Step 0. System requirement

Currently BABS supports applications on high performance computing (HPC) clusters, specifically, Sun Grid Engine (SGE) and Slurm clusters. Please make sure Singularity or one of its successors (i.e. SingularityCE or Apptainer which BABS currently supports) is available on the cluster.

Currently, BABS is not compatible with:

  • cloud-based computing platforms (e.g., Amazon Web Services [AWS]);

  • local computers where a job scheduling system or Singularity software is not installed;

  • computing nodes without job scheduling systems.

Step 1. Prepare a conda environment for BABS

After installing conda, let's initialize a new environment (e.g., named babs) where we can install BABS:

conda create -n babs python=3.9.16
conda activate babs

Step 2. Install dependent software

Required dependencies

BABS is dependent on DataLad, DataLad extension datalad-container, Git, and git-annex. Below is an example way of installing dependent software on Linux system:

# Install DataLad, Git, and git-annex:
conda install -c conda-forge datalad git git-annex

# Install datalad-container:
pip install datalad_container

If commands above do not work out, please refer to Installation reference for alternative and updated ways.

Before proceeding, make sure your Git identity has been configured. You can check whether this has already been done via:

git config --get
git config --get

If this returns nothing, you need to configure your Git identity:

git config --global "John Doe"
git config --global

Please replace "John Doe" and with your name and your email. You only need to do this step once on a given system.

Optional dependencies

Besides required software listed above, you also need to install datalad-osf only if:

  • if you're an end user and your input DataLad dataset is on OSF;

  • or if you're a developer and you will be running our pytest;

How to install datalad-osf:

# Install datalad-osf:
pip install datalad-osf

# Provide your OSF credentials (token) - this step is very important!
datalad osf-credentials

Check if you have everything installed and up-to-date


Before moving on, please check if you have up-to-date required dependencies! Sometimes although dependent software has been installed, the version might be too old or not up-to-date, causing future errors hard to debug.

Check dependencies' versions using commands below:

# required dependencies:
datalad --version
git --version
git-annex version
datalad containers-add --version

# optional dependencies:
datalad osf-credentials --version

Step 3. Install BABS

Way 2: Install from GitHub


The version you will install from GitHub might be an unstable version. Therefore installing from GitHub is not the recommended way for end users, unless you're specifically looking for an unstable version that's not available on PyPI.

To install BABS from GitHub:

git clone
cd babs
pip install .   # for end user

# You may remove the original source code if you are an end user:
cd ..
rm -r babs

If you are a developer, and if there is any update in the source code locally, you may update the installation with:

# Suppose you are in root directory of babs source code:
pip install -e .    # for developer to update

If you are a developer and you'd like to run our pytest locally, please install BABS in the following way so that necessary packages for our testing infrastructure will also be installed: pip install -e .[tests].

Step 4. (Optional) Check BABS version

You can use command below to check the BABS version you installed:

pip show babs