After installation is complete, EnTAP must be configured for use. This stage will simply download and configure the necessary databases for full functionality. Configuration can be ran at anytime by a user or the system admin if they would like to update databases. It is in the installation section because it might be a bit easier to setup common databases beforehand that can be shared by multiple users.

I’ll break this up into two sections, Ini File and Usage. The Ini File section will just describe how to ensure EnTAP is reading from the correct paths, which can be easily changed in the entap_config.ini (more on that later!). It will also go over the directories included in the installation. The Usage sections will go over the basic usage during the Configuration stage of EnTAP and how to setup reference databases.

Ini File

From here on out, the “execution”, or “EnTAP”, directory will refer to the directory containing the EnTAP install (or binary file). Typically, this will just be at the root directory that was downloaded from the repository. All paths mentioned in this documentation will be relative to this directory.

Why is this important? EnTAP relies on several accompanying software packages and databases in order to run properly. Correct recognition of these paths is crucial and, as such, needed an entire section! The entap_config.ini is the answer to this pathing issue. It contains all of the necessary paths required for EnTAP (among many other commands) to run and can be configured as seen fit.

When a user is trying to execute EnTAP, they must specify the path to this ini file with the ini flag. By default, the ini file comes with some preset paths based on the installation directory. However, these should be checked for validity. If the ini file is not specified and there is not one in the working directory, an empty entap_config.ini will be generated with the following presets for execution paths. The ini file contains many other commands, but only the execution paths are required for configuration (specifically DIAMOND), so I will get to the others later on.

  • diamond-exe=/EnTAP/libs/diamond-0.9.9/bin/diamond
  • rsem-sam-validator=/EnTAP/libs/RSEM-1.3.0/rsem-sam-validator
  • rsem-calculate-expression=/EnTAP/libs/RSEM-1.3.0/rsem-calculate-expression
  • rsem-prepare-reference=/EnTAP/libs/RSEM-1.3.0/rsem-prepare-reference
  • rsem-convert-sam-for-rsem=/EnTAP/libs/RSEM-1.3.0/convert-sam-for-rsem
  • genemarkst-exe=/EnTAP/libs/gmst_linux_64/
  • transdecoder-long-exe=EnTAP/libs/TransDecoder-v5.3.0/TransDecoder.LongOrfs
  • transdecoder-predict-exe=EnTAP/libs/TransDecoder-v5.3.0/TransDecoder.Predict

If something is globally installed, such as “interproscan-exe” above, put how you’d normally run the software after the ‘=’. As an example, running DIAMOND through a global installation may simply be “diamond”. The Ini File line for DIAMOND will simply read:

  • diamond-exe=diamond


Be sure to at least set the DIAMOND path before moving on

Preparing Your Reference Databases

All source databases must be provided in FASTA format (protein) so that they can be indexed for use by DIAMOND. This can be completed independent of EnTAP with DIAMOND (- - makedb flag) or as part of the Configuration phase of EnTAP. This section will focus on downloading and preparing some of the more common FASTA source databases. If you already have DIAMOND databases configured, you can skip to Running Configuration. Even if you have a DIAMOND database already configured, Configuration must still be ran!

While any protein FASTA database can be used, it is recommended to use NCBI (Genbank) sourced databases such as RefSeq databases or NR. In addition, EnTAP can easily accept EBI databases such as UniProt/SwissProt.

EnTAP can recognize the species information from these header formats ONLY (NCBI and UniProt):

  • [homo sapiens]
  • OS=homo sapiens

If the individual FASTAs in a custom database you create do not adhere to one of these two formats, it will not be possible to weight taxonomic or contaminant status from them. You will need to change the headers to ensure they align.

The following FTP sites contain common reference databases that EnTAP can recognize:

Both Uniprot databases (SwissProt and TrEMBL) can be downloaded on a Unix system through the following command:


Or, for the TrEMBL database:


Alternatively, the NCBI databases must be downloaded in separate, smaller files, and concatenated together. As an example, the following commands will download and combine the NR database files:




tar -xvzf nr.*

cat nr.* > nr_database.fasta

It is generally recommended that a user select at least three databases with varying levels of curation. Unless the species is very non-model (i.e. does not have close relatives in databases such as RefSeq, it is not necessary to use the full NR database which is less curated). Once your FASTA databases are ready, move on to Running Configuration.

Running Configuration

Once you have your protein FASTA database ready, you can begin to run the Configuration stage. As mentioned before, Configuration will only need to be run once prior to Execution unless you would like to configure/update more databases.

To run configuration with a FASTA database to output directory path/to/output (default is current working directory), the command is as follows (additional databases can be specified if necessary with the -d flag and threads with the -t flag):

EnTAP --config -d path/to/database.fasta -d path/to/database2.fasta --out-dir path/to/output -t 8

Configuration can be run without formatting a FASTA database for DIAMOND is as follows with 8 threads:

EnTAP --config -t 8


This is the only stage that requires connection to the Internet.

In both cases, the following databases will be downloaded and configured:


Either the EnTAP binary database (default) or the EnTAP SQL database is required for execution. Both are not needed.

The EnTAP Binary Database is downloaded from the FTP addresses below. By default, the binary version will be downloaded and used. Only one version is required. If you experience any trouble in downloading, you can simply specify the - - data-generate flag during Configuration to configure it locally (more on that later). The database for the newest version of EnTAP will always reside in the “latest” FTP directory. Keep in mind, if you are using an older version of EnTAP, you do not want to download from the “latest” directory. Instead, you will need to consider the version you are using. The FTP will always be updated only when a new database version is created. For example, if you see v0.8.2 and v0.8.5 on the FTP while you are using v0.8.3, you will download the database located in the v0.8.2 directory.


DIAMOND databases must be configured and eventually executed with the same version of DIAMOND.