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When you cause a :app:`Pyramid` application to start up in a console window, you'll see something much like this show up on the console:

$ paster serve myproject/MyProject.ini
Starting server in PID 16601.
serving on view at

This chapter explains what happens between the time you press the "Return" key on your keyboard after typing paster serve myproject/MyProject.ini and the time the line serving on ... is output to your console.

The Startup Process

The easiest and best-documented way to start and serve a :app:`Pyramid` application is to use the paster serve command against a :term:`PasteDeploy` .ini file. This uses the .ini file to infer settings and starts a server listening on a port. For the purposes of this discussion, we'll assume that you are using this command to run your :app:`Pyramid` application.

Here's a high-level time-ordered overview of what happens when you press return after running paster serve development.ini.

  1. The :term:`PasteDeploy` paster command is invoked under your shell with the arguments serve and development.ini. As a result, the :term:`PasteDeploy` framework recognizes that it is meant to begin to run and serve an application using the information contained within the development.ini file.

  2. The PasteDeploy framework finds a section named either [app:main], [pipeline:main], or [composite:main] in the .ini file. This section represents the configuration of a :term:`WSGI` application that will be served. If you're using a simple application (e.g. [app:main]), the application :term:`entry point` or :term:`dotted Python name` will be named on the use= line within the section's configuration. If, instead of a simple application, you're using a WSGI :term:`pipeline` (e.g. a [pipeline:main] section), the application named on the "last" element will refer to your :app:`Pyramid` application. If instead of a simple application or a pipeline, you're using a Paste "composite" (e.g. [composite:main]), refer to the documentation for that particular composite to understand how to make it refer to your :app:`Pyramid` application. In most cases, a Pyramid application built from a scaffold will have a single [app:main] section in it, and this will be the application served.

  3. The PasteDeploy framework finds all :mod:`logging` related configuration in the .ini file and uses it to configure the Python standard library logging system for this application.

  4. The application's constructor (named by the entry point reference or dotted Python name on the use= line of the section representing your :app:`Pyramid` application) is passed the key/value parameters mentioned within the section in which it's defined. The constructor is meant to return a :term:`router` instance, which is a :term:`WSGI` application.

    For :app:`Pyramid` applications, the constructor will be a function named main in the file within the :term:`package` in which your application lives. If this function succeeds, it will return a :app:`Pyramid` :term:`router` instance. Here's the contents of an example module:

    Note that the constructor function accepts a global_config argument, which is a dictionary of key/value pairs mentioned in the [DEFAULT] section of an .ini file. It also accepts a **settings argument, which collects another set of arbitrary key/value pairs. The arbitrary key/value pairs received by this function in **settings will be composed of all the key/value pairs that are present in the [app:main] section (except for the use= setting) when this function is called by the :term:`PasteDeploy` framework when you run paster serve.

    Our generated development.ini file looks like so:

    In this case, the myproject.__init__:main function referred to by the entry point URI egg:MyProject (see :ref:`MyProject_ini` for more information about entry point URIs, and how they relate to callables), will receive the key/value pairs {'pyramid.reload_templates':'true', 'pyramid.debug_authorization':'false', 'pyramid.debug_notfound':'false', 'pyramid.debug_routematch':'false', 'pyramid.debug_templates':'true', 'pyramid.default_locale_name':'en'}.

  5. The main function first constructs a :class:`~pyramid.config.Configurator` instance, passing a root resource factory (constructor) to it as its root_factory argument, and settings dictionary captured via the **settings kwarg as its settings argument.

    The root resource factory is invoked on every request to retrieve the application's root resource. It is not called during startup, only when a request is handled.

    The settings dictionary contains all the options in the [app:main] section of our .ini file except the use option (which is internal to Paste) such as pyramid.reload_templates, pyramid.debug_authorization, etc.

  6. The main function then calls various methods on the instance of the class :class:`~pyramid.config.Configurator` created in the previous step. The intent of calling these methods is to populate an :term:`application registry`, which represents the :app:`Pyramid` configuration related to the application.

  7. The :meth:`~pyramid.config.Configurator.make_wsgi_app` method is called. The result is a :term:`router` instance. The router is associated with the :term:`application registry` implied by the configurator previously populated by other methods run against the Configurator. The router is a WSGI application.

  8. A :class:`` event is emitted (see :ref:`events_chapter` for more information about events).

  9. Assuming there were no errors, the main function in myproject returns the router instance created by :meth:`pyramid.config.Configurator.make_wsgi_app` back to PasteDeploy. As far as PasteDeploy is concerned, it is "just another WSGI application".

  10. PasteDeploy starts the WSGI server defined within the [server:main] section. In our case, this is the Paste#http server (use = egg:Paste#http), and it will listen on all interfaces (host =, on port number 6543 (port = 6543). The server code itself is what prints serving on view at The server serves the application, and the application is running, waiting to receive requests.

Deployment Settings

Note that an augmented version of the values passed as **settings to the :class:`~pyramid.config.Configurator` constructor will be available in :app:`Pyramid` :term:`view callable` code as request.registry.settings. You can create objects you wish to access later from view code, and put them into the dictionary you pass to the configurator as settings. They will then be present in the request.registry.settings dictionary at application runtime.

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