Build a Brick

Biobricks makes it easier to build data assets that rely on other data assets. It does this by treating data assets in a similar way to the methods used by package managers.


When building a new brick first create a new directory and run:

$ biobricks init

This creates a .bb subdirectory with a dependencies.txt which will list the brick dependencies that this asset will rely on.

The .bb directory also contains symlinks to the data assets stored in the BBLIB

Add Brick dependencies

To add a dependency to a brick, run:

$ biobricks add <dependency>

This adds a line to the .bb/dependencies.txt file, installs the dependency if it is not already installed, and creates a symlink to it in the .bb directory.

Working with others

When working with the same BBLIB as other developers, they can seemlessly clone and branch your project with confidence that they are using the same brick dependencies as you.

If you are working with partners who are using a different BBLIB, they can run:

$ biobricks pull

This command will install all the dependencies listed in .bb/dependencies.txt and create symlinks to them in the .bb directory.