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Creating Pyramid Scaffolds

You can extend Pyramid by creating a :term:`scaffold` template. A scaffold template is useful if you'd like to distribute a customizable configuration of Pyramid to other users. Once you've created a scaffold, and someone has installed the distribution that houses the scaffold, they can use the pcreate script to create a custom version of your scaffold's template. Pyramid itself uses scaffolds to allow people to bootstrap new projects. For example, pcreate -s alchemy MyStuff causes Pyramid to render the alchemy scaffold template to the MyStuff directory.


A scaffold template is just a bunch of source files and directories on disk. A small definition class points at this directory; it is in turn pointed at by a :term:`setuptools` "entry point" which registers the scaffold so it can be found by the pcreate command.

To create a scaffold template, create a Python :term:`distribution` to house the scaffold which includes a that relies on the setuptools package. See Creating a Package for more information about how to do this. For the sake of example, we'll pretend the distribution you create is named CoolExtension, and it has a package directory within it named coolextension

Once you've created the distribution put a "scaffolds" directory within your distribution's package directory, and create a file within that directory named with something like the following:

Once this is done, within the scaffolds directory, create a template directory. Our example used a template directory named coolextension_scaffold.

As you create files and directories within the template directory, note that:

  • Files which have a name which are suffixed with the value _tmpl will be rendered, and replacing any instance of the literal string {{var}} with the string value of the variable named var provided to the scaffold.
  • Files and directories with filenames that contain the string +var+ will have that string replaced with the value of the var variable provided to the scaffold.
  • Files that start with a dot (e.g., .env) are ignored and will not be copied over to the destination directory. If you want to include a file with a leading dot then you must replace the dot with +dot+ (e.g., +dot+env).

Otherwise, files and directories which live in the template directory will be copied directly without modification to the pcreate output location.

The variables provided by the default PyramidTemplate include project (the project name provided by the user as an argument to pcreate), package (a lowercasing and normalizing of the project name provided by the user), random_string (a long random string), and package_logger (the name of the package's logger).

See Pyramid's "scaffolds" package ( for concrete examples of scaffold directories (zodb, alchemy, and starter, for example).

After you've created the template directory, add the following to the entry_points value of your distribution's


For example:

def setup(
      entry_points = """\

Run your distribution's develop or install command. After that, you should be able to see your scaffolding template listed when you run pcreate -l. It will be named coolextension because that's the name we gave it in the entry point setup. Running pcreate -s coolextension MyStuff will then render your scaffold to an output directory named MyStuff.

See the module documentation for :mod:`pyramid.scaffolds` for information about the API of the :class:`pyramid.scaffolds.Template` class and related classes. You can override methods of this class to get special behavior.

Supporting Older Pyramid Versions

Because different versions of Pyramid handled scaffolding differently, if you want to have extension scaffolds that can work across Pyramid 1.0.X, 1.1.X, 1.2.X and 1.3.X, you'll need to use something like this bit of horror while defining your scaffold template:

And then in the of the package that contains your scaffold, define the template as a target of both paste.paster_create_template (for paster create) and pyramid.scaffold (for pcreate):


Doing this hideousness will allow your scaffold to work as a paster create target (under 1.0, 1.1, or 1.2) or as a pcreate target (under 1.3). If an invoker tries to run paster create against a scaffold defined this way under 1.3, an error is raised instructing them to use pcreate instead.

If you want only to support Pyramid 1.3 only, it's much cleaner, and the API is stable:

You only need to specify a paste.paster_create_template entry point target in your if you want your scaffold to be consumable by users of Pyramid 1.0, 1.1, or 1.2. To support only 1.3, specifying only the pyramid.scaffold entry point is good enough. If you want to support both paster create and pcreate (meaning you want to support Pyramid 1.2 and some older version), you'll need to define both.


Existing third-party distributions which house scaffolding are available via :term:`PyPI`. The pyramid_jqm, pyramid_zcml and pyramid_jinja2 packages house scaffolds. You can install and examine these packages to see how they work in the quest to develop your own scaffolding.

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