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Nanopype has two configuration layers: The central environment configuration env.yaml covers application paths and reference genomes and is set up independent of installation method and operating system once. The environment configuration is stored in the installation directory. If a compute cluster is available the respective Snakemake configuration is only needed once per Nanopype installation and explained here by the example of a custom scheduler called mxq.

For a project an additional workflow configuration is required providing data sources, tool flags and parameters. The workflow config file nanopype.yaml is expected in the root of each project directory. Configuration files are in .yaml format.


In order to execute workflows containing alignment steps, the respective reference genomes need to be set up. Each reference is provided as a key (e.g. mm9, mm10, hg19, ..), the genome in fasta format and optionally a chromosome size file if using tools such as bedGraphToBigWig.

        genome: /path/to/mm9/mm9.fa
        chr_sizes: /path/to/mm9/mm9.chrom.sizes

The default environment configuration env.yaml in the pipeline repository assumes all required tools to be available through your systems PATH variable. To use Nanopype with existing installations you may need to adjust their paths. Each tools is configured as key:value pair of tool name and the executable.

    # executable is in PATH variable
    # executable is not in PATH variable
    bedtools: /src/bedtools2/bin/bedtools

The runtime and memory requirements of a workflow depend on the input data. The default values in Nanopype are somewhat conservative but might still require fine tuning at your site. In a cluster environment with enforced runtime and memory you can use the env.yaml to scale with different hardware and datasets. If for instance the default runtime of 90 min for guppy with 16 threads is not sufficient, you can double it:

    guppy: 2.0

The memory requirements of affected tools are specified as a constant offset plus thread scaling. The following example for guppy would with 16 threads launch cluster jobs demanding 8 + 16 x 4 = 72 GB.

    guppy: [8000,4000]
example env.yaml (Refer to the git repository for the most recent config)
# Reference genomes
        genome: ~/references/mm9/mm9.fa
        chr_sizes: ~/references/mm9/mm9.chrom.sizes
        genome: ~/references/mm10/mm10.fa
        chr_sizes: ~/references/mm10/mm10.chrom.sizes
        genome: ~/references/hg19/hg19.fa
        chr_sizes: ~/references/hg19/hg19.chrom.sizes
        genome: ~/references/hg38/hg38.fa
        chr_sizes: ~/references/hg38/hg38.chrom.sizes

# Executable name for tools found in PATH or absolute paths
    albacore: ~/bin/
    flappie: ~/bin/flappie
    guppy: ~/bin/guppy_basecaller
    bedtools: ~/bin/bedtools
    graphmap2: ~/bin/graphmap2
    minimap2: ~/bin/minimap2
    nanopolish: ~/bin/nanopolish
    ngmlr: ~/bin/ngmlr
    samtools: ~/bin/samtools
    sniffles: ~/bin/sniffles
    deepbinner: ~/bin/
    bedGraphToBigWig: ~/bin/bedGraphToBigWig
    racon: ~/bin/racon
    cdna_classifier: ~/bin/
    spliced_bam2gff: ~/bin/spliced_bam2gff
    cluster_gff: ~/bin/cluster_gff
    collapse_partials: ~/bin/collapse_partials
    polish_clusters: ~/bin/polish_clusters
    strique: ~/bin/
    flye: ~/bin/flye

# runtime scaling of tools
    albacore: 1.0
    flappie: 1.0
    guppy: 2.0
    graphmap2: 1.0
    minimap2: 1.0
    ngmlr: 1.0
    nanopolish: 1.0
    sniffles: 1.0
    deepbinner: 1.0
    pinfish: 1.0
    strique: 1.0
    flye: 1.0

# memory in MB scaling of tools as base + threads * scaling
    albacore: [4000,1000]
    flappie: [4000,5000]
    guppy: [8000,4000]
    graphmap2: [80000,500]
    minimap2: [8000,500]
    ngmlr: [32000,500]
    nanopolish: [8000,500]
    sniffles: [8000,1000]
    deepbinner: [4000,1000]
    pinfish: [8000,1000]
    strique: [32000,4000]
    flye: [1000000,0]

Additional references possibly only needed once in a workflow can also be configured in the nanopype.yaml of the working directory.


Snakemake supports the creation of profiles to store flags and options for a particular environment. A profile for a workflow is loaded from the Snakemake command line via:

snakemake --profile myprofile ...

searching globally (/etc/xdg/snakemake) locally ($HOME/.config/snakemake) for folders with name myprofile. Theese folders are expected to contain a config.yaml with any of Snakemakes command line parameters. An example profile is given in nanopype/profiles/mxq which can be used with

snakemake --profile /path/to/nanopype/profiles/mxq ...

Additional profiles can be found at

example config.yaml
# per node local storage
shadow-prefix: "/scratch/local2/"
# jobscripts
cluster: ""
cluster-status: ""
jobscript: ""
# params
latency-wait: 600
jobs: 2048
restart-times: 3
immediate-submit: false

Cluster configuration

The cluster configuration of Snakemake is separated from the workflow and can be provided in .json or .yaml format. The configuration is composed of default settings mapping to all rules (e.g. basecalling, alignment, etc.) and rule specific settings enabling a fine grained control of resources such as memory and run time.

example cluster.json for MXQ
    "__default__" :
        "nCPUs"     : "8",
        "memory"    : "20000",
        "time"      : "60"

    "minimap2" :
        "memory"    : "30000",
        "time"      : "30"
        "nCPUs"     : "16"

Rule names of Nanopype can be obtained by starting either a dryrun (-n) or directly from the source. Parameters of the cluster config are accessible inside the cluster submission command:

snakemake --cluster-config cluster.json --cluster "mxqsub --threads={cluster.nCPUs} --memory={cluster.memory} --runtime={cluster.time}"

This cluster configuration is static per target and needs to be conservative enough to handle any type of input data. For a more fine grained control Nanopype specifies per rule a configurable number of threads and calculates the estimated run time and memory consumption accordingly. Integration and customization of these parameters is described in the following section.

Job properties

All Nanopype workflows specify threads and time_min and mem_mb resources. Furthermore runtime and memory are dynamically increased if a clsuter job fails or is killed by the cluster management (Due to runtime or memory violation). To restart jobs Snakemake needs to be executed with e.g. --restart-times 3. If supported by the cluster engine you could then use:

snakemake --cluster "mxqsub --threads={threads} --runtime={resources.time_min} --memory={resources.mem_mb}"

Please note that the threads resource in this example is now not set per rule as in the previous example, but configured per module in the workflow config file nanopype.yaml in the working directory.

If the formats of estimated runtime and memory consumption do not match your cluster system a custom wrapper script is easily set up. To convert from time in minutes to a custom string the following snippet is a starting point:

example format conversion
import os, sys
from snakemake.utils import read_job_properties

jobscript = sys.argv[-1]
job_properties = read_job_properties(jobscript)

# default resources
threads = '1'
runtime = '01:00'
memory = '16000M'
# parse resources
if "threads" in job_properties:
    threads = str(job_properties["threads"])
if "resources" in job_properties:
    resources = job_properties["resources"]
    if "mem_mb" in resources: memory = str(resources["mem_mb"]) + 'M'
    if "time_min" in resources: runtime = "{:02d}:{:02d}".format(*divmod(resources["time_min"], 60))

# cmd and submission
cmd = 'mxqsub --threads={threads} --memory={memory} --time="{runtime}" {jobscript}'.format(threads=threads, memory=memory, runtime=runtime, jobscript=jobscript)

The respective Snakemake command line would then be:

snakemake --cluster

resulting in a cluster submission of the temporary job script on the shell similar to:

mxqsub --threads=1 --memory=16000M --time="00:15" ./snakemake/tmp123/

Custom cluster integration

A full example on how to enable a not yet supported cluster system is given in profiles/mxq/ of the git repository. Briefly four components are required:
  • config.yaml - cluster specific command line arguments
  • - job submission to cluster management
  • - job status request from cluster management
  • - wrapper script for rules to be executed

Important: When working with batches of raw nanopore reads, Nanopype makes use of Snakemakes shadow mechanism. A shadow directory is temporary per rule execution and can be placed on per node local storage to reduce network overhead. The shadow prefix e.g. /scratch/local/ can be set in the profiles config.yaml. The --profile argument tells Snakemake to use a specific profile:

snakemake --profile /path/nanopype/profiles/mxq [OPTIONS...] [FILE]

When running in an environment with multiple users the shadow prefix should contain a user specific part to ensure accessibility and to prevent corrupted data. A profile per user is compelling in this case and enforced by Nanopype if not given.


Writing log files becomes useful to inspect the output of potentially failing jobs. The actual implementation is system and user specific, two possible scenarios are given here:

Log per output file

Some cluster schedulers support the redirection of stdout and stderr. These could be caught using the cluster configuration of Snakemake:

example cluster.json for MXQ logging
    "__default__" :
        "output"    : "logs/cluster/{rule}.{wildcards}.out",
        "error"     : "logs/cluster/{rule}.{wildcards}.err"

Parameters of the cluster config are again accessible inside the cluster submission command:

snakemake --cluster-config cluster.json --cluster "mxqsub --stdout={cluster.output} --stderr={cluster.error}"

This type of logging will create one log file per output file of Nanopype. Restarting workflows will overwrite previous logging.

Log per job submission

Logging can also be set up independent of Snakemake by modifying the job script itself.

example for MXQ logging
DATE=`date +%Y%m%d`

mkdir -p log/cluster
({exec_job}) &> log/cluster/${{DATE}}_${{H}}_${{J}}.log

Snakemake will replace the {exec_job} wildcard with the temporary job script (Double curly brackets are needed for generic environment variables to escape the Snakemake substitution). Note that the environment variables MXQ_JOBID and PID are specific to the mxq scheduler. The above wrapper will create log files with timestamp and hostname in the filename without overwriting previous logs.

The custom job script is included to the Snakemake command line by using:

snakemake --jobscript --cluster "mxqsub ..."