Install varapp

  • Clone or download the archive from Github:

    git clone
  • [Optional, recommended] Create a Python virtual environment:

    venv=~/.virtualenvs/varapp     # Or any other location of your choice
    mkdir -p $venv; pyvenv $venv; source $venv/bin/activate

    This makes every python library you install from now on, including Varapp, exist only in this directory. To uninstall varapp, you only need to rm -rf $venv.

  • Enter the app’s source folder and edit the settings file at “varmed/settings/” to fit your environment (at least the MySQL connection settings).

  • Install:

    There should be a file “” in the current directory. Install all required Python dependencies together with Varapp itself:

    python3 install

Create the database

  • Log in to MySQL using the MYSQL_USER and MYSQL_PWD defined in the settings. and create an empty database called “users_db” (or the USERS_DB you set in the settings):

    mysql -u<MYSQL_USER> -p<MYSQL_PWD> --execute \

    It will contain users information, available variants databases, accesses of one to the other, etc.

  • Generate the database schema (from models) and some sample data:

    python3 migrate
    python3 loaddata resources/dumps/init/demo_data.json

    This will create a new user “admin” with password “admin”, the role of “superuser”, and access to a sample database “demo_mini”. This superuser will be able to manage variants databases and accesse from the frontend Admin page.


If you changed GEMINI_DB_PATH in the settings, you will need to move the demo database from resources/db/ to that new location in order to access it.

Serve the app

This will start a simple local web server:

python3 runserver

Now you can enter in your browser’s address bar and it should answer “Hello World!”.

See Production setup to see how to deploy it on a larger scale.

Add more data

Now you can add Gemini databases to the directory defined by GEMINI_DB_PATH in the settings. When the app (re-)starts, all sqlite3 databases present in that directory will be loaded. In the interface, that will make them available in the db selection menu, and in the Admin page so that the admin can manage the access of each database to other users and himself.

If you have not yet produced a Gemini database from your VCF, see Data preparation.

Install the web interface

The easiest way is to download the latest release archive: varapp-frontend-react.tar.gz.

  • Copy that archive into a destination folder that can be read by your web server, and extract. The web server directory is typically “/var/www/html/” (Linux), “/Library/WebServer/Documents/” (OSX), or for Apache the one indicated by “DocumentRoot” in its configuration.

  • Test that it works locally:

    Now point your browser to the address localhost/ in your browser’s address bar and you should see the login screen.

    If you placed the files in a subfolder (recommended), e.g. “/var/www/html/varapp-web/”, then the address becomes localhost/varapp-web/.

  • See Production setup to see how to deploy it on a larger scale.