What Happens When I Install LabKey? (Windows Graphical Installer Only)

When you install LabKey, the following components are installed on your computer:

  • The Apache Tomcat web server, version 7
  • The Java Runtime Environment (JRE), version 1.8
  • The PostgreSQL database server, version 9.5 If you install manually, you may choose to run LabKey against Microsoft SQL Server instead.
  • The LabKey web application components
  • Additional third-party components. These are installed to the /bin directory of your LabKey installation.
When you install LabKey, your computer becomes a web server. This means that if your computer is publicly visible on the internet, or on an intranet, other users will be able to view your LabKey home page. The default security settings for LabKey ensure that no other pages in your LabKey installation will be visible to users unless you specify that they should be. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the LabKey security model before you begin adding data and information to LabKey, so that you understand how to specify which users will be able to view it or modify it. For more information on securing LabKey, see Security.

The LabKey Graphical Installer will attempt install PostgreSQL on your computer. If you are already using PostgreSQL, LabKey can use that installation, but you will need to install LabKey manually.

What Happens to Existing Components When I Upgrade LabKey? (Windows Installer Only)

All included components are automatically upgraded. The installer will notify you of any Postgres, Tomcat, or Java upgrades that must be performed.

  • The Apache Tomcat web server
    • Upgrading an existing LabKey Server will upgrade the Tomcat version automatically.
    • Tomcat configuration files and service settings may not be automatically transferred. If you have done some manual configuration of the Tomcat installation included with LabKey server, those changes may need to be transferred manually (see http://tomcat.apache.org/migration.html)
  • The Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
    • Upgrading an existing LabKey Server will upgrade the JRE installed by the previous LabKey installer to JRE 1.8.
    • The LabKey Server installer will ignore any externally installed JRE.
  • The PostgreSQL database server
    • Upgrading an existing LabKey Server will upgrade the PostgeSQL version automatically.
    • To support the 8.* versions of the Postgres installer, old versions of the LabKey installer required manual configuration of the Postgres service user. The creation of this user is now automatic and any old service user will be deleted during the upgrade.
  • The LabKey web application components
    • These are upgraded automatically.
  • Additional third-party components.
    • These are upgraded automatically. They are installed to the /bin directory of your LabKey installation.
    • Any manually added components must be re-added after upgrading.

What System Resources are Required for Running LabKey?

LabKey is a web application that runs on Tomcat and accesses a PostgreSQL or Microsoft SQL Server database server. The resource requirements for the web application itself are minimal, but the computer on which you install LabKey must have sufficient resources to run Tomcat and the database server (unless you are connecting to a remote database server, which is also an option). The performance of your LabKey system will depend on the load placed on the system, but in general a modern server-level system running Windows or a Unix-based operating system should be sufficient.

We recommend the following resources as the minimum for running LabKey Server:

  • Processor: a high-performing CPU such as an Intel i7 quad core or similar
  • Physical memory: 4 gigabyte RAM or more
  • Disk space: 10 gigabyte hard drive space free
Note: An active LabKey system that processes, stores, and analyzes a large quantity of assay, study, and/or specimen data may require significantly more resources. For example, one production deployment that manage a large number of studies is configured with 16 cores, 64GB RAM, and many terabytes of storage.

What Else Should I Install?


For most users, we recommend installing R after you have finished installing LabKey Server. R is not included as part of the LabKey Server installers, but it is a prerequisite for using LabKey Server's R features, including the built-in scripting interface.

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