The Virtual Brain Project

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Configuring TVB

The preferred method to configure TheVirtualBrain is from the web interface. See TVB Settings.

However if TheVirtualBrain is installed on a headless server (no GUI), then the web interface might not be available remotely. See Configuring a headless TVB.

Configuring a headless TVB

In order to configure TVB in a headless environment, create a file named .tvb.configuration in the home directory of the current OS user which is launching TheVirtualBrain. Copy the following content and edit it to suit your needs.

MAXIMUM_NR_OF_OPS_IN_RANGE=2000
URL_WEB=http://127.0.0.1:8080/
ADMINISTRATOR_EMAIL=jira.tvb@gmail.com
MATLAB_EXECUTABLE=/usr/bin/octave
MAXIMUM_NR_OF_THREADS=4
WEB_SERVER_PORT=8080
LAST_CHECKED_CODE_VERSION=6507
USR_DISK_SPACE=5242880
DEPLOY_CLUSTER=False
ADMINISTRATOR_NAME=admin
LAST_CHECKED_FILE_VERSION=2
URL_VALUE=sqlite:////home/tvb_user/TVB/tvb-database.db
ADMINISTRATOR_PASSWORD=[[md5 of password]]
SELECTED_DB=sqlite
MAXIMUM_NR_OF_VERTICES_ON_SURFACE=300000
TVB_STORAGE=/home/tvb_user/TVB

Usually one would change the web server port and domain. TheVirtualBrain will create a folder with project data named TVB (at the path specified by line starting with TVB_STORAGE). By default it is located in the users home directory. You can change the TVB_STORAGE to point to a different location.

Finally run the appropriate script for your platform (as described in the previous chapter), to launch TheVirtualBrain with the new settings.

Setting up a client/server configuration

This is for when you want one TheVirtualBrain instance to service many users via the web interface. In such a setup the console interfaces of tvb are not available to remote users.

It is likely that you will have to change http ports and the path where TheVirtualBrain will store project data. Depending on the processing power of the server you might want to adjust the maximum number of operations threads and vertices. You may also want to adjust the maximum disk quota for each tvb user.

In this highly concurrent setup we strongly recommended to use PostgreSQL as the metadata storage of TVB.

  1. You should install PostgreSQL DB, independently of TVB. For Windows user, see the next chapter on how this can be easily achieved.

  2. Create a database called tvb, in PostgreSQL

  3. Choose the postgres user that TVB will use to connect. Any user with rights over tvb database is ok. These are not tvb accounts but db accounts.

  4. Create a DB connection URI. Postgres URI’s in TVB have this general form

    postgresql+psycopg2://postgres:root@[postresql-server-host]:[postgres-port]/tvb?user=[user]&password=[postgres-pwd]
    # The angle bracketed expressions are placeholders that have to be replaced by values specific to your machine.
    
  5. Place the concrete connection URI in the TheVirtualBrain configuration using either the GUI or by editing the config file.

Installing PosgreSQL on Windows

Getting PostgreSQL database up and running isn’t too difficult on Windows:

  • Grab a copy for 32 or 64 bit from http://www.enterprisedb.com/products-services-training/pgdownload#windows

  • Install, noting the port number and user/pass. These will be later on needed in TVB, when writing the connection URL

  • [optional when using TVB Git repositories directly]
    • pip install psycopg2, with the PATH set correctly for your Python installation, or
    • grab and install from http://www.lfd.uci.edu/~gohlke/pythonlibs/#psycopg
    • test python -c “import psycopg2”, if ImportError, find libpq.dll (e.g. c://program files/postgresql/9.3/bin) and add it to the PATH.
  • open pgAdmin, right click databases, add a database named tvb, click ok, close pgadmin

  • stop, clean (this deletes all tvb previous data!) and start.
    • This cleanup is necessary if you have started TVB Distribution before and used sqlite DB.
    • in case you have important TVB data that should not be lost, you can always use Project Export, clean, restart, and then Project Import after the new DB backend has been set up.
  • in TVB GUI settings page, select postgresql, edit the port number (if not default 5432) and DB password in the DB connection URL

  • validate db (by using the GUI button). It should be ok, if not: look at the output in terminal to see more details.