The dashboard can be started with rse start

$ rse start
INFO:rse.main:Database: filesystem
INFO:engineio.server:Server initialized for threading.
Research Software Encyclopedia: running on

By default, it will deploy the dashboard to localhost:5000. The dashboard will show a cards view of your repositories, with an option to filter by GitHub tags.


When the application starts, it will initialize the encyclopedia and database, so you should either be in the same directory as a rse.ini (the root of the repository that you want to annotate) or define the variable in either of the following ways:

$ rse start --config_file /path/to/rse.ini


export RSE_CONFIG_FILE=/path/to/rse.ini

The interface is not currently hugely useful, but is going to be developed to allow for an annotation session.


You can customize the port with --port:

$ rse start --port 8000

For development, you’ll need to add --debug:

$ rse start --debug

Development mode means that the views (front and back) refresh with changes, which won’t happen otherwise.

Python Interaction

The server can also be run by calling the start function directly, and providing a client to a research encyclopedia:

from rse.app.server import start
from rse.main import Encyclopedia

client = Encyclopedia(config_file="/path/to/rse.ini")
start(debug=True, client=client, port=5000)

You can also call from the server script directly:

$ python rse/app/server.py

This would be equivalent to calling the start command with defaults.

Secret Key

The server requires a secret key, and scripts have been provided to generate one for you. For example we can run:

$ rse generate-key

and export this to RSE_SERVER_KEY on your host:

export RSE_SERVER_KEY=8RI$5rs|bIP=e#,,ZJ^iTAG$/Ax5hl@@HHg}fdt:hGB^MI)=NY

and it will be detected in the environment. You could also do:

$ export RSE_SERVER_KEY=$(rse generate-key)

If you use the research software encyclopedia in a container, you should provide the key as an environment variable on start.

$ docker run -it --entrypoint /bin/bash --env RSE_SERVER_KEY=mysecretkey --rm -p 5000:5000 quay.io/vanessa/rse 


If you want to look at server logs for the dashboard, they will be printed by defualt to the root of your repository alongside the rse.ini file in a file called dashboard.log:

$ cat dashboard.log 
Starting Thread
2020-05-16 16:13:29,555 - rse.app.server - DEBUG - Client connected
2020-05-16 16:13:29,555 - rse.app.server - DEBUG - Starting Thread
2020-05-16 16:13:33,644 - rse.app.server - DEBUG - Client connected

You might next want to browse tutorials available.