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Slightly confusing OMERO.web installation instructions

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The OMERO.server installation documentation begins here and you can find OMERO.web deployment documentation here.

Slightly confusing OMERO.web installation instructions

Postby rpoehlmann » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:56 pm

Dear OME-team,

may I provide some feedback regarding your documentation in terms of OMERO.web installation.
I was trying a fresh OMERO 5.3.3 (ICE 3.6, CentOS7) install including OMERO.web on a DEV system in order to rehearse our OMERO 5.2.5 PROD system upgrade.

Good news: I succeeded
Bad news: it was a little bit laborious and painful process for OMERO.web
Why: it took me relatively long to find the right bits and pieces

OMERO installation (OMERO.server-5.3.3-ice36-b63) worked out smoothly according to "https://docs.openmicroscopy.org/omero/5.3.3/sysadmins/unix/server-centos7-ice36.html".

However, subsequent OMERO.web installation unfortunately was not that easy. In this context I have to admit that I am not a Python (web-)developer. Maybe, it would 've been easier in that case, I cannot judge ...

  • when starting with the above mentioned OMERO.server CentOS7 ICE 3.6 installation, you will be guided towards the "OMERO.web walkthrough installation CentOS 7 and IcePy 3.6" [1]
  • there is a 2nd more generic OMERO.web installation described at [2] referenced as "OMERO.web WSGI deployment".
  • both instructions are different, they both did not work for me and in the end it was kind of a combination of them
  • I struggled around with the VirtualEnv setup for OMERO.web. Should it be initialized as "root" as described in [1], or better as the OMERO user as described in [2]?
  • the Centos7 specific instruction at [1] downloads the OMERO.py ZIP package which is not really necessary for OMERO.server+OMERO.web combination? (or is it?) It's now successfully running without in my case, but still puzzled about it ...
  • should the VirtualEnv environment be initialized with or without site-packages as differently described at [1] compared to [2]?
  • the NGINX templates generated / described in [1] vs. [2] differ (none of them did work for me)
  • previously, there also was a note on how to generate an SSL config for NGINX. I could not find it for the 5.3.3 instructions anymore (or did I overlook it somehow?) Of course I could duplicate an existing one from our PROD server.

In the end I talked to one of our Python software developers in-house to get a quick and very high-level intro/overview into Python VirtualEnv and then "compiled" my own way through using bits and pieces I read before. In the end it now seems to be really straightforward and easy (hopefully, I've now done everything right, but at least our power user confirmed successful installation from a functional perspective ;) )

Again, please do not misunderstand me:
I do not want to blame anyone and I think you're doing an excellent job!. OMERO is a clear success story for our user and the whole institute.

So, just my personal feedback based on this experience: I think regarding the installation instructions for OMERO.web there is some "room for improvement" if I am allowed to say this (in particular for people less experienced with Python VirtualEnv and web deployment).

Thanks a lot, best regards,

[1] https://docs.openmicroscopy.org/omero/5.3.3/sysadmins/unix/install-web/walkthrough/omeroweb-install-centos7-ice3.6.html
[2] https://docs.openmicroscopy.org/omero/5.3.3/sysadmins/unix/install-web/web-deployment.html
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Re: Slightly confusing OMERO.web installation instructions

Postby wmoore » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:12 am

Hi Rainer,

Thanks for your feedback, and apologies that the OMERO.web install docs are not optimal.

We are moving away from our previous workflow of running OMERO.web and OMERO.server together, and towards using virtualenv for OMERO.web, but we still support both and hence the confusion in some places.

We'll try to fix that: I created a card at https://trello.com/c/ArqTYHvJ/135-impro ... virtualenv


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Re: Slightly confusing OMERO.web installation instructions

Postby rpoehlmann » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:25 pm

... which is appreciated a lot!!

Thanks a lot for your reply, best regards,
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