Clowder can be deployed in two ways. Users can either use Docker or manually install the core and required dependencies. The Docker method is the quickest method to run Clowder. It can be used for testing features and development. It can be used in production but most of the current production but it hasn’t been thoroughly tested. Production instances usually use the second method of installation Manual Installation. The only exception is that most extractors are deployed using Docker swarm.


To start using Clowder using docker you can use the provided docker compose file.

  • Install Docker.
  • Start up all required services with docker-compose up -d (detached mode).
  • To see the logs run docker-compose log -f.
  • To stop it execute docker-compose down in the same directory.

All commands need to be executed in the same directory as the Clowder docker compose file.

Manual Installation

Before installing Clowder make sure you have installed all the Requirements below.

Download and unzip a specific version: Latest stable version.

Customizations your deployment by creating a custom folder in the root folder and add a /custom/custom.conf and a /custom/play.plugins files within. Modifications included in these files will overwrite defaults in /conf/application.conf and /conf/play.plugins.

Do not make changes to the original files in /conf.

The /custom/play.plugins file describes all the additional plugins that should be enabled. This file can only add additional plugins, and is not capable of turning off any of the default ones enabled in /conf/play.plugins For example the following play.plugins file will enable some additional plugins:


/custom/custom.conf is used to overwrite any of the defaults configurations. Some common examples that are modified are:

# mongodb

# where to store the blobs (highly recommended)

# rabbitmq


# elasticsearch

# securesocial customization
# set this to true if using https
# this will make the default timeout be 8 hours

# google setup"""""magic""magic"""

# security options
application.secret="some magic string"


Following is a list of requirements for the Clowder software. Besides Java you can have all other services/software installed on other machines and can configure Clowder to communicate with these services. Items marked as always are hard requirements (Java and mongo), the others are only required if you want to enable certain features in Clowder.

  • Java 8 - required
    • The Clowder software is written in Scala and javascript and requires Java to execute.
    • Clowder has been tested with the OpenJDK.
    • Versions beyond 8 have not been tested.
  • MongoDB v3.4 - required
    • By default Clowder uses MongoDB to store most of the information within the system.
    • Versions above 3.4 have not been tested.
  • RabbitMQ (latest version) - optional
    • RabbitMQ is used to communicate between Clowder and the extractors. When deploying extractors it is required to deploy RabbitMQ as well.
  • ElasticSearch 2.x - optional
    • ElasticSearch is used for text based search by Clowder.
    • Versions above 2.x have not been tested.