At WormBase, we are often asked if it is possible to install and run a local version of the website. Although certainly possible and very well documented, it’s not recommended for three reasons. 1) The size of the databases require substantial download time that must be repeated on a monthly basis to maintain an up-to-date resource; 2) The site is complex and requires significant time to install and configure; moreover, it is constantly evolving. You’ll need to commit time to keeping your site up-to-date; 3) Finally, the site requires a substantive compute environment along with concomitant system administration acumen required to keep everything up and running smoothly. If you still aren’t dissuaded, please see the installation notes on the WormBase Wiki.

But now — through the magic of cloud computing — you can have your own WormBase up-and-running in a few minutes.

Required Steps

  1. Establish an account on Amazon Web Services
  2. Find and launch the WormBase Amazon Machine Image (AMI) of the version of your choice.
  3. Connect to the newly launched server instance using your web browser.
  4. Stop the instance when done to avoid incurring further charges.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 when a new version of WormBase is released.

Intended Audience

  • Individual researchers or labs
  • Entire departments
  • Private research entities

Necessary Skills

  • For launching an instance: none beyond using a web browser
  • For more complicated data mining: command line expertise

Suggested Uses

  • Access your own WormBase: speedy and it’s private
  • Data mining: all databases preconfigured; includes common tools like BioPerl
  • Development: build new features using the WormBase web platform


  • This is NOT a free service. Read the pricing details carefully.
  • Although we will release new AMIs for each release, your instances will not receive bug updates.

For more information and a detailed walkthrough of the process, please see An introduction to cloud computing for biologists.