Build Omero.server with own BioFormat-Version

Hi all,

I want to build my own OMERO.server version with an adapted Bio-Format version. Could you please help me to figure out how to do that with the new separate omero repositories and Gradle build system?


The change you need to make is in omero-model's build.gradle (which is like a pom.xml). There’s a line,


or similar and you can adjust that version number and name SNAPSHOT versions. The formats-gpl JAR manifest lists formats-bsd and so on down the stack. If you have the formats-gpl-6.1.1.jar (or whichever) in your local Maven repository (the correct place is probably somewhere in ~/.m2/repository/ome/formats-gpl/... as if you had done mvn install from your Bio-Formats build) then I would expect Gradle to pick it up. Let us know how you get on.

You can adjust that line to have the group and artifact ID of whichever JAR provides OMERO the Bio-Formats readers it needs.

Dear Marc,

I have changed the BioFormat version and the SNAPSHOT version in omero-model’s build.gradle and had execute gradle build in omero-model. Do I have to compile the other subprojects too? I’m not quite sure yet where my server libs are located after the build.


From what I can easily find it does look as if our developer documentation is presently rather light on this topic. To get you going I can at least share what I do:

I have a checkout of the parent superbuild with its various submodules and I use many of the “foreach” helper scripts from I set each of the submodules to some recent tag or to the head of their master or somesuch. These will typically be for SNAPSHOT versions (from omero-build check with foreach-get-version) but if not then I do,

foreach-get-version-as-snapshot | foreach-set-version 

To couple each local component build to its next, from omero-build I do,

foreach-get-version-as-snapshot >/tmp/versions
VERSION_LOG=/tmp/versions foreach-set-dependencies

Then I build each omero-* module in order (model common romio renderer server blitz gateway-java) using gradle publishToMavenLocal and typically appending -x javadoc for speed. This puts all the artifacts into my ~/.m2/repository/.

Over in the repository I substitute the version numbers at the end of etc/ with those printed in omero-build by running foreach-get-version-as-property then I run ant build or ant build-dev or whatever to build OMERO. If it complains about not being able to find some artifact then I delete that part within ~/.m2/repository/ then try again.

No doubt the above is not as shiny as it could or should be but it’s what I get by with so I hope it works for you until we get proper procedures documented or another OMERO developer chimes in here with a better idea.

I forgot to mention, these days for that last stage of building OMERO I find that I need to do so from my Python virtual environment which includes the usual OMERO prerequisites installed. Which of them the build now needs I have not yet determined.

Thanks a lot for the description!

I have to run the “old” build at the end to create the server lib packages, right?
Might it be possible that the “build-dev” run overwriting the .m2/repository libs?
Maybe a “build-server” run and a “release-zip” run also works?

I’ll try it out…

Hi Susanne,

That’s a good point. Mark’s workflow documents the OME process and is probably necessary if you also had other customizations to the Java stack e.g. server extensions that you need to compile alongside your Bio-Formats version.

I gave your suggestion a quick test from the latest v5.6.0-m1 tag of ome/openmicroscopy

sbesson@ls30630:openmicroscopy (develop) $ git diff
diff --git a/ivy.xml b/ivy.xml
index 816d310659..987eb9cc2b 100644
--- a/ivy.xml
+++ b/ivy.xml
@@ -11,6 +11,7 @@
     <dependency org="org.openmicroscopy" name="omero-blitz" rev="${versions.omero-blitz}"/>
     <dependency org="org.openmicroscopy" name="omero-gateway" rev="${versions.omero-gateway}"/>
+    <dependency org="ome" name="formats-gpl" rev="6.3.0"/>
     <!-- runtime dependencies from dsl/ivy.xml -->
     <dependency org="janino" name="janino" rev="${versions.janino}"/>

Running / build-dev creates a distribution bundle which overrides the JARs as expected

sbesson@ls30630:openmicroscopy (develop) $ unzip -qc dist/lib/server/formats-api.jar META-INF/MANIFEST.MF | grep Version
Manifest-Version: 1.0
Specification-Version: 6.3
Implementation-Version: 6.3.0

In case the only component of the server you want to modify is Bio-Formats, this is probably the most effective solution indeed.

I think I got it. But to be on the safe side, I’ll summarize it again:
If I want to link a new Bio-Format version to the untouched server code I can use the ant scripts from But if I have also server extensions I have to compile first the components in and to create the distribution bundle I have to run the “old” ant scripts after that.

Thank’s a lot!


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