity has increased a lot because of interacting services and a larger dependency graph.

Here I track what it takes today to install a fallback instance of GN2 that is 'frozen' in time.


  • assigned: pjotrp
  • status: in progress
  • priority: medium
  • type: system administration
  • keywords: systems, production


Also a time line:

  • [X] Install machine software and physical (est. 4-8 hours)
  • [X] Sync backups on a daily basis and add monitoring (2 hours)
  • [X] Set up Mariadb and sync from backup (4 hours)
  • [X] GN2 production environment with nginx & genotype_files (2 hours)
  • [ ] GN3 Genenetwork3 service (Python)
  • [ ] GN3 aliases server (Racket)
  • [ ] GN3 auth proxy (Racket)
  • [ ] set up https and letsencrypt
  • [ ] setup logrotate for production log files
  • [ ] Check performance and install monitors


Setting up Guix

We tend to install software in a guix profile. E.g.

guix pull -p ~/opt/guix-pull
. /home/wrk/opt/guix-pull/etc/profile
guix package -i mariadb -p /usr/local/guix-profiles/mariadb

To get to genenetwork we use a channel. The last working channel on the CI can be downloaded from https://ci.genenetwork.org/channels.scm. Now do

guix pull -C channels.scm -p ~/opt/guix-gn-channel
. ~/opt/guix-gn-channel/etc/profile
guix package -i genenetwork2 -p ~/opt/genenetwork2

That sets the profile to ~/opt/genenetwork2.

Note that these commands may take a while. And when guix starts building lots of software it may be necessary to configure a substitute server (we use guix.genenetwork.org) adding --substitute-urls="http://guix.genenetwork.org https://ci.guix.info".

Mariadb (est. 1-2 hours)

Set up a global Mariadb

guix package -i mariadb -p /usr/local/guix-profiles/mariadb

Usually I use the Debian version to set up defaults

apt-get install mariadb
cd /etc/systemd/system
cp /lib/systemd/system/mariadb.service .
systemctl disable mariadb

Add to systemd

+ExecStart=/usr/local/guix-profiles/mariadb/bin/mariadbd --pid-file=/var/run/mysqld/mariadb.pid $MYSQLD_OPTS $_WSREP_NEW_CLUSTER $_WSREP_START_POSITION
+# ExecStartPost=/bin/sh -c "systemctl unset-environment _WSREP_START_POSITION"

comment out the galera ExecStart too.

systemctl enable mariadb-guix.service

Make sure all symlinks point to our configuration file.

Before starting systemd you may want to make sure the database is running.

/usr/local/guix-profiles/mariadb/bin/mariadbd --pid-file=/var/run/mysqld/mariadb.pid --verbose (--help)

as root you should be able to login with

mysql -e 'show databases'

Mariadb database from backup

We have daily incremental backups on P2, Tux02 and Epysode. First restore the files with

. ~/.borg-pass
cd /export2/tux01-restore
borg extract --progress /export2/backup/tux01/borg-tux01::borg-backup-mariadb-20220815-03:13-Mon

Extracting 430Gb takes about 90 minutes.

Now make sure mariadb is stopped. Copy the database to fast storage. Set permissions correctly:

chown mysql.mysql -R /var/lib/mysql

Check them and symlink the DB dir:

cp -vau /export2/tux01-restore/home/backup/tux01_mariadb_new .
systemctl stop mariadb
ln -s /export/tux01-mirror/tux01_mariadb_new/latest /var/lib/mysql
systemctl start mariadb
/usr/local/guix-profiles/guix-profiles/mariadb/bin/mysql_upgrade -u webqtlout -pwebqtlout

In the process I discover that ibdata1 file has grown to 100GB. Not a problem yet, but we should purge that on production at some point

(obviously we don't want to use mysqldump right now, but I'll need to do some future work).

Setting up GN2

Create a gn2 user and checkout the git repo in /home/gn2/production/gene. Note that there exists also a backup of gn2 in borg which has a 'run_production.sh' script.

Running the script will give feedback

su gn2
cd /home/gn2/production/
sh run_production.sh

You'll find you need the Guix install of gn2. Starting with guix section above.

Genotype files

GN2 requires a set of files that is in the backup

borg extract borg-genenetwork::borg-ZACH-home-20220819-04:04-Fri home/zas1024/gn2-zach/genotype_files/

move the genotype_files and update the path in `gn2_settings.py` which is in the same dir as the run_production.sh script.

Configure Nginx

You'll need to tell Nginx to forward to the web server. Something like:

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name gn2-fallback.genenetwork.org;

    access_log  /var/log/nginx/gn2-danny-access.log;
    error_log  /var/log/nginx/gn2-danny-error.log;

    location / {
            proxy_redirect     off;

            proxy_set_header   Host             $host;
            proxy_set_header   X-Real-IP        $remote_addr;
            proxy_set_header   X-Forwarded-For  $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

      client_max_body_size 8050m;
      proxy_read_timeout 300;
      proxy_connect_timeout 300;                                                                                 proxy_send_timeout 300;


Setting up GN3

Without gn3 the menu will not show on the main page and you see 'There was an error retrieving and setting the menu. Try again later.'

GN3 is a separate REST server that has its own dependencies. A bit confusingly it is also a Python module dependency for GN2. So we need to set up both 'routes'.

First checkout the genenetwork3 repo as gn2 user

su gn2
cd /home/gn2
mkdir -p gn3_production
cd gn3_production
git clone https://github.com/genenetwork/genenetwork3.git

Check the genenetwork3 README for latest instructions on starting the service as a Guix container. Typically

guix shell -C --network --expose=$HOME/production/genotype_files/ -Df guix.scm

where genotype_files is the dir you installed earlier.

Run it with, for example

export FLASK_APP="main.py"
flask run --port=8081

I.e., the same port as GN2 expects in gn2_settings.py. Test with

curl localhost:8081/api/version

Next set up the external API with nginx by adding the following path to above definition:

    location /gn3 {
            rewrite /gn3/(.*) /$1  break;
            proxy_redirect     off;
            proxy_set_header   Host $host;

and if DNS is correct you should get

curl gn2-fallback.genenetwork.org/gn3/api/version

To generate the main menu the server does a request to $.ajax(gn_server_url +'api/menu/generate/json. On production that is https://genenetwork.org/api3/api/menu/generate/json which is actually gn3(!)

curl http://gn2-fallback.genenetwork.org/gn3/api/menu/generate/json

If this gives an error check the gn3 output log.

Perhaps obviously, on a production server GN3 should be running as a proper service.

Alias service

There is another GN3 service that resolves wikidata Gene aliases

su gn2
cd ~/gn3_production
git clone https://github.com/genenetwork/gn3.git

follow the instructions in the README and you should get

curl localhost:8000/gene/aliases/Shh

Authentication proxy

The proxy also needs to run.

su gn2
cd ~/gn3_production
git clone https://github.com/genenetwork/gn-proxy.git


Trouble shooting

Check the server log for errors from the server. There should be one in /home/gn2/production/tmp/. For example you may see

ERROR:wqflask:404: Not Found:  7:20AM UTC Aug 20, 2022: http://gn2-fallback.genenetwork.org/api/api/menu/generate/json

pointing out the setting in gn2_settings.py is wrong.

Use the console bar of the browse to see what JS error you get.

If you get CORS errors it is because you are using a server that is not genenetwork.org and this is usually a configuration issue.

(made with skribilo)