bcl2fastq license


Workflows such as cellranger_workflow, spaceranger_workflow and dropseq_workflow provide the option of running bcl2fastq. We provide dockers containing bcl2fastq that are accessible only by members of the Broad Institute. Non-Broad Institute members will have to provide their own docker images. Please note that if you’re a Broad Institute member and are not able to pull the docker image, please check https://app.terra.bio/#groups to see that you’re a member of the all_broad_users group. If not, please contact Terra support and ask to be added to the all_broad_users@firecloud.org group.


In this example, we create a docker image on Google Cloud (GCP) for running cellranger mkfastq version 7.1.0. For AWS users, you should use AWS Elastic Container Registry (ECR) for this purpose.

  1. Create a GCP project or reuse an existing project.

  2. Enable the Google Container Registry.

  3. Ensure you have Docker installed

  4. Prepare your Dockerfile with the following content:

    FROM cumulusprod/cellranger:7.1.0
    SHELL ["/bin/bash", "-c"]
    RUN apt-get update && \
        apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends zlib1g-dev
    ADD bcl2fastq2-v2-20-0-tar.zip /software/
    RUN cd /software && \
        unzip -d /software/ /software/bcl2fastq2-v2-20-0-tar.zip && \
        tar -zxf /software/bcl2fastq2-v2.20.0.422-Source.tar.gz
    ENV C_INCLUDE_PATH=/usr/include/x86_64-linux-gnu
    ENV INSTALL_DIR=/usr/local/bcl2fastq
    ENV SOURCE=/software/bcl2fastq
    ENV BUILD=/software/bcl2fastq-build
    RUN mkdir ${BUILD} && \
        cd ${BUILD} && \
        chmod ugo+x ${SOURCE}/src/configure && \
        chmod ugo+x ${SOURCE}/src/cmake/bootstrap/installCmake.sh && \
        ${SOURCE}/src/configure --prefix=${INSTALL_DIR} && \
        make && \
        make install && \
        rm -rf /software/bcl2fastq-build
  5. From Illumina website, download bcl2fastq Linux tarball format source code to the same folder where your Dockerfile lives.

  6. In the same folder where your Dockerfile lives, build, tag, and push the docker image. Remember to replace PROJECT_ID with your GCP project id:

    docker build -t cellranger:7.1.0 .
    docker tag cellranger:7.1.0 gcr.io/PROJECT_ID/cellranger:7.1.0
    docker push gcr.io/PROJECT_ID/cellranger:7.1.0
  7. Import cellranger_workflow workflow to your workspace (see cellranger_workflow steps), and enter your docker registry URL (in this example, "gcr.io/PROJECT_ID") in mkfastq_docker_registry field of cellranger_workflow inputs.

Similarly for other workflows, just change FROM part in your Dockerfile. We provide a list of images containing only open-source softwares on Docker Hub under cumulusprod organization.

AWS users simply need to push the docker images to their AWS ECR registry, i.e. replace gcr.io/PROJECT_ID by ECR project ID (e.g. ACCOUNT_ID.dkr.ecr.REGION.amazonaws.com, where ACCOUNT_ID and REGION should be replaced by the actual AWS account ID and region).

Build with bcl2fastq rpm package

On Illumina website, there is also a Linux rpm format package of bcl2fastq which has a much smaller size.

You may switch to a RedHat/Fedora image base to build your bcl2fastq docker with this rpm package, as all Cumulus docker images are based on Debian.

If using a Debian based image, however, this way no longer works for Debian 11 (Bullseye) or later, equivalently Ubuntu 20.04 or later. Thus you need to switch to an earlier image base, as all Cumulus docker images built since 2021 are all based on Debian 11.

Below shows an example code on installing bcl2fastq from its Linux rpm package in Dockerfile:

RUN apt-get update && apt-get install --no-install-recommends -y alien unzip
ADD bcl2fastq2-v2-20-0-linux-x86-64.zip /software/
RUN unzip -d /software/ /software/bcl2fastq2-v2-20-0-linux-x86-64.zip && alien -i /software/bcl2fastq2-v2.20.0.422-Linux-x86_64.rpm && rm /software/bcl2fastq2-v2*

Besides, you also need to install Google Cloud CLI and 10x Cell Ranger (or Space Ranger for spaceranger_workflow) in your Dockerfile by yourself.