Deploying the Bioregistry

The Bioregistry web application is a part of the bioregistry Python package which is updated, packaged, and pushed nightly to the Python Package Index (PyPI). It can be installed and run interactively in the command line with the following commands:

python -m pip install --upgrade gunicorn bioregistry[web]
python -m bioregistry web \
    --with-gunicorn --workers 4 \
    --port 8766 \
    --host "" \


The Bioregistry uses port 8766 by default. Using makes sure that this works on a variety of systems, including docker, Mac, and Linux. The --base-url should correspond to the location through which the service is accessed. In this example, is used as the base.

The Bioregistry is also containerized and pushed nightly to Docker Hub. You can pull then run the latest in the command line with the following commands:

docker pull biopragmatics/bioregistry:latest
docker run --detach -i --name bioregistry -p 8766:8766 biopragmatics/bioregistry:latest

Note that -p says what ports to remap. Note that the base Bioregistry image uses 8766 as its port, so this is simply exposed via the same port.

The following shell script can be used to automatically update the containerized deployment:


# Store the container's hash
BIOREGISTRY_CONTAINER_ID=$(docker ps --filter "name=bioregistry" -aq)

# Stop and remove the old container, taking advantage of the fact that it's named specifically

# Pull the latest
docker pull biopragmatics/bioregistry:latest

# Run the start script
docker run --detach -i --name bioregistry -p 8766:8766 biopragmatics/bioregistry:latest

Deploying a custom Bioregistry

This is a tutorial on how to run a custom instance of the Bioregistry that contains custom content. If you don’t need custom content, see the instructions above for deploying a vanilla copy of the Bioregistry.

Creating custom content

In the following example, a slimmed down registry is generated from the base Bioregistry. It’s also possible to add additional bioregistry.Resource instances from arbitrary sources.

import bioregistry
from pathlib import Path

slim_prefixes = {"chebi", "go", "ncbitaxonomy"}
slim_registry: dict[str, bioregistry.Resource] = {
    resource.prefix: resource
    for resource in bioregistry.resources()
    if resource.prefix in slim_prefixes
    path=Path.home().joinpath("Desktop", "registry.json"),

This script creates a new file that will be used when running the Bioregistry with the --registry flag from the command line.


The same is possible for collections, contexts, and even the metaregistry.

Custom configuration and branding

The Bioregistry can be configured in several ways, including replacing various text in the case of custom deployments. Please use good judgement with the following features to best represent the Bioregistry project. The following table includes the keys that you can put in a configuration JSON file, an explanation of the keys, and suggestions on how to replace them.




The title on the home page, defaults to “Bioregistry”.


The header text on the home page. Can include arbitrary HTML. Suggestions: use a <p class="lead">.


The footer text that appears on all pages. Can include arbitrary HTML.


The second paragraph on


The version to display in the top-right of each page. Can be set to an empty string if no meaningful version information exists.


An example prefix. Defaults to chebi.


An example local unique identifier to go with the example prefix

Finally, after filling up a configuration JSON file and naming it something like config.json, you can use the --config config.json flag in the Python commands to run the web service below.

Running in the command line with Python

The Bioregistry can be run from the Python shell directly following installation from the Python Package Index. This example assumes registry.json is in the same directory, but any valid paths can be given.

python -m pip install gunicorn bioregistry[web]
python -m bioregistry web \
    --with-gunicorn --workers 4 \
    --port 8766 \
    --host "" \
    --base-url \
    --registry registry.json


This is the same as deploying the vanilla Bioregistry except the usage of --registry registry.json

Running with Docker

Create the following Dockerfile in the same directory as your registry.json, config.json, and any other custom files.

# Dockerfile
FROM python:3.11-alpine

COPY registry.json
COPY config.json

RUN python -m pip install gunicorn bioregistry[web]
ENTRYPOINT python -m bioregistry web \
    ---with-gunicorn --workers 4 \
    --port 8766 \
    --host "" \
    --base-url \
    --registry registry.json \
    --config config.json

There are two options for running the Dockerfile. The first option is by running the following two commands in the command line:

# Build the docker image from the same directory as the Dockerfile
docker build --tag bioregistry_custom:latest .

# Run the docker image, -d means "detach"
docker run -d -p 8766:8766 bioregistry_custom:latest

The second option is to use an additional Docker compose file to orchestrate building, tagging, and running. It works by creating (yet another) configuration file docker-compose.yml in the same directory as Dockerfile with the following:

# docker-compose.yml
version: '3'
    build: .
    restart: always
      - "8766:8766"


This is a relatively simple configuration, Docker Compose is capable of much more than this in general

The following command can be used to bring up the docker-compose configuration:

docker-compose up