Recording Job Metrics


question Questions
objectives Objectives
  • What are job metrics?

  • What sort of information can I collect?

  • Where can I find this information?

requirements Requirements

time Time estimation: 15 minutes

Supporting Materials

last_modification Last modification: Jun 16, 2020


Job metrics record properties of the jobs that are executed, information that can help you plan for trainings or plan capacity for further expansions of your Galaxy server.


  1. Metrics
    1. Setting up Galaxy
    2. Generating Metrics
    3. What should I collect?
    4. Accessing the data


Galaxy includes a built-in framework to collect job metrics and store these in its database. Some work was done to try and analyse job runtime metrics to optimise cluster allocation based on job inputs, and enhance job submission (Tyryshkina et al. 2019). More work will be done in this area.

comment Note

Job metrics are only visible to Galaxy admin users, unless you set expose_potentially_sensitive_job_metrics: true, like does. EU’s intention with this is to empower users and make everything as transparent as possible.

Setting up Galaxy

By default, Galaxy enables the core metrics:

screenshot of galaxy metrics

These include very basic submission parameters. We want more information!

hands_on Hands-on: Setting up the job metrics file

  1. Create the file templates/galaxy/config/job_metrics_conf.xml.j2 with the following contents:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
      <core />
      <cpuinfo />
      <meminfo />
      <uname />
      <env />
      <cgroup />
     <hostname />

    You can see the sample file for further options regarding metrics.

  2. Edit your playbook to install the package named cgroup-tools in a pre-task (with git/make/etc). This package is required to use cgget which is used in metrics collection.

  3. Edit the group variables file, group_vars/galaxyservers.yml:

    You’ll need to make two edits:

    • Setting the job_metrics_config_file, to tell Galaxy where to look for the job metrics configuration.
    • Adding the file to the list of galaxy_config_templates to deploy it to the server:
    --- galaxyservers.yml.old
    +++ galaxyservers.yml
    +     job_metrics_config_file: "{{ galaxy_config_dir }}/job_metrics_conf.xml"
          brand: "My Galaxy"
          database_connection: "postgresql:///galaxy?host=/var/run/postgresql"
    @@ -120,6 +121,8 @@ gie_proxy_setup_service: systemd
     gie_proxy_sessions_path: "{{ galaxy_mutable_data_dir }}/interactivetools_map.sqlite"
    +  - src: templates/galaxy/config/job_metrics_conf.xml.j2
    +    dest: "{{ galaxy_config.galaxy.job_metrics_config_file }}"
       - src: templates/galaxy/config/tool_conf_interactive.xml
         dest: "{{ galaxy_config_dir }}/tool_conf_interactive.xml"
       - src: templates/galaxy/config/job_conf.xml
  4. Run the playbook

    ansible-playbook galaxy.yml

Generating Metrics

With this, the job metrics tracking should be set up. Now when you run a job, you will see many more metrics:

hands_on Hands-on: Generate some metrics

  1. Run a job (any tool is fine, even upload)

  2. View the information of the output dataset (galaxy-info)

advanced metrics

What should I collect?

There is not a good rule we can tell you, just choose what you think is useful or will be. Numeric parameters are “cheaper” than the text parameters like uname to store, eventually you may find yourself wanting to remove old job metrics if you decide to collect the environment variables or similar.

Accessing the data

You can access the data via BioBlend (JobsClient.get_metrics), or via SQL with gxadmin

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about this tutorial? Check out the FAQ page for the Galaxy Server administration topic to see if your question is listed there. If not, please ask your question on the GTN Gitter Channel or the Galaxy Help Forum


  1. Tyryshkina, A., N. Coraor, and A. Nekrutenko, 2019 Predicting runtimes of bioinformatics tools based on historical data: five years of Galaxy usage (J. Wren, Ed.). Bioinformatics 35: 3453–3460. 10.1093/bioinformatics/btz054


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Citing this Tutorial

  1. Helena Rasche, 2020 Recording Job Metrics (Galaxy Training Materials). /archive/2021-05-01/topics/admin/tutorials/job-metrics/tutorial.html Online; accessed TODAY
  2. Batut et al., 2018 Community-Driven Data Analysis Training for Biology Cell Systems 10.1016/j.cels.2018.05.012

details BibTeX

    author = "Helena Rasche",
    title = "Recording Job Metrics (Galaxy Training Materials)",
    year = "2020",
    month = "06",
    day = "16"
    url = "\url{/archive/2021-05-01/topics/admin/tutorials/job-metrics/tutorial.html}",
    note = "[Online; accessed TODAY]"
        doi = {10.1016/j.cels.2018.05.012},
        url = {},
        year = 2018,
        month = {jun},
        publisher = {Elsevier {BV}},
        volume = {6},
        number = {6},
        pages = {752--758.e1},
        author = {B{\'{e}}r{\'{e}}nice Batut and Saskia Hiltemann and Andrea Bagnacani and Dannon Baker and Vivek Bhardwaj and Clemens Blank and Anthony Bretaudeau and Loraine Brillet-Gu{\'{e}}guen and Martin {\v{C}}ech and John Chilton and Dave Clements and Olivia Doppelt-Azeroual and Anika Erxleben and Mallory Ann Freeberg and Simon Gladman and Youri Hoogstrate and Hans-Rudolf Hotz and Torsten Houwaart and Pratik Jagtap and Delphine Larivi{\`{e}}re and Gildas Le Corguill{\'{e}} and Thomas Manke and Fabien Mareuil and Fidel Ram{\'{\i}}rez and Devon Ryan and Florian Christoph Sigloch and Nicola Soranzo and Joachim Wolff and Pavankumar Videm and Markus Wolfien and Aisanjiang Wubuli and Dilmurat Yusuf and James Taylor and Rolf Backofen and Anton Nekrutenko and Björn Grüning},
        title = {Community-Driven Data Analysis Training for Biology},
        journal = {Cell Systems}

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