Microbial 'omics

Brought to you by

A. Murat Eren (Meren)

Table of Contents

The latest version of anvi’o is v7.1. See the release notes.

Docker will help you run anvi’o quickly on a server or a desktop system with zero pain and no installation.

This article explains how to start using anvi’o without installing it. For long-term use for research, we recommend you to install anvi’o on your system through conda.

Special thanks go to Çağlar Onur for forcing us to have a docker solution.

Our latest docker images are quite big (~15 Gb), because images after v6 come with lots of bells and whistles such as assemblers, mapping software, binning tools (that seems to be quite hard to install in general), on other useful tools. Installing them is pain, so we go through it once to create you working recipes, and storage is cheap. But if you need a minimal anvi’o image for your specific needs, please let us know, and we can help you with that.

Questions? Concerns? Find us on

Running an anvi’o container

Here we assume that you have Docker installed, and the docker service is up and running. Just to make sure, type this in your terminal, and expect to see an output similar to mine below:

docker --version

Docker version 20.10.0, build 7287ab3

If you get a command not found error, you may need to install docker, or start its service.

The following command display all the anvi’o docker images available to you:

$ docker pull meren/anvio

If you are seeing something like this when you are done pulling everything, you are golden:

$ docker images

meren/anvio         7          (...)        (...)      14.4GB
meren/anvio         6.2        (...)        (...)      12.1GB
meren/anvio         6.1        (...)        (...)      7.4GB
meren/anvio         6          (...)        (...)      7.9GB
meren/anvio         5.5        (...)        (...)      1.37GB
meren/anvio         5          (...)        (...)      1.45GB
meren/anvio         4          (...)        (...)      900.0 MB
meren/anvio         3          (...)        (...)      932.0 MB
meren/anvio         2.4.0      (...)        (...)      822.0 MB
meren/anvio         2.3.2      (...)        (...)      806.0 MB
meren/anvio         2.3.0      (...)        (...)      804.7 MB
meren/anvio         2.1.0      (...)        (...)      667.4 MB
meren/anvio         2.0.2      (...)        (...)      672.0 MB
meren/anvio         2.0.1      (...)        (...)      671.9 MB
meren/anvio         1.2.3      (...)        (...)      595.2 MB

The best way to start an anvi’o instance is to first changing your working directory in your terminal to where the files you wish to work with are, and then run this command:

docker run --rm -it -v `pwd`:`pwd` -w `pwd` -p 8080:8080 meren/anvio:latest

Following this command, you should see a new command line like this one:

:: anvi'o v7 :: /WORK/DIR/PATH >>>

You’re done! If you type anvi- and press TAB twice, you see all the anvi’o programs available to you.

Please note that if you run an anvi’o interactive interface, it will not automatically fire up in your browser. You will have to manually visit the address http://localhost:8080 to interact with your data. Once you are done with your interactive interfaces you can press CTRL+C to kill the server.

If you would like to leave docker environment and go back to your terminal, you can press CTRL+D.

Installing new things into your image

The image comes with a minimal set of programs to make sure it is not too much of a burden to download, but since it is a running Ubuntu system, you can indeed install and run anything. Example:

apt-get update
apt-get install vim


Rebuilding the anvi’o docker image (for hackers)

We are keeping our docker recipes in the main anvi’o repository:


Start by getting a copy of the repository:

git clone https://github.com/merenlab/anvio.git
cd anvio/

In theory, at any given time you should be able to rebuild a docker image for anvi’o master this way:

docker build -t meren/anvio:master .

Alternatively, you can switch to a tag, such as anvi’o v7, and build a copy of that:

If you would like to rebuild the Docker image for anvi’o on your own server, you can simply get a copy of the file:

git checkout v7
docker build -t meren/anvio:7 .

Optionally, you can push it to your account on the hub to allow other people run it easily (i.e., this is what we do to push new images to the anvi’o accound):

docker push meren/anvio

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions!

Questions? Concerns? Find us on

Rebuilding the anvi’o docker image (for versions older than v6)

Before we started generating giant docker images with everything in them, we used to keep our docker files on gist and build our images only from anvi’o tarballs we submitted to pip. You can find a docker file for each version of anvi’o here:


For instance, if you would like to build a docker image for v5.5, you can get a copy of the docker recipe,

wget https://gist.githubusercontent.com/meren/65b1f1bfea1b53e87e10f025d1e4c29a/raw/b0a841c4be8873ba73faba217e798d3d9e207823/Dockerfile_v5.5.sh -O Dockerfile

Add/remove things you want to the image, and build it:

docker build -t meren/anvio:5.5 .