SBGrid installation client - beta

Thanks for registering for our SBGrid installation client beta trial.

This page is for the SBGrid GUI installation client for Apple OSX computers running MacOSX v10.9 - 10.12 . A command line version is also available for mac and linux - installation instuctions can be found here. Command line usage info is here.


1. Admin access required. The SBGrid installation client will install the software tree to /opt/sbgrid and create a symlink from this directory to /programs. While admin privileges are not required to run the application, you will need admin privileges to create /opt/sbgrid and /programs .

2. Existing installations must be renamed or removed. If you have previously installed SBGrid software on your computer at /programs or at /opt/sbgrid, these directories should be removed or renamed. The client will create these on first run.

3. Ctrl-click or Allow Applications from 'Anywhere'. While the SBGrid installer will eventually be signed with the appropriate Apple developer's certificate, the beta builds are not. To run these, you need to give MacOSX's GateKeeper permission to run the application. You can either 'Ctrl-click' the icon and select 'Open' and then approve the application (see below), or permit your Mac to run applications from Anywhere in Preferences. You can do this under 'Preferences' -> 'Security and Privacy'. You may need admin privileges to change this setting.


4. Hard Drive Space Depending on what you install, ensure you have enough free hard drive space on your machine.

5. For large packages (Phenix, Rosetta, CCP4), a wired connection is recommended. Some packages are quite large and can be slow to download, especially over WiFi.

Installation and activation

1. Download the latest SBGrid installation client from here.

--> SBGrid MacOSX client download <--

This client may be updated throughout the beta trial.

2. Mount the .dmg disk image on your Mac. Copy the 'SBGrid' to a convenient location - it does not need to be in /Applications. The .app bundle can be run directly from the mounted dmg image with no installation if desired.

3. Run the SBGrid installer application. You may need to ctrl-click (or right-click) and select 'Open' to satisfy GateKeeper settings.

ctrl-click ctrl-click

4. Enter your site, user name, and key. You should have received these by email. This key will expire at the end of the trial.


On activation you will be prompted to provide admin credentials for your mac. This is to create the /opt/sbgrid directory and /programs symlink.


5. On successful activation, you should see the client populate with software titles. If not, please close the application and try again. If activation continues to fail, you may have an old SBGrid installation at /programs or /opt/sbgrid. These should be removed. You may also be blocked from accessing SBGrid servers on port 873 and port 8080 by your institution's firewall. You can check if you can access port 873 here and port 8080 here For help, email

Installation on an external drive or USB key

Currently the installer application installs the software tree in /opt/sbgrid and uses a symlink at /programs. The /programs link is required for the software to work, but in principle the software can be anywhere by linking /opt/sbgrid to the desired installation point. This functionality is not yet included in the SBGrid application, but can be set up manually post-install with a symlink. First do an install (into /opt/sbgrid), then move it to the desired localtion. Then symlink to the new location from /opt/sbgrid.

Example: 128Gb USB 'key' drives are available on Amazon for 30$ or less and are a nice way to supplement the small SSDs that come in Mac laptops. To install on an external drive in this way, first mount it on your computer. For this example, the mount is /Volumes/sbgrid_client_install. Then, using the SBGrid installer, do an initial installation on the hard drive. To make life easy, just do one application. Then close the installer application.

Next move /opt/sbgrid to the USB key at /Volumes/sbgrid_client_install. You will likely need sudo for this.

sudo mv /opt/sbgrid /Volumes/sbgrid_client_install/.

Now we have /Volumes/sbgrid_client_install/sbgrid. Create a symlink from /opt/sbgrid to /Volumes/sbgrid_client_install/sbgrid.

sudo ln -s /Volumes/sbgrid_client_install/sbgrid /opt/sbgrid

The symlink at /programs still points to /opt/sbgrid, and that is a link that points to the external location. Open the installer and add the desired applications. These will now install to the external drive.

SBGrid install client -- Usage info

Known issues

  • rsync required on 873 or 8080. The application will fail if outbound port 873 and port 8080 are blocked by your institution or are otherwise not available.

  • Activation Failed. In some cases the Authorization dialog for admin privileges does not appear during activation. This causes the client activation to fail. This is usually due to a previously existing /programs directory or symlink from a prior installation. This must be removed for activation to be successful. Other users have reported successful activation after a restart.