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Branding Customizations

Why brand your appliance?

If you’re running a public version of the OntoPortal Virtual Appliance, you’ve probably already started to think about how to present your site. Having a unique name, logo, and unifying colors lets users recognize and associate good things with your site. And it makes your site look good!

Even if you have a private ontology for your own research, just a few hours customizing its look and feel can help you distinguish it from BioPortal and other Appliances, and can give your presented materials a distinctive presence. Slides, web pages, and even papers can benefit from the colorful views of your OntoPortal Appliance content.

What gets customized?

It’s up to you. A reasonable first step would be to update the URL of the site, header (the logo, and the color), and perhaps the footer.

It’s only slight more involved to add a favicon (for the browser bar), and a customized welcome and tagline on the home page.

AgroPortal ( provides an example where many elements adopt the parent color. (Note this screenshot reflects a pre-3.0-release interface technology.)

An example of elements that can be colored for the theme

How do I do it?

First, review the instructions in the Advanced Configuration section. Our example is based on the Advanced Customization instructions at the end of that document.

1 set URL for appliance:

ssh to appliance and change user to ontoportal.

[centos@appliance ]$ sudo su - ontoportal

edit /srv/ontoportal/virtual_appliance/appliance_config/site_config.rb and set:

$REST_PORT = '8080'
$SITE = 'Demo OntoPortal Appliance'

2. Add custom logo and change the color of the header.

  1. Copy your custom logo file to /srv/ontoportal/virtual_appliance/appliance_config/bioportal_web_ui/app/assets/images/logos/bioportal-logo.png
  2. Edit /srv/ontoportal/virtual_appliance/appliance_config/bioportal_web_ui/app/assets/stylesheets/bioportal.scss Set .navbar background color in bioportal.scss to the value you need.

3. Update tagline on the main page:

  1. edit /srv/ontoportal/virtual_appliance/appliance_config/bioportal_web_ui/config/locales/en.yml and modify line containing tagline: your ontology repository for your ontologies
  1. Copy original footer from /srv/ontoportal/virtual_appliance/deployment/bioportal_web_ui/views/application/./views/_footer_appliance.html.haml to /srv/ontoportal/virtual_appliance/appliance_config/bioportal_web_ui/views/application/./views/_footer_appliance.html.haml and make your modifications.

if /srv/ontoportal/virtual_appliance/deployment/bioportal_web_ui/ is not present then you would need to set up deployment environment by running ./

5. Run deployment

Once all configuration changes and file overwrites are set you would need to run deployment scripts. Deployment process described in Advanced Configuration

Do you have some artwork I can use?

You may use the following OntoPortal logo if it helps. (We will be adding some more logos, please contact us for details.)

The OntoPortal logo