Use the latest version of Circos and read Circos best practices—these list recent important changes and identify sources of common problems.
If you are having trouble, post your issue to the Circos Google Group and include all files and detailed error logs. Please do not email me directly unless it is urgent—you are much more likely to receive a timely reply from the group.
Don't know what question to ask? Read Points of View: Visualizing Biological Data by Bang Wong, myself and invited authors from the Points of View series.
If you are having trouble with installation of Perl or modules, use online resources that explain the details of how to download Perl, get it working (Linux, Mac OS X, Windows [win32.perl.org wiki, ActiveState, Strawberry]), and how to install modules (UNIX, Windows). If you're still stuck, post your questions to the Circos group.
Having trouble with libgd and GD? See the Perl Monks libgd/GD Tutorial, Paulo Nuin's Installing Circos on Mac OS X, Wang's install zlib/libpng/jpeg/freetype/libgd/GD on Mavericks as well as my own guide for installation of libpng, freetype, libgd and GD on Mac OS X Mavericks. There are some useful threads in the Google Group about this.
Stumped by an error? A good strategy is to Google the error message (e.g. mkdir /usr/local/share/man: permission denied) to find the solution.
Want to learn more about Perl? Try learn.perl.org.
To run Circos, you need Perl. Perl, like languages such as Python or Ruby, is an interpreted language. This means that you do not need to compile the Circos code — it is read in by the Perl executable (that ships with, or has been installed, for your operating system), which in turn interprets it, compiles it and runs the code.
For UNIX and Mac OS X users, Perl is likely already installed on your system, as part of the base installation.
To check this, run this command at the terminal
> which perl
If you have perl installed and the executable is in your
PATH (it is unlikely that Perl is installed but not in your
which command will return something like
> which perl /usr/bin/perl # or perhaps /usr/local/bin/perl
or some other location, depending on your installation. If the
which command returns nothing, it's likely that you do not have Perl installed.
To check the version of installed Perl
> perl -v This is perl, v5.10.0 built for ...
Anything earlier than 5.8 should be upgraded.
Circos will use the perl binary in your
PATH. If you are on a UNIX system, whatever
> which perl
will be the interpreter that is used.
You can have installations of various versions of Perl, helpful if you want to test out a new version without disturbing production versions.
For example, I have Perl 5.8, 5.10, 5.14 and 5.18 installed in
~/perl/perl.5.8.7 ~/perl/perl.5.10.0 ~/perl/perl.5.14.2 ~/perl/perl.5.18.1
To easily call any of these versions, I have symbolic links set up from
~/bin, which is in my
~/bin/perl58 -> ~/perl/perl/5.8.7/bin/perl ~/bin/perl510 -> ~/perl/perl/5.10.0/bin/perl ~/bin/perl514 -> ~/perl/perl/5.14.2/bin/perl ~/bin/perl518 -> ~/perl/perl/5.18.1/bin/perl
# use Perl 5.10 > perl510 script.pl # use Perl 5.14 > perl514 script.pl
My production Perl is 5.14.2, so
~/bin/perl -> ~/bin/perl514
which calls Perl 5.14 when I use the
# run the production version, Perl 5.14 > perl script.pl
If you are managing multiple versions of Perl, you'll need to install modules for each version of Perl you have installed. This is inconvenient but required because the modules compiled by one version may not be compatible with another.
Using the CPAN shell makes installation relatively painless. Make sure you call it with the right version!
# install with production version, Perl 5.14 > perl -MCPAN -e shell ... cpan> install Config::General # install with 5.10 > perl510 -MCPAN -e shell ... cpan> install Config::General
If you are running Windows, it is unlikely that you have Perl installed. Perl installation is described in the Perl and Modules section.
To check the version of installed Perl,
C:> perl -v This is perl, v5.10.0 built for ...
Even if you already have perl, chances are good that you are going to need a few additional modules to make Circos run. Perl modules are third-party code that adds functionality to the core language.
Your installation of Perl will include core modules. In addition to these, you'll likely need to install some modules, such as
Config::General (v2.50 or later) Font::TTF GD List::MoreUtils Math::Bezier Math::Round Math::VecStat Params::Validate Readonly Regexp::Common Set::IntSpan (v1.16 or later) Text::Format
To list all the required modules and check whether they are installed, use
> circos -modules ok 1.26 Carp ok 0.37 Clone ok 2.50 Config::General ok 3.33 Cwd ok 2.145 Data::Dumper ok 2.52 Digest::MD5 ok 2.76 File::Basename ok 3.33 File::Spec::Functions ok 0.22 File::Temp ok 1.49 FindBin ok 0.39 Font::TTF::Font ok 2.43 GD ok 0.2 GD::Polyline ok 2.37 Getopt::Long ok 1.14 IO::File ok 0.33 List::MoreUtils ok 1.38 List::Util ok 0.01 Math::Bezier ok 1.59 Math::BigFloat ok 0.06 Math::Round ok 0.08 Math::VecStat ok 1.01_02 Memoize ok 1.13 POSIX ok 0.95 Params::Validate ok 1.36 Pod::Usage ok 1.03 Readonly ok 2010010201 Regexp::Common ok 2.49 SVG ok 1.16 Set::IntSpan ok 1.6607 Statistics::Basic ok 2.30 Storable ok 1.11 Sys::Hostname ok 2.02 Text::Balanced ok 0.53 Text::Format ok 1.9725 Time::HiRes
To install these modules, use the CPAN module to quickly download, compile and install them. CPAN will follow dependencies and generally do the right thing. Windows users should use their Perl's installation package manager (see below).
> perl -MCPAN -e shell ... cpan>install Math::Bezier ...
Modules use either the
Makefile.PL system, or the Build system. For purposes here, these are equivalent but require slightly different commands.
To install a module that uses the
Makefile.PL system, such as Set::IntSpan.
# download module > wget http://search.cpan.org/CPAN/authors/id/S/SW/SWMCD/Set-IntSpan-1.16.tar.gz # unpack archive > tar xvfz Set-IntSpan-1.16.tar.gz > cd Set-IntSpan-1.16 # configure and compile > perl Makefile.PL Checking if your kit is complete... Looks good Writing Makefile for Set::IntSpan > make cp IntSpan.pm blib/lib/Set/IntSpan.pm Manifying blib/man3/Set::IntSpan.3 > make test >» make test PERL_DL_NONLAZY=1 /home/martink/perl/5.10.0/bin/perl "-MExtUtils::Command::MM" "-e" "test_harness(0, 'blib/lib', 'blib/arch')" t/*.t t/binary.t .... ok t/bsearch.t ... ok ... t/spans.t ..... ok t/subclass.t .. ok t/unary.t ..... ok All tests successful. Files=18, Tests=1931, 0 wallclock secs ( 0.28 usr 0.03 sys + 0.36 cusr 0.06 csys = 0.73 CPU) Result: PASS # install (keep in mind file permission requirements, as described below) > make install
# download module > wget http://search.cpan.org/CPAN/authors/id/D/DR/DROLSKY/Params-Validate-0.95.tar.gz # unpack archive > tar xvfz Params-Validate-0.95.tar.gz > cd Params-Validate-0.95 # configure and compile > perl Build.PL Creating new 'MYMETA.yml' with configuration results Creating new 'Build' script for 'Params-Validate' version '0.95' > ./Build Building Params-Validate cc -Ic -I/home/martink/perl/5.10.0/lib/5.10.0/x86_64-linux/CORE -DXS_VERSION="0.95" -DVERSION="0.95" -fPIC -c -fno-strict-aliasing -pipe -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/include/gdbm -O2 -o lib/Params/Validate.o lib/Params/Validate.c ExtUtils::Mkbootstrap::Mkbootstrap('blib/arch/auto/Params/Validate/Validate.bs') cc -shared -O2 -o blib/arch/auto/Params/Validate/Validate.so lib/Params/Validate.o > ./Build test t/01-validate.t ............ ok t/02-noop.t ................ ok t/03-attribute.t ........... ok ... t/30-hashref-alteration.t .. ok t/kwalitee.t ............... skipped: This test is only run for the module author t/pod-coverage.t ........... skipped: This test is only run for the module author t/pod.t .................... skipped: This test is only run for the module author All tests successful. Files=32, Tests=497, 1 wallclock secs ( 0.10 usr 0.04 sys + 0.78 cusr 0.13 csys = 1.05 CPU) Result: PASS # install (keep in mind file permission requirements, as described below) > ./Build install
CPAN should work seamlessly. Many users have difficulty with the GD module, which has numerous dependencies. Paulo Nuin has a nice blog entry that shows how he handled his Mac OS X Circos installation.
About half of the support questions in the Google Group are about installing Perl's
GD module, which is the interface to the
libgd system graphics library.
The installation process is not robust because of dependencies and the possibility of their being different versions of these dependencies on your system. Below I show the process of installing
GD on a new Mac OS Mavericks system (10.9.4).
Below I link to my local copies of the versions of each library that I installed. These are mature libraries and newer versions are likely to be minor bug releases. The exception is
GD—I was unable to successfully compile v2.56 (
boot_GD symbol warning which I could not fix). However v2.53 worked.
> tar xvfz libpng-1.6.14.tar.gz > cd libpng-1.6.14 > ./configure —prefix=/usr/local > make > make install > tar xvfz jpegsrc.v9.tar.gz > cd jpeg-9 > ./configure —prefix=/usr/local > make > make install > tar xvfz freetype-2.4.0.tar.gz > cd freetype-2.4.0 > ./configure —prefix=/usr/local > make > make install
You should now have libraries in
/usr/local/lib as we as some header files in
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 650336 21 Nov 11:15 libfreetype.6.dylib -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 3676456 21 Nov 11:15 libfreetype.a lrwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 19 21 Nov 11:15 libfreetype.dylib -> libfreetype.6.dylib -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 957 21 Nov 11:15 libfreetype.la -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 275736 21 Nov 11:14 libjpeg.9.dylib -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 1492952 21 Nov 11:14 libjpeg.a lrwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 15 21 Nov 11:14 libjpeg.dylib -> libjpeg.9.dylib -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 920 21 Nov 11:14 libjpeg.la lrwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 10 21 Nov 11:13 libpng.a -> libpng16.a lrwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 14 21 Nov 11:13 libpng.dylib -> libpng16.dylib lrwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 11 21 Nov 11:13 libpng.la -> libpng16.la -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 240580 21 Nov 11:13 libpng16.16.dylib -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 1077240 21 Nov 11:13 libpng16.a lrwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 17 21 Nov 11:13 libpng16.dylib -> libpng16.16.dylib -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 924 21 Nov 11:13 libpng16.la drwxr-xr-x 6 root wheel 204 21 Nov 11:15 pkgconfig/
libgd, linking to the libraries installed above
> tar xvfz libgd-2.1.0.tar.gz > cd libgd-2.1.0 > ./configure --with-png=/usr/local --with-freetype=/usr/local --with-jpeg=/usr/local —prefix=/usr/local … ** Configuration summary for libgd 2.1.0: Support for Zlib: yes Support for PNG library: yes Support for JPEG library: yes Support for VPX library: no Support for TIFF library: no Support for Freetype 2.x library: yes Support for Fontconfig library: no Support for Xpm library: no Support for pthreads: yes … > make > make install
You now have libgd in
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 389372 19 Nov 14:47 libgd.3.dylib -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 1217200 19 Nov 14:47 libgd.a lrwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 13 19 Nov 14:47 libgd.dylib -> libgd.3.dylib -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 1139 19 Nov 14:47 libgd.la
as well as some binaries in
/usr/local/bin. In particular, you have
/usr/local/bin/glib-config, which provides the configuration for your libgd installation
--with-* parameters during the
configure stage of
gdlib installation sets the sources of the dependencies that will be build into
gdlib. If you used a different
-prefix in compiling these dependencies (see above), adjust these parameters accordingly. For example, if you compiled
-prefix=/my/path then use
> /usr/local/bin/gdlib-config —all GD library 2.1.0 includedir: /usr/local/include cflags: -I/usr/local/include ldflags: -L/usr/local/lib libs: -ljpeg -lz -L/usr/local/lib -lpng16 -L/usr/local/lib -lfreetype -lz -liconv libdir: /usr/local/lib features: GD_JPEG GD_FREETYPE GD_PNG GD_GIF GD_GIFANIM GD_OPENPOLYGON
You must have
GD_PNG for Circos to run. The other features, such as support for JPEG and TIFF are optional. In this example, I’ve included the JPEG library in the installation.
Now, install the Perl interface to libgd — the GD module.
> tar xvfz GD-2.53.tar.gz > perl Makefile.PL Configuring for libgd version 2.1.0. Checking for stray libgd header files...none found. Included Features: GD_JPEG GD_FREETYPE GD_PNG GD_GIF GD_GIFANIM GD_OPENPOLYGON GD library used from: /usr/local Checking if your kit is complete... Looks good Writing Makefile for GD Writing MYMETA.yml and MYMETA.json During the installation GD will look for libgd-config (see above) for libgd configuration. > make > make install > perl -MGD -e 'print $GD::VERSION,”\n”’ > 2.53
Test that the modules are installed using
> circos -modules … ok 0.39 Font::TTF::Font ok 2.53 GD ok 0.2 GD::Polyline ok 2.39 Getopt::Long ok 1.16 IO::File …
If you are missing a module, you'll see an error like the following when you run Circos.
*** REQUIRED MODULE(S) MISSING *** You are missing one or more Perl modules, or these modules failed to load. Use CPAN to install it as described in this tutorial http://www.circos.ca/documentation/tutorials/configuration/perl_and_modules missing List::MoreUtils
In the rare case that the internal error checking doesn't catch the missing module, you'll see something like this.
Can't locate List/MoreUtils.pm in @INC (@INC contains: /usr/lib/perl5/5.14.2/i386-linux -thread-multi/usr/lib/perl5/5.14.2/usr/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.14.2/i386-linux-thread-multi /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.14.2 /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl/usr/lib/perl5/vendor_perl /5.14.2/i386-linux-thread-multi /usr/lib/perl5/vendor_perl/5.14.2/usr/lib/perl5/vendor_ perl .) at ./bin/circos line 121.
In this case Perl is complaining that the module
cannot be found, which you'll need to install.
On UNIX systems, if during installation you obtain a file or directory creation permission error, you are likely attempting to write the module files into your system's perl install tree which is owned by root (administrative user).
... Running make test PERL_DL_NONLAZY=1 /usr/bin/perl "-MExtUtils::Command::MM" "-e" "test_harness(0, 'blib/lib', 'blib/arch')" t/*.t t/run....ok All tests successful. Files=1, Tests=68, 1 wallclock secs ( 0.27 cusr + 0.26 csys = 0.53 CPU) /usr/bin/make test -- OK Running make install mkdir /usr/local/share/man: Permission denied at /System/Library/Perl/ 5.8.8/ExtUtils/Install.pm line 112 make: *** [pure_site_install] Error 13 /usr/bin/make install -- NOT OK
Repeat the installation as root (administrator)
> sudo su > perl -MCPAN -e shell ...
makeon Mac OS X
If modules won't install because your system complains that it doesn't have
bash: make command not found
To test whether you have make
> which make /usr/bin/make
Sometimes an unsuccessful make can be due to an error during the compilation.
Could not make: Unknown error
If you know you have Xcode (
which make confirms this typically as
/usr/bin/make), but are having trouble installing the module with CPAN, install (or attempt to, paying close attention to the errors) the module manually.
For example, if
Params::Validate was giving problems,
> wget http://search.cpan.org/CPAN/authors/id/D/DR/DROLSKY/Params-Validate-0.95.tar.gz > tar xvfz Params-Validate-0.95.tar.gz > cd Params-Validate-0.95 > ./Build # pay attention to any the build errors in the next step > Build make