Running a Brayns backend service

As a Brayns client, to run any script that uses the Brayns python client API you must have access to a running Brayns server backend. You have two ways to start a Brayns backend: Thought WebBrayns web interface or manually on BB5

Automatic allocation throught WebBrayns

The easiest way to launch a Brayns backend service is throught WebBrayns. It offers an easy to follow interface which will allocate a node on BB5 and launch a Brayns backend instance for you.

From the URL you will be able to extract the node ID and the port on which Brayns is running.

To do so, go to WebBrayns. You will see something like this:


Enter your project account and type of partition to use and then click on + ALLOCATE NEW RESOURCE. There is a contextual help to guide you throught out the process if you need it.


At the momment, is not possible to choose which plugins will be loaded when launching the Brayns backend service from WebBrayns. Currently, only the CircuitExplorer and CircuitInfo plugins are loaded.

Manual launch on BB5

To launch a Brayns backend manually, the first step is to know the path to a braynsService executable

For instance, the master branch of the respository is downloaded and compiled in BB5, and can be found in:


Once we know the location of the braynsService binary, we proceed:

  • 1 - Get an allocation on BB5:

$ salloc --account=<your project account> --partition=prod --exclusive --constraint=cpu -c 72 --mem 0

Where your_project_account should be the project account you have access to on BB5. After a successful allocation, you will be shown with the node ID or host of your allocation. It is composed of alpha-numeric characters, for example: r2i2n11. You will need it to connect to the braynsService from your python client.

  • 2 - Launch the braynsService server:

$ cd /gpfs/
$ ./braynsService --http-server :5000 --plugin braynsCircuitExplorer --plugin braynsCircuitInfo --plugin braynsDTI

The last command will launch a Brayns backend service with remote access needed for the python client (--http-server) on port 5000, and enabling the Circuit Explorer, Circuit Info and DTI plugins


Brayns, by default, does not understand about science-specific models. The specific functionality is loaded using plugins. CircuitExplorer plugin is the main plugin for neuroscientific visualization that you will want to load. For further information on plugins, check Brayns plugins.

Now we know the host (node ID) and port (5000 in this case) where our Brayns backend is running. We will need both to connect throught the python client.