Installation without using Docker


Currently only Ubuntu is a supported and tested system. We hope to support other operating systems in the future, but please bear in mind that things may not work. If you are on Windows 10, you can install the Linux subsystem. ISCAN servers are known to run using the Bash shell in Windows 10. Also note that sudo ability is required for installation and running services that ISCAN depends upon.


ISCAN servers have the following prerequisites.:

  1. Python 3
  2. Java 8
  3. RabbitMQ
  4. SQL database (PostGreSQL recommended)
  5. NodeJS and NPM
  6. Praat
  7. Reaper (optional)

Java 8

To install Java 8 on Ubuntu, you can install the Oracle version via:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer


For working with asynchronous tasks, a message queue is needed, RabbitMQ is the default, installed as follows

sudo apt-get install rabbitmq-server
sudo service rabbitmq-server start

See for more details.

Relational Database

ISCAN server can use a SQLite database, but in general a PostGreSQL database is recommended. It can be installed via:

sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib libpq-dev
sudo service postgresql start

The database will have to be set up with a user/password as well, see for more instructions.


ISCAN requires the barren version of the Praat executable to run its acoustic analysis scripts (no graphical interface).

You can get this from

Once you extract it, make sure that the command praat points to this executable (either through an alias or renaming praat_barren and making sure the parent directory is included in $PATH)


Reaper is a program for pitch analysis, so you’ll only need to install it if you want to use Reaper’s pitch estimation in place of Praat’s.

Follow the instructions on Reaper’s GitHub repository ( to install it and put the resulting executable somewhere on the system path so that Polyglot can find it easily.


AutoVOT is a program for automatically calculating Voice Onset Times(VOT). It’s necessary in order to run any enrichment related to VOTs

Follow the instructions on AutoVOT’s GitHub repository ( to install it and put the resulting executable somewhere on the system path so that Polyglot can find it easily.


Installation of the front end JavaScript and dependencies is handled by NPM, which is installed as follows:

sudo apt-get install nodejs npm


Start by cloning the GitHub repository

git clone

Once there, look in the iscan-server/iscan_server/settings directory and create a file named

Add the following to it, replacing any paths with relevant paths for your system, as well as information for the PostGreSQL database (i.e., whatever database name, user name and password you used when setting up the PostGreSQL database):

SOURCE_DATA_DIRECTORY = '/path/for/where/corpora/should/be/loaded/from'

POLYGLOT_DATA_DIRECTORY = '/path/to/store/all/polyglot/data'

     'default': {
         'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.postgresql_psycopg2',
         'NAME': 'database_name',
         'USER': 'user_name',
         'PASSWORD': 'password',
         'HOST': 'localhost',
         'PORT': '5433',

From the root of the server directory, install all of the server’s dependencies:

pip install -r requirements.txt

For development, getting the latest version of PolyglotDB is recommended via:

pip install

Then set up the server’s database:

python migrate

To install all of the JavaScript dependencies for the front end, run:

npm install

To generate a superuser admin account for the server:

python createsuperuser

In a separate terminal, start the celery process (from the root of the iscan-server repository):

celery -A iscan_server worker -l info

Finally, run the server:

python runserver 8080