Web: https://www.dnanexus.com/ (documentation, WebUI)

UKBioBank: landing, partnership

Organisation: https://documentation.dnanexus.com/getting-started/key-concepts/organizations and Member Guide

NOTE: To facilitate the upcoming training courses by DNAnexus, the resource is made available for CEU users1.

Platform SDK

This follows https://documentation.dnanexus.com/downloads,

module avail python
module load python/3.7
source py37/bin/activate
pip install dxpy
eval "$(register-python-argcomplete dx|sed 's/-o default//')"
pip install --upgrade dxpy
dx help ls

using the Python virtual environment at py37/, say2.

It is not unusual to have version compatibility issues, so doing this ahead of time is helpful for you. For issues, please contact Customer Care at support@dnanexus.com for help with installation.

Download Agent

See dx-download-agent and releases.

export HPC_WORK=rds/user/$USER/hpc-work
cd ${HPC_WORK}/bin
wget https://github.com/dnanexus/dxda/releases/download/v0.5.9/dx-download-agent-linux -O dx-download-agent
chmod +x dx-download-agent
dx-download-agent --help
cd -

A number of utilities are available from the source,

wget https://github.com/dnanexus/dxda/archive/refs/tags/v0.5.9.tar.gz -O - | \
tar xvfz -
cd dxda-*
python scripts/create_manifest.py "project-GBvPBV80Q662PGqP4gGKJ15j:/Users/jhz22/" --recursive --output_file "manifest.json.bz2"
bzip2 -d -c manifest.json.bz2

where create_manifest.py is used to obtain a bz2-compressed JSON manifest file (manifest.json.bz2) whereas the last command shows the contents of the file to the terminal, e.g.,

  "project-GBvPBV80Q662PGqP4gGKJ15j": [
      "folder": "/Users/jhz22",
      "id": "file-GBvg79j0Jyf855Y44v4PvV06",
      "name": "SRR100022_20_1.stats-fastqc.txt",
      "parts": {
        "1": {
          "md5": "2d93f9138611b45aefde5e9d30430d3c",
          "size": 16959
      "folder": "/Users/jhz22",
      "id": "file-GBvg79j0Jyf3f3v24qVQfyk1",
      "name": "SRR100022_20_1.stats-fastqc.html",
      "parts": {
        "1": {
          "md5": "f3cbbbf3c824dcd94952a119e62c2452",
          "size": 661025

The file thus obtained is used with a DNAnexus API token3 as contained in ~/doc/nexus here.

export DX_API_TOKEN=$(cat ~/doc/nexus)
dx-download-agent download manifest.json.bz2

Upload Agent

wget -qO- https://dnanexus-sdk.s3.amazonaws.com/dnanexus-upload-agent-1.5.33-linux.tar.gz | \
tar xzf -
cd dnanexus-upload-agent-*-linux
# This will make it visible from ${HPC_WORK}/bin
ln -sf ${PWD}/ua ${HPC_WORK}/bin/ua


See https://github.com/dnanexus/dxCompiler/ for releases.

It will compile workflows in WDL, https://github.com/openwdl/wdl with example in https://github.com/openwdl/wdl/blob/main/versions/1.1/SPEC.md.

We can get it as follows,

wget https://github.com/dnanexus/dxCompiler/releases/download/2.10.2/dxCompiler-2.10.2.jar
java -jar dxCompiler-2.10.2.jar


GitHub: https://github.com/dnanexus/dx-toolkit

This installs API language bindings for R, C++ and Python 2.7.

module load gcc/6 texlive python/2.7
wget -qO- https://dnanexus-sdk.s3.amazonaws.com/dx-toolkit-v0.320.0-centos-amd64.tar.gz | \
tar xvfz -
cd dx-toolkit && source environment
dx upgrade

and dx upgrade v0.225.0 returns to the previous version. A separate repository is available for JavaScript, https://github.com/dnanexus/dx-javascript-toolkit.

As before, once this is done subsequent preparation for various apps in the toolkit is simplified as

module load gcc/6 texlive python/2.7
cd dx-toolkit && source environment


It is distributed with dx-toolkit above but the latest version is available from


jq is a lightweight and flexible command-line JSON processor.

wget https://github.com/stedolan/jq/releases/download/jq-1.6/jq-linux64 -O jq
jq --help

It is useful to obtain the shared libraries, help files, etc. from source, https://github.com/stedolan/jq.

module load automake-1.16.1-gcc-5.4.0-uccejfj
module load libtool-2.4.6-gcc-5.4.0-xtclmhg
git submodule update --init # if building from git to get oniguruma
autoreconf -fi              # if building from git
./configure --with-oniguruma=builtin --prefix=/usr/local/Cluster-Apps/ceuadmin/jq/1.6
make -j8
make check

It also works with oniguruma in lieu of its counterpart from GitHub.

  1. CSD3

    Location: /rds/project/jmmh2/rds-jmmh2-projects/olink_proteomics/scallop/.

    For instance one only needs to do these to use dx and apps in dx-toolkit,

    # dx:
    module load python/3.7
    source /rds/project/jmmh2/rds-jmmh2-projects/olink_proteomics/scallop/py37/bin/activate
    dx help ls
    # dx-toolkit:
    module load gcc/6 texlive python/2.7
    cd /rds/project/jmmh2/rds-jmmh2-projects/olink_proteomics/scallop/dx-toolkit && source environment

    Access to the training sessions is possible through Richard Houghton

  2. DNAnexus

    Billing, https://documentation.dnanexus.com/admin/billing-and-account-management

    Cohort browser, https://documentation.dnanexus.com/user/cohort-browser

    HDRUK INTERVAL Dataset User Acceptance Testing, video

    Index of dx commands https://documentation.dnanexus.com/user/helpstrings-of-sdk-command-line-utilities, particularly its API Methods section.

    Introduction to building Apps, https://documentation.dnanexus.com/developer/apps/intro-to-building-apps

    OpenBio Jupyter notebooks:

    Resource centre (DNAnexus xVantage Care team support@dnanexus.com)

    DNAnexus community, Webinar on RStudio, July 14, 2022 

  3. Token

    Instead of the dx login and dx logout pair one can login with a token, i.e.,

    dx login --token $(cat ~/doc/nexus)
    dx select --level VIEW`

    The --noprojects option allows for non-interactive login. The dx select command allows for specific projects be selected. See also https://documentation.dnanexus.com/user/login-and-logout