Question: Warning message: [outdir] is not a file, ignoring
gravatar for Daniel Standage
2.0 years ago by
Daniel Standage3.9k
Davis, California, USA
Daniel Standage3.9k wrote:

I am familiarizing myself with Docker, Common Workflow Language, and Dockstore. I've created a simple wrapper for the MEGAHIT assembler, and followed Dockstore's instructions for building a Docker image, describing the tool in CWL, and specifying inputs and outputs with JSON.

Here is the tool description in CWL.

class: CommandLineTool
doc: MEGAHIT assembler
id: megahit-v1.1.1
label: "MEGAHIT v1.1.1"

cwlVersion: v1.0

  "@id": ""
  foaf:name: Daniel Standage
  foaf:mbox: ""

  - class: DockerRequirement
    dockerPull: ""

  - class: ResourceRequirement
    coresMin: 4
    ramMin: 2048

    type: File
    doc: "Interleaved Fastq file to be assembled"
      position: 1
      prefix: --12
    type: int
    doc: "Number of threads"
      position: 2
      prefix: --num-cpu-threads

    type: Directory
    doc: "Assembly output"
      glob: megahit_out

baseCommand: ["megahit"]

And here is my parameter configuration.

  "intfasta": {
    "path": "/tmp/reads.fastq.gz",
    "class": "File"
  "megahit_out": {
    "path": "/tmp/megahit_out",
    "class": "Directory"
  "threads": 4

Using the command recommended by Dockstore, I can successfully execute the workflow.

dockstore tool launch --entry --json Dockstore.json

However, at the end of the output I see the following message.

--- [STAT] 117 contigs, total 4577548 bp, min 220 bp, max 246618 bp, avg 39124 bp, N50 105709 bp                                    
        --- [Fri Jun 23 19:40:56 2017] ALL DONE. Time elapsed: 1562.705876 seconds ---
        [job temp6452337804155837687.cwl] completed success           
        Final process status is success

Saving copy of cwltool stdout to: /Users/standage/Software/megahit-dockstore/./datastore/launcher-aaf3f88d-7e32-4bdd-821e-c59b82aa75bf/outputs/cwltool.stdout.txt
Saving copy of cwltool stderr to: /Users/standage/Software/megahit-dockstore/./datastore/launcher-aaf3f88d-7e32-4bdd-821e-c59b82aa75bf/outputs/cwltool.stderr.txt

Provisioning your output files to their final destinations /Users/standage/Software/megahit-dockstore/./datastore/launcher-aaf3f88d-7e32-4bdd-821ec59b82aa75bf/outputs/megahit_out is not a file, ignoring

The last line is the bit that concerns me. I assume Directory is a valid output type--I couldn't confirm from the documentation, but the Dockstore and CWL tooling seemed to handle it fine. Why is the output directory not being moved/copied to the destination specified in the JSON file?

cwl dockstore • 829 views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 24 months ago by Michael R. Crusoe1.5k • written 2.0 years ago by Daniel Standage3.9k
gravatar for denis.yuen
2.0 years ago by
denis.yuen90 wrote:

Hi, That's actually a missing (Dockstore) feature that we've encountered recently and have been working on filling. Simply put, the directory type was added in v1.0 of CWL and we didn't notice the the ability to designate a whole directory as output (as opposed to say, an array of files or a file with secondary files).

The temporary workaround would be to use an array of files using a wildcard or secondary files if you have some understanding of the tool's output.

Alternatively, the tool will still work as a basic CWL tool, just without file provisioning.

ADD COMMENTlink modified 2.0 years ago • written 2.0 years ago by denis.yuen90
gravatar for Michael R. Crusoe
24 months ago by
Common Workflow Language project
Michael R. Crusoe1.5k wrote:

Hey Daniel Standage,

While the Directory type outputs are a real timesaver, it would be more idiomatic to label each of the outputs especially when they are so different as in this case. (As opposed to a tool that outputs many files all of the same type of contents)

I offer the following as both a conceptual and technical fix to your problem:

    type: File
      glob: megahit_out/final.contigs.fa
  # and so on for each component of interest
ADD COMMENTlink written 24 months ago by Michael R. Crusoe1.5k

Yeah, I was afraid this might be the "correct" answer. Indeed, the contigs are the primary interest of output. But in cases where an assembler performs strangely it's useful to have all of the other ancillary and intermediate files around as well for troubleshooting. Declaring each of these files explicitly 1) requires a familiarity with the assembler that I don't yet have/need, and 2) has the potential to communicate an interest in these files that under normal circumstances isn't there.

But maybe I'm thinking too hard, and just grabbing the contigs should probably be sufficient for the majority of cases.

+1. Thanks!

ADD REPLYlink modified 24 months ago • written 24 months ago by Daniel Standage3.9k
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