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Nova Ideo




This product has been translated into

  • English
  • French



The project is licensed under the AGPLv3+.

Getting Started for development

without docker

To run in development mode without docker:

sudo apt-get install python3 python3-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev \
  libjpeg-dev zlib1g-dev libfreetype6-dev libtiff5-dev libzmq3-dev \
  libyaml-dev git  # this is working on debian jessie and ubuntu xenial
mkdir -p var/{filestorage,blobstorage,log}
bin/buildout  # It takes a long time...
bin/runzeo -C etc/zeo.conf  # It starts in foreground, there is no output.  Use Ctrl+C to stop it.
bin/pserve development.ini  # in another terminal

The application is on

I'll use $DOMAIN for in the rest of the documentation.

To send emails with gmail smtp, you need to uncomment some lines and configure the mail and password in development.ini

with docker

You first need to install the docker engine and docker-compose.

There is a current limitation for the script, The folder needs to be named nova-ideo or novaideo. And your user needs to be in the docker group:

usermod -a -G docker your_user

You need to log out and log in again for this to take effect.

To run in development mode with docker, as your regular user:

./ rebuild

The app is deployed on ( resolves to and is necessary for nginx)

I'll use $DOMAIN for in the rest of the documentation.

The default configuration in docker-compose-dev.yml is used to connect with a postfix via a ssh tunnel like this:

ssh -L

To send emails with gmail smtp instead, you need to configure the MAILER variables in docker-compose.override.yml, copy the file docker-compose.override.yml.templ to docker-compose.override.yml and edit it. This will overrides the configuration in docker-compose-dev.yml.

To stop the application, do a Ctrl-c, and to stop the other containers (nginx), run:

./ down

To execute the tests:

./ test -s novaideo

Allow your gmail account to be used to send emails

To allow your gmail account to be used to send emails, you need to enable less secure apps ( less secure means we use a login and password and not OAuth 2.0) and do maybe the captcha. Look at the logs in the terminal if you have an error when sending a mail.

If you have a G suite account, to be able to enable less secure apps for a specific account, the G suite administrator needs to first enable it

Be careful to not commit your gmail password! The ini file doesn't support the use of % character in your password. It thinks it's the beginning of a variable. If you use this character in your password, you will need to change it!

How to assign roles to a person

If you want to give a person some additional roles, you need to have the Administrator or Site administrator role. The first time, you will need to do it with the special super administrator account. Go to $DOMAIN/manage (there is no accessible link from the home page) and authenticate with login admin and the password you have in SECRET environment variable (It's substanced.initial_password key in development.ini if you use the install without docker). Return to $DOMAIN and go the hamburger menu on the top left, select See/Members, go to a person's profile, click on Assign roles button and give her the Site administrator, Examiner or Moderator role.

Deployment with docker

Clone a specific version:

git clone -b VERSION
cd nova-ideo

(replace VERSION with the latest release, 1.2 for example)

docker-compose runs a nginx container on port 80 and 443. You need to edit the nginx-app-prod.conf file to replace by your domain and add certificates (server.key and server.crt) to the tls directory.

Be sure that in docker-compose.yml it uses the correct version ecreall/novaideo:release-VERSION. Edit it if it's not the case.

You need to configure some environment variables, copy the file docker-compose.override.yml.templ to docker-compose.override.yml and edit it.

  • SECRET: the initial admin password
  • APPLICATION_URL: your domain, same as you put in nginx-app-prod.conf
  • MAIL_DEFAULT_SENDER: the sender of the mails that the application use
  • LOGO_FILENAME: empty by default to use the Nova-Ideo logo. You can set the variable to 'marianne.svg' or other images included in the novaideo/static/images/ directory to configure the logo when the application is created.

If you want to connect to a postfix container, there is a commented example in docker-compose.override.yml.templ that use an external postfix container connected on a mybridge bridge network. You need to create a mybridge bridge network and start a postfix container yourself. (not documented here)

To deploy:

sudo docker-compose up -d

To connect with the super administrator (for the evolve steps and to create an other admin account only), go to and log in with "admin" and the password is the one you gave in the SECRET environment variable.

After the initial connection, you can increase the number of workers that are used to handle the requests in docker-compose.override.yml and run again sudo docker-compose up -d (WORKERS=3 is a good default).

To see the logs:

docker-compose logs -f

How to upgrade your install

For each release, a docker image is built and the docker-compose.yml is modified accordingly.

If you previously cloned the repository with version 1.1, to upgrade to 1.2 for example, do:

git checkout 1.2
sudo docker-compose up -d

After that, be sure to execute the evolve steps by connecting with the super administrator at and going to Database tab, and click on Evolve red button. You can see the evolve steps with the Summarize button.

Backup and maintainance of your database

Your data is in the var folder, be sure to backup it.

The database is a ZODB filestorage, you should pack it regularly (every week) to reduce its size. Example of cron for user root run at 1am sunday:

0 1 * * 0 docker exec novaideo_novaideo_1 /app/bin/zeopack -d 1 -u /app/var/zeo.sock

Be sure that the container name is novaideo_novaideo_1 in your case. You can verify it with docker ps.


Nova-Ideo is a participatory innovation tool, the merger of the box ideas and collaborative portal.







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