COSMOS 2.0 Workshop: Setup COSMOS 2.0

How to Setup COSMOS 2.0:


For this lesson you will need to request for COSMOS 2.0 from the Social Data Science Lab website ( ESRC COSMOS 2.0 Open Data Analytics Software). Program files will be downloaded on your machine by clicking the link in the email you will receive.

Note: this is a Java program that runs on the machine you run the installation files. The program has a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows you to interact with it from your browser. Web connection is needed for data collection but data exploration and plotting can be done offline.


There are two ways to start COSMOS:

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Note: After launching the app for the first time, you may launch COSMOS from the Applications folder the way you would normally start applications.

2. Starting COSMOS via a script from Finder

3. COSMOS Self-Check:

Step 1: Trying to run MongoDB. When you see the warning press ‘y’. In the Finder window, right-click (Control-click) on the mongod file, and from the context menu, select Open.

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After clicking Open from the context menu, you will receive a similar warning as before about unverified developer, but this time the dialogue has an Open button. Click it: this will grant permission to open the file also in the future.

Step 2: Trying to run Java. After granted the mongodb permission, you will be asked again whether you saw warning. Follow the same steps on mongodb, and right-click (Control-click) on the java file, and from the context menu, select Open. Click the Open on the unverified developer dialogue to grant the the java permission.

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Step 3: Trying to run Network Node Centrality calculator. Last step of the self check repeat the same steps for centrality-mac file.


self check window

After completed all steps of self-check, your internet browser will open automatically and COSMOS will run on your machine locally.

cosmos running

The self-check is only run the first time you start COSMOS. Once everything is set up correctly and necessary permissions are granted, COSMOS will run directly when you start it.


To set up COSMOS on a Windows machine is easier than Mac. Once you have downloaded the compressed COSMOS for 64-bit Microsoft Windows package:


  • When COSMOS is running, please do not close the terminal/cmd/powershell window.
  • To exit COSMOS, please press ‘CTRL+C’ while you are on the terminal/cmd/powershell window.
  • If you close Terminal window without pressing CTRL+C, the next time you try to run COSMOS, it will raise an error. See the illustration below. Parse Options
  • To solve this issue, press ‘Enter’ and CTRL+C to stop it.