Customize Data Locations


This tutorial assumes you have completed our Installing Proxl tutorial through step 4.

By default, our installation tutorial will allow Docker to manage where proxl stores its data. This includes things like where MySQL stores its data files, where uploaded scans are stored, and working directories for processing uploaded data. On Linux (including Windows running Ubuntu), these data will mostly likely be kept under /var/lib/docker/.

It is recommended that you let Docker manage the data directories if you can. However, if you would like to customize where the data are stored for proxl, follow the steps below.

1. Create data directories

You will need to create five directories for proxl to store its data.

  1. MySQL data directory. This is the directory used to store the database.
  2. Spectr upload directory. This the directory used for spectra processing.
  3. Spectr storage directory. This the directory used to store spectra.
  4. Proxl upload directory. This is the directory where uploads are temporarily stored.
  5. Proxl cache directory. Cache some results on disk to speed up the web site.


If you are using WSL2 on Windows, specifying a Windows filesystem drive (e.g., /mnt/d/) for your data directories is not supported.

For example, if you would like store store all data in the /data/proxl-data directory, you would type the following:

# make a parent directory for proxl data
sudo mkdir -p /data/proxl-data

# make the five directories for storing data
sudo mkdir /data/proxl-data/mysql
sudo mkdir /data/proxl-data/spectr-upload
sudo mkdir /data/proxl-data/spectr-storage
sudo mkdir /data/proxl-data/proxl-upload
sudo mkdir /data/proxl-data/proxl-cache

2. Update .env with data storage locations

The .env configuration file will need to be updated to include the locations of the data directories. Open this file using your favorite text editor. On Linux (including Docker on Windows), we’ll assume that is nano. To edit the file, type:

# ensure you are in correct directory. if you followed tutorial type:
cd ~/proxl

# edit the file
nano .env

Add the following lines to the end of the file. Substitute the actual directories with directories you chose above. This example uses the example directory names:


Type Control-o, <ENTER>, and Control-x to save and exit nano.

3. Starting and Stopping Proxl


The commands below are different than the commands for starting and stopping Proxl on our Installing Proxl tutorial! You must always use these commands if you have customized the data locations.

At this point, starting and stopping proxl should be straight forward.

To start proxl:

sudo docker-compose -f docker-compose-custom-data.yml up --detach

To stop proxl:

sudo docker-compose -f docker-compose-custom-data.yml down


If you are using Windows, ensure Docker is running by typing:

sudo service docker start

You should now be able to start Proxl.


The first time you start proxl, all of the components will download and the database will initialize. This may take a few minutes, depending on your download speed. Subsequent startups of proxl will not require these steps and will be faster.


These commands must be typed while you are in the project code directory. If you followed these instructions, you can ensure you are in this directory by typing:

cd ~/proxl

4. Proceed with installation

You should now proceed to step 6 in our Installing Proxl tutorial. However, recall that your command for stopping and starting is different than that listed in the tutorial. (See above.)