Skip to main content
Version: v15.0.2

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some commonly asked questions that you may encounter that can assist you along the way when working with Cumulus.

General | Workflows | Integrators & Developers | Operators


What prerequisites are needed to setup Cumulus?
Answer: Here is a list of the tools and access that you will need in order to get started. To maintain the up-to-date versions that we are using please visit our [Cumulus main README]( for details.
  • NVM for node versioning
  • Bash
  • Docker (only required for testing)
  • docker-compose (only required for testing pip install docker-compose)
  • Python
  • pipenv

Keep in mind you will need access to the AWS console and an Earthdata account before you can deploy Cumulus.

What is the preferred web browser for the Cumulus environment?

Answer: Our preferred web browser is the latest version of Google Chrome.

How do I deploy a new instance in Cumulus?

Answer: For steps on the Cumulus deployment process go to How to Deploy Cumulus.

Where can I find Cumulus release notes?

Answer: To get the latest information about updates to Cumulus go to Cumulus Versions.

How do I quickly troubleshoot an issue in Cumulus?

Answer: To troubleshoot and fix issues in Cumulus reference our recommended solutions in Troubleshooting Cumulus.

Where can I get support help?

Answer: The following options are available for assistance:

  • Cumulus: Outside NASA users should file a GitHub issue and inside NASA users should file a Cumulus JIRA ticket.
  • AWS: You can create a case in the AWS Support Center, accessible via your AWS Console.

For more information on how to submit an issue or contribute to Cumulus follow our guidelines at Contributing


What is a Cumulus workflow?

Answer: A workflow is a provider-configured set of steps that describe the process to ingest data. Workflows are defined using AWS Step Functions. For more details, we suggest visiting the Workflows section.

How do I set up a Cumulus workflow?

Answer: You will need to create a provider, have an associated collection (add a new one), and generate a new rule first. Then you can set up a Cumulus workflow by following these steps here.

Where can I find a list of workflow tasks?

Answer: You can access a list of reusable tasks for Cumulus development at Cumulus Tasks.

Are there any third-party workflows or applications that I can use with Cumulus?

Answer: The Cumulus team works with various partners to help build a robust framework. You can visit our External Contributions section to see what other options are available to help you customize Cumulus for your needs.

Integrators & Developers

What is a Cumulus integrator?

Answer: Those who are working within Cumulus and AWS for deployments and to manage workflows. They may perform the following functions:

  • Configure and deploy Cumulus to the AWS environment
  • Configure Cumulus workflows
  • Write custom workflow tasks
What are the steps if I run into an issue during deployment?

Answer: If you encounter an issue with your deployment go to the Troubleshooting Deployment guide.

Is Cumulus customizable and flexible?

Answer: Yes. Cumulus is a modular architecture that allows you to decide which components that you want/need to deploy. These components are maintained as Terraform modules.

What are Terraform modules?

Answer: They are modules that are composed to create a Cumulus deployment, which gives integrators the flexibility to choose the components of Cumulus that want/need. To view Cumulus maintained modules or steps on how to create a module go to Terraform modules.

Where do I find Terraform module variables

Answer: Go here for a list of Cumulus maintained variables.

What are the common use cases that a Cumulus integrator encounters?

Answer: The following are some examples of possible use cases you may see:


What is a Cumulus operator?

Answer: Those that ingests, archives, and troubleshoots datasets (called collections in Cumulus). Your daily activities might include but not limited to the following:

  • Ingesting datasets
  • Maintaining historical data ingest
  • Starting and stopping data handlers
  • Managing collections
  • Managing provider definitions
  • Creating, enabling, and disabling rules
  • Investigating errors for granules and deleting or re-ingesting granules
  • Investigating errors in executions and isolating failed workflow step(s)
What are the common use cases that a Cumulus operator encounters?

Answer: The following are some examples of possible use cases you may see:

Explore more Cumulus operator best practices and how-tos in the dedicated Operator Docs.

Can you re-run a workflow execution in AWS?

Answer: Yes. For steps on how to re-run a workflow execution go to Re-running workflow executions in the Cumulus Operator Docs.