How do I report ElasticBLAST problems?

Please see Support.

How do I figure out what happened with my failed jobs?

If the elastic-blast status command reports a jobs as having failed, please re-run the command with the additional --verbose option, which will print more information about the jobs that failed. You can ignore the message about reporting the failure unless you find the message with --verbose unhelpful.

In the example below, an invalid BLAST+ option was specified. The error message from the blastn executable returned with the --verbose option should be sufficient for a user to correct the issue.

elastic-blast status --cfg bad_options.ini --verbose
Your ElasticBLAST search failed, please help us improve ElasticBLAST by reporting this failure as described in
blastn [-h] [-help] [-import_search_strategy filename]
 [-export_search_strategy filename] [-task task_name] [-db database_name]
 [-dbsize num_letters] [-gilist filename] [-seqidlist filename]
 [-negative_gilist filename] [-negative_seqidlist filename]
 [-taxids taxids] [-negative_taxids taxids] [-taxidlist filename]
 [-negative_taxidlist filename] [-entrez_query entrez_query]

This example applies to AWS only.

Other messages, besides incorrect BLAST options, may be reported with --verbose The example below will only occur at AWS.

  JobArn: arn:aws:batch:us-east-1:1234567890:job/d785c584-ea43-40a0-a781-4575628ea84e
  JobName: elasticblast-cronaldo-blastx-batch-nr-job-17
  StatusReason: Essential container in task exited
  ContainerExitCode: 0
  RuntimeInSeconds: 545.741
Failed 3
  JobArn: arn:aws:batch:us-east-1:1234567890:job/464cb1cc-04be-44e5-87a1-e466c41712f3
  JobName: elasticblast-cronaldo-blastx-batch-nr-job-0
  StatusReason: Task failed to start
  ContainerReason: DockerTimeoutError: Could not transition to created; timed out after waiting 4m0s
  JobArn: arn:aws:batch:us-east-1:1234567890:job/d5cc71e3-cf39-4cdf-b638-efa2db20137a
  JobName: elasticblast-cronaldo-blastx-batch-nr-job-10
  StatusReason: Task failed to start
  ContainerReason: DockerTimeoutError: Could not transition to created; timed out after waiting 4m0s
  JobArn: arn:aws:batch:us-east-1:1234567890:job/0227d96d-f347-4c4b-afee-0b372585a907
  JobName: elasticblast-cronaldo-blastx-batch-nr-job-12
  StatusReason: Task failed to start
  ContainerReason: DockerTimeoutError: Could not transition to created; timed out after waiting 4m0s

If you would like additional detail and have the AWS CLI SDK installed, please run the command below passing the JobArn from the output above:

aws batch describe-jobs --jobs ${YOUR_JOB_ARN_HERE}

How do I see resources created by ElasticBLAST?

If you are running ElasticBLAST on GCP:

Please check the GCP web console or run the commands below:

gcloud container clusters list
gcloud compute disks list

If you are running ElasticBLAST on AWS:

Please check the AWS web console or run the commands below:

aws cloudformation describe-stacks --stack-name elasticblast-${USER} --output text
aws ec2 describe-instances --filter Name=tag:billingcode,Values=elastic-blast Name=tag:Owner,Values=${USER} --query "Reservations[*].Instances[*].InstanceId" --output text

My search seems to be stalled

Run the commands below to see what is running in your GCP GKE cluster:

kubectl describe pv,pvc
kubectl logs --timestamps --since=24h --tail=-1 -l app=setup -c get-blastdb
kubectl logs --timestamps --since=24h --tail=-1 -l app=setup -c import-query-batches
kubectl logs --timestamps --since=24h --tail=-1 -l app=blast -c load-blastdb-into-ram
kubectl logs --timestamps --since=24h --tail=-1 -l app=blast -c blast
kubectl logs --timestamps --since=24h --tail=-1 -l app=blast -c results-export
kubectl logs --timestamps --since=24h --tail=-1 -l app=janitor
kubectl get pods -o name -l app=blast | sed 's,pod/,,' | xargs -t -I{} kubectl exec {} -c blast -- top -n1 -cb
kubectl get pods -o name -l app=blast | sed 's,pod/,,' | xargs -t -I{} kubectl exec {} -c blast -- ps aux

If you want to stop the search, run the command below to delete all cloud resources created by ElasticBLAST. Your input file(s) will not be modified.

elastic-blast delete --cfg ${CONFIG_FILE}

I cannot find python or an expected version when I run elastic-blast


python --version

to see which version of python you have (or if it’s even installed). If python is not found or it is not one of the supported versions (3.7 or 3.8), you will need to install it (3.8 recommended).

My cloud shell session got disconnected

If your cloud shell session gets disconnected while elastic-blast submit or elastic-blast delete is running, we recommend you check the status of the search via elastic-blast status and delete it if it is not running.

This will prevent unnecessary charges that may result from an ElasticBLAST search that was not properly submitted or deleted. Please see clean up cloud resources for GCP or clean up cloud resources for AWS for details.

I get a message about not being able write into the bucket with submit command

Things to check:

  • You are logged in with the correct account (e.g., your institutional GCP account and not your personal gmail account). Check this with:

gcloud config get-value account
  • The bucket URI (in the “results” field of the config file) starts with gs://. For example, the bucket URI should be gs://sarahtest but instead you have “sarahtest”.

  • The bucket URI is correct and you have permission to write to it. The GCP page on bucket permissions is at but it is probably easiest to try and copy a file into your bucket with:

date > date.txt
gsutil cp date.txt ${YOUR_RESULTS_BUCKET}

I get a message about a project not existing

Things to check:

  • Make sure you are using the GCP project ID. Every GCP project has a name, an ID and a number. The ID consist of lower-case letters and dashes and possibly numbers. The project number is simply an integer. See all three by going to your dashboard at

I see ‘AccessDeniedException’ errors in the log file

If you see error message(s) similar to the one below:

AccessDeniedException: 403 HttpError accessing <>: response: <{'x-guploader-uploadid': 'ABg5-Uw9u0gHzPyMeFeaQFUgPaHW5bgVbUbPs2rlk9yr6vPEbif6MainD6pvytbh7IAj82KJYlnVrpndRQ3fm3y5Dy8', 'content-type': 'text/html; charset=UTF-8', 'date': 'Tue, 16 Feb 2021 19:55:30 GMT', 'vary': 'Origin, X-Origin', 'expires': 'Tue, 16 Feb 2021 19:55:30 GMT', 'cache-control': 'private, max-age=0', 'content-length': '128', 'server': 'UploadServer', 'status': '403'}>, content < does not have storage.objects.get access to the Google Cloud Storage object.>

Run the command below and check whether the service account is listed.

gsutil iam get ${YOUR_RESULTS_BUCKET}

If it is not listed, you may need to run a command along the lines of the examples below (only one of them, both are not required). Please refer to the GCP documentation for further details.

gsutil iam set ${YOUR_RESULTS_BUCKET}
gsutil iam set user:${YOUR_GCP_ACCOUNT_ADDRESS}:roles/storage.admin ${YOUR_RESULTS_BUCKET}

Project X has no network named “default”

If you see error message below, where X is your GCP project name, you need to configure ElasticBLAST with the GCP network and sub-network to use.

ERROR: (gcloud.container.clusters.create) ResponseError: code=400, message=Project "X" has no network named "default".

Please refer to their respective configuration entries for information on how to configure these:

Cannot create resource “clusterrolebindings”

If you see the error message below, where USERNAME is your GCP user, group, or service account name, you need to grant additional permissions to said user/service account.

ERROR: The command "kubectl --context=[...] -f/lib/python3.9/site-packages/elastic_blast/templates/elb-janitor-rbac.yaml" returned with exit code 1
Error from server (Forbidden): error when creating "/lib/python3.9/site-packages/elastic_blast/templates/elb-janitor-rbac.yaml": is forbidden: User "USERNAME" cannot create resource "clusterrolebindings" in API group "" at the cluster scope: requires one of ["container.clusterRoleBindings.create"] permission(s).

You can grant the required permissions using the provided script.

Please keep in mind that disabling this feature requires you to invoke “elastic-blast delete” to avoid incurring charges after ElasticBLAST has completed its operation or failed.

I got a quota error for CPUs

If you get an error like the one below, you will have to either request an increase in your CPU quota or reduce the resources requested in your ElasticBLAST configuration.

(gcloud.container.clusters.create) ResponseError: code=403,
message=Insufficient regional quota to satisfy request:
resource "CPUS": request requires '32.0' and is short '8.0'.
project has a quota of '24.0' with '24.0' available.
View and manage quotas at ...

To reduce the resouces requested by ElasticBLAST, adjust the number of worker nodes and the machine type so that the total number of CPUs requested does not exceed your quota.

In the example above, either of the following alternative configurations would work:

  • For a total of 16 CPUs: machine-type = n1-standard-16 and num-cpus = 1

  • For a total of 24 CPUs: machine-type = n1-standard-8 and num-cpus = 3

$HOME/.kube uses a lot of disk space

ElasticBLAST for GCP relies on kubectl, which by default caches data in the user’s home directory. You can see how much disk space is being used by kubectl by running the following command:

du -shc ~/.kube/* | sort -hr

If this is too much disk utilization, you can try to delete old cached data to reduce it (assuming this is appropriate for you). The command below deletes kubectl cached data that is older than 90 days:

find ~/.kube/cache ~/.kube/http-cache -type f -mtime +90 -delete