Small Example

Local Run

Nextflow allows the execution of any command or user script by using a process definition.

A process is defined by providing three main declarations: the process inputs, the process outputs and finally the command script.

The example workflow implements a simple RNA-seq pipeline which:

  1. Indexes a trascriptome file.
  2. performs quality controls
  3. performs quantification
  4. creates a MultiQC report

Nextflow DSL

Even though this is not a deep dive into Nextflow’s DSL - please have a look at how the Nextflow script is structured and appreciate the UNIX resemblance having an input, output and a script. You can dive deeper by going through the Nextflow documentation, tutorials, and DSL-2 guide.

 * pipeline input parameters
params.reads = "$baseDir/data/ggal/gut_{1,2}.fq"
params.transcript = "$baseDir/data/ggal/transcriptome.fa"
params.multiqc = "$baseDir/multiqc"
params.outdir = "results" """\
         R N A S E Q - N F   P I P E L I N E
         transcriptome: ${params.transcript}
         reads        : ${params.reads}
         outdir       : ${params.outdir}

 * define the `index` process that create a binary index
 * given the transcriptome file
process index {

    path transcriptome from params.transcript

    path 'index' into index_ch

    salmon index --threads $task.cpus -t $transcriptome -i index

Pull Image and run

As nextflow will run the image nextflow/rnaseq-nf and thus needs to download almost 3GB without advancing, we will first download the image so that we can see what docker is doing.

docker pull nextflow/rnaseq-nf

Output will look like this:

$ docker pull nextflow/rnaseq-nf
Using default tag: latest
latest: Pulling from nextflow/rnaseq-nf
b8f262c62ec6: Pull complete
fa9712f20293: Pull complete
6ec1e76960c6: Pull complete
fe231f126300: Pull complete
b5060e108b58: Pull complete
ba0e69f9489f: Pull complete
248da7e19707: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:0ac11ff903d39ad7db18e63c8958fb11864192840b3d9ece823007a54f3703e0
Status: Downloaded newer image for nextflow/rnaseq-nf:latest

Afterwards we can start the script, which will subsequently start a container using the just pulled image.

nextflow run --reads 'data/ggal/*_{1,2}.fq'

The output will look like this.

$ nextflow run --reads 'data/ggal/*_{1,2}.fq'
N E X T F L O W  ~  version 20.10.0
Launching `` [admiring_edison] - revision: ce58523d1d
R N A S E Q - N F   P I P E L I N E
transcriptome: /home/ec2-user/environment/nextflow-tutorial/data/ggal/transcriptome.fa
reads        : data/ggal/*_{1,2}.fq
outdir       : results
executor >  local (8)
[62/dfabf8] process > index          [100%] 1 of 1[c7/aa994c] process > quantification [100%] 3 of 3[86/c377f4] process > fastqc         [100%] 3 of 3[08/3c2c49] process > multiqc        [100%] 1 of 1 ✔
Done! Open the following report in your browser --> results/multiqc_report.html

The report can be previewed within Cloud9. Right-click ([1]) on the file and choose Preview ([2]) from the context menue.