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  • Mature release
  • Development: active
  • Support: active
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LGPL, Artistic License 2.0


About JBrowse

JBrowse is a genome browser with a fully dynamic AJAX interface, being developed as the eventual successor to GBrowse. It is very fast and scales well to large datasets. JBrowse is javascript-based and does almost all of its work directly in the user's web browser, with minimal requirements for the server.


  • Fast, smooth scrolling and zooming. Explore your genome with unparalleled speed.
  • Scales easily to multi-gigabase genomes and deep-coverage sequencing.
  • Supports GFF3, BED, FASTA, Wiggle, BigWig, BAM, VCF (with tabix), REST, and more. BAM, BigWig, and VCF data are displayed directly from the compressed binary file with no conversion needed.
  • Very light server resource requirements. In fact, JBrowse has no back-end server code, just tools for formatting data files to be read directly over HTTP. Serve huge datasets from a single low-cost cloud instance.

Visit the JBrowse website.


JBrowse alignment and coverage.png


Using JBrowse

The JBrowse Quick-Start Tutorial provides a basic step-by-step recipe for quickly getting up and running with JBrowse.

System Requirements

JBrowse requires libpng, Zlib, and GD development libraries, plus make and a C compiler. On Ubuntu, you can install these prerequisites using the command:

 sudo apt-get install libpng-dev libgd2-noxpm-dev build-essential

For tips on installing these baseline libraries, see JBrowse Troubleshooting.


The JBrowse Quick-Start Tutorial provides a basic step-by-step recipe for quickly getting up and running with JBrowse.

1. Download JBrowse onto your web server.

2. Unpack JBrowse into a directory that is served by your web browser. On many systems, this defaults to /var/www.

   cd /var/www
   unzip JBrowse-*.zip

Make sure you have permissions to write to the contents of the jbrowse/ directory you have just created.

3. Run the automated-setup script, ./setup.sh, which will attempt to install all of JBrowse's (modest) prerequisites for you in the jbrowse/ directory itself. Note that setup.sh does not need to be run as root or with sudo. For help troubleshooting failures of setup.sh, see JBrowse Troubleshooting.

4. Visit JBrowse on your machine, substituting the http://(your_machine/path_to_jbrowse)/index.html?data=sample_data/json/volvox. If you can see the included Volvox example data, you are ready to configure JBrowse to show your own data!


See the JBrowse Configuration Guide for information on:

Additional topics:

Upgrading JBrowse

To upgrade an existing JBrowse (1.3.0 or later) to the latest version, simply move its data directory (and jbrowse_conf.json if you are using it) into the directory of a newer JBrowse, and the new JBrowse will display that data.

To upgrade a 1.2.x JBrowse, copy its data directory into the new JBrowse directory, and point your browser at compat_121.html in the new JBrowse directory, instead of index.html.

If you are upgrading from a version of JBrowse older than 1.2.0, a fresh installation is required.


Publications, Tutorials, and Presentations

Publications on or mentioning JBrowse

  • JBrowse: a next-generation genome browser (2009)[1]
  • Setting up the JBrowse genome browser (2010)[2]
  • Visualizing next-generation sequencing data with JBrowse (2013)[3]
  • JBrowse: a dynamic web platform for genome visualization and analysis (2016)[4]


JBrowse Tutorial covering installation and configuration
part of the 2013 GMOD Summer School
Getting Started with JBrowse Tutorial
part of the JBrowse documentation
Exploration of structural variation in the tomato clade using JBrowse
Tutorial explaining how to browse structural variants from the 150+ tomato genome resequencing project using JBrowse


Contacts and Mailing Lists

Please direct questions and inquiries regarding JBrowse to the mailing lists below.Requests for help should be directed to gmod-ajax@lists.sourceforge.net.

Mailing List Link Description Archive(s)
JBrowse gmod-ajax JBrowse help and general questions. Nabble (2010/05+), Sourceforge
jbrowse-dev JBrowse development discussions. Nabble (2011/08+)

JBrowse in the wild

Public installations of JBrowse:

JBrowse Development

Current status

The JBrowse source code repository is kept on GitHub. Please feel very free to fork the code on GitHub and make modifications and improvements, submitting pull requests. GitHub has a very nice tutorial on how to get started with this style of development.

More on JBrowse

See Category:JBrowse

  1. *JBrowse: a next-generation genome browser
  2. *Setting up the JBrowse genome browser
  3. * Visualizing next-generation sequencing data with JBrowse
  4. * JBrowse: a dynamic web platform for genome visualization and analysis