Three steps to get started in Terra

Allie Hajian
  • Updated

Terra's mission is to help accelerate your research by integrating data, analysis tools, and built-in security components to deliver frictionless research flows from data to results. Follow the instructions below to set up a free account and explore Terra with $300 in free Google credits.

Join our community and see how a cloud-native platform - built by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Data Sciences Platform, Microsoft, and Verily Life Sciences - can transform the way you do bioinformatics research. 

Step 1 - Register your Terra account

To get started with Terra, you'll first need to register. Account registration is free, and all that's required is a Google account. This could be a Gmail account, an institutional or G Suite email, or an Google account you set up that's associated with a non-Google address. Sign in with your Google account from the drop-down menu found in the top-left corner of the Terra app to register.  

Screenshot of app.terra.bio landing page with arrow pointing to the three bar main menu icon at the lop left and a log in option

Once you enter your login details and accept the Terms of Service, you will have registered on Terra! You can now browse all of the sections of the site. When you are ready to start working in Terra, you'll need to get billing set up, but we'll get to that in a moment.

For more detailed step-by-step instructions, see How to register on Terra

Step 2 - Explore Showcase & Tutorial workspaces

The workspace is the fundamental working unit in Terra - one place that contains all the components for a research project - where you can organize and share data and tools, and run analyses. Showcase & Tutorial workspaces are reproducible, curated template workspaces for a variety of use-cases - an excellent place to start getting a sense of what you can do on the platform.

We recommend all new users start to get familiar with Terra by browsing our collection of Showcase & Tutorial workspaces. You don't need to have any billing set up to get a taste of what you can do on Terra. 

These workspaces are organized into several categories (Getting Started Terra tutorials, Analysis Tools, Experimental Strategy, Data Generation Technology, datasets, Partner Projects and Utilities) and can be searched and sorted on the showcase page. 

The GATK4 workspaces are extremely useful if you are using the Genome Analysis Toolkit and want to try out the GATK4 Best Practices workflows without having to do a lot of work up front. Featured workspaces run the gamut from primer and tutorial workspaces (including a our highly-recommended Quickstart tutorialsJupyter Notebooks 101 workspaces, and a Hail tutorial), to analysis-focused, dataset-focused, and workflow-focused workspaces.

Step 3 - Try Terra at no cost with $300 GCP credits

To start working in Terra - create or clone a new workspace, process data with workflows or analyze data in notebooks - you must have access to at least one Terra Billing Project. To learn how to access $300 in credits from Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and set up a Terra billing project, see this article.

Congratulations!  You're ready to start working!

Click to learn more about what kinds of analysis you can do with Terra.

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