Make an IGV server out of your computer

this makes it possible to remotely view your data on any integrated genome viewer (IGV) session with an internet connection.  Make sure your computer’s web server enabled — for me on ubuntu 14 and 16, it meant installing the so-called LAMP stack (I used the slick little installer package called tacksel as outlined here)

  1. become loosely familiar with xml format – you use xml to write the structure of your tracks and features, how they’re colored, and lots of other details
  2. there is a hierarchy that you will adhere to:  a.) a registry at the top (information about where your xml files are) , b.) the xml files stating where your data files are (I put them in the directory ./igvdata/, and c.) a directory full of those data in their precise location as specified by xml files in b (put these below the xmls within ./igvdata)
  3. how i did it: in /var/www/html/igv, make your registry e.g. igv_registry.txt.  it’s a simple list (of so-called infolinks) comprised of  http://your_server_url/igvdata/_some_xml_file.xml   ….  This registry file points to the location of your secondary xml files; my files are in subdirectories within /var/www/html/igvdata/ so my registry file reads like: http://__ip___/igvdata/some_cool_set_of_experiments.xml
  4. and the xml file “some_cool_set_of_experiments.xml” reads like:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Global name="bsseq_sex_cells"  infolink="http://ip_addr/igv/" version="1">
    <Category name="bsseq_sperm">
        <Category name="wt.sp.f4">
         <Resource name="wt.sp.CG.f4"
                  path="http://ip_addr/igvdata/bsseq.sperm/" />
        <Resource name="wt.sp.CHG.f4"
                  path="http://ip_addr/igvdata/bsseq.sperm/" />
         <Resource name="wt.sp.CHH.f4"
                  path="http://ip_addr/igvdata/bsseq.sperm/" />


here I have specified the “global name” as bsseq_sex_cells, so this will be an expandable menu item in IGV, with the CG, CHG, and CHH tracks available as items within that menu. 

As you can see above in the xml snippet, under ‘Resource’ the path shows my tracks for this set of experiments are all within a sub-directory in ./igvdata called bsseq.sperm — it seemed a good way for me to organize my data.  Also cool is that each sub-directory corresponds to a different menu heading, like so

a menu of my data sets after all the xml’ing and set up

6. to enable this, set your IGV session to look for your server at your IP address:

click ‘Edit Server properties’ and enter the appropriate URL; change name of registry accordingly

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