Proxl Installation Guide

This is a guide for downloading and installing your own copy of proxl, running on you own server. proxl is relatively simple to install and set up, but does require some working proficiency with the command line and some knowledge of databases (preferably MySQL).

Proxl comprises a database component and a web application component. Downloading, installing, and configuring these components are described below.

1. Install MySQL, Java, and Apache Tomcat (if necessary)

This documentation assumes that Java (JDK version, 1.8 or later) and the Apache Tomcat (8 or later) servlet container are installed on the same computer on which you are installing proxl.

This documentation also assumes that MySQL (5.6 or later) has been installed and is accessible by the installation of Apache Tomcat. This does not need to be on the same machine as Apache Tomcat.

Proxl should work equally well on any operating system for which MySQL and Java are available (MS Windows, Apple OS X, or Linux). Other servlet containers and database server software may work as well, though these have not been tested.

After Apache Tomcat is installed, you will need to download and install the MySQL JDBC driver. This is available free of charge from the MySQL Connector/J website. To install, copy the downloaded jar file into lib directory of Apache Tomcat (e.g. /usr/local/apache-tomcat-7.0.65/lib) and restart Tomcat.

2. Download the latest release of proxl

Download the latest release at Unzip the contents of the zip file to the directory of your choice.

3. Set up the proxl database

All database creation and population scripts are in the database_scripts/install directory of the zip file.

Execute the following sql scripts in this order.

  • create_empty_database.sql
  • create_empty_database_add_tables.sql
  • insert_initial_data.sql
  • insert_initial_user.sql
To run these SQL scripts, do one of the following:
  • Log into your MySQL server and paste in the file contents.
  • Source the file by logging into MySQL and typing the following at the MySQL prompt: source /location/to/script_name.sql. (Be sure MYSQL has read access to the file).
  • At the command line (on macos or linux): cat /location/to/script_name.sql | mysql -u your_username -p

(Optional) Populate the taxonomy table.

In order to provide functionality based on taxonomy (such as filtering searches based on taxonomy of hit proteins), the taxonomy table must be populated. To populate this table, execute the create_taxonomy_table.sql SQL script.

4. Install and configure the web application

Add MySQL user for Tomcat access

Follow these instructions to set up access for Tomcat to access the MySQL databases.

Log in to MySQL as root:
shell> mysql -u root -p

Create the MySQL user:
mysql> CREATE USER 'proxl_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

Replace proxl_user with the username you would prefer, localhost with the
relative hostname of the machine connecting to the MySQL database (usually localhost),
and password with your preferred password.

Grant the necessary privileges in MySQL:
GRANT ALL ON proxl.* TO 'proxl_user'@'localhost'

Replace proxl_user and localhost with the username and hostname you used
when creating the user.

Configure Tomcat to access proxl database

Add the following to $CATALINA_HOME/conf/context.xml, inside the <Context></Context> root element. Be sure to change proxl_user and password to the username and password you set up above. If necessary, change localhost and 3306 to the hostname and port of your MySQL server.

<Resource     name="jdbc/proxl"



Install proxl.war

Copy proxl.war in the top directory of the zip file into the webapps directory of your Tomcat installation. It should automatically deploy (you should see a proxl directory created in the webapps directory. If it does not automatically deploy, restart Tomcat to force it to deploy.

5. Start using proxl

Your web application should now be available at If you have a firewall running, may need to allow access through this port. You should be able to log in with username: initial_proxl_user and password: FJS483792nzmv,xc4#&@(!VMKSDL You should change this information at your soonest convenience by logging in and clicking the “Manage Account” icon at the top-right of any page (person-shaped icon). You may add initial users by creating projects and inviting users to those projects.

For information about uploading data and using proxl, please see the documentation at

6. Install and configure the import manager

The import manager is software that runs on the same computer as the proxl web application. It is responsible for processing data uploaded through proxl and saving it to the database. Follow these steps to set up and run the import manager:

Set up upload directory

Create a directory for storing uploaded files. For example /var/lib/proxl/upload or C:\proxl\upload. Ensure the user running the Tomcat process above has write access to this directory. We will call this UPLOAD_DIRECTORY here.

Log into the proxl web application, click on the gear icon at the top-right for system configuration. Enter the full path for UPLOAD_DIRECTORY for the Run Importer Workspace field and click “Save”.

Set up run directory

Create a directory where the upload manager runs and creates files. For example /var/lib/proxl/run or C:\\proxl\\run. We will call this RUN_DIRECTORY here.

In this directory place the following files from the release zip file:

  • runImportProxlXML.jar
  • (in the proxl_importer/config_sample_files_RUN_proxl_xml_importer_PGM directory)
  • importProxlXML.jar
  • (in the proxl_importer/config_sample_files_proxl_xml_importer directory)

Update and with setting for your server.

Run the import manager process

This program must be running to import data via the proxl web application. To start it:

java -jar ``RUN_DIRECTORY/runImportProxlXML.jar

Note, the user running this process must have read access to UPLOAD_DIRECTORY and write access to RUN_DIRECTORY. On linux this can be accomplished with a command similar to:

su -c "java -jar ``RUN_DIRECTORY/runImportProxlXML.jar" -s /bin/bash tomcat

Where the user tomcat has the necessary permissions.