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Akestra requires installation of:

  • Django CMS
  • Django Filer
  • Django Widgetry
  • Semantic Presentation Editor
  • django-polymorphic
  • BeautifulSoup
  • django-typogrify
  • pyquery
  • easy-thumbnails
  • django-appmedia
  • PIL

Installing components


These steps assume that you have the following available on your system:

  • pip
  • Git
  • Mercurial

In addition, Arkestra will need the Python Imaging Library (PIL) to be installed on your system.

Note on PIL and pip

Most of these items you need to install are available via PIP (see below).

You can try pip install PIL, but it doesn't always seem to work very well.

This is often because pip installs PIL from source, and if you don't have the development packages (C headers) then it won't compile it with support for all required file formats. Make sure you get the -dev packages first. On a Debian system doing apt-get install libjpg-dev libpng-dev before getting PIL via pip fixed a big problem with image uploads because thumbnails weren't being generated.

The Arkestra applications

Arkestra is a collection of applications, each of which needs to be put on your PYTHONPATH:

  • arkestra_image_plugin
  • arkestra_utilities
  • contacts_and_people
  • housekeeping
  • links
  • news_and_events
  • vacancies_and_studentships
  • video

Step-by-step process

Set up a virtual environment

  • virtualenv arkestra
  • cd arkestra/
  • source bin/activate

Install PIP components

Until sekizai becomes Django 1.4-compatible, you'll need to stay with Django version 1.3 and make sure you have a compatible version of MPTT.

  • pip install django==1.3.1
  • pip install django-mptt==0.5.1
  • pip install pyquery==1.1.1
  • pip install easy-thumbnails==1.0-alpha-21
  • pip install django-cms django-polymorphic BeautifulSoup ElementTree django-typogrify django-appmedia

Download components from source

Put them on your PYTHONPATH

There are other, certainly better, ways of doing this, but it works.

  • cd lib/python2.6/site-packages # or wherever your site-packages is
  • ln -s ../../../Arkestra/arkestra_image_plugin
  • ln -s ../../../Arkestra/arkestra_utilities
  • ln -s ../../../Arkestra/contacts_and_people
  • ln -s ../../../Arkestra/news_and_events
  • ln -s ../../../Arkestra/vacancies_and_studentships
  • ln -s ../../../Arkestra/housekeeping
  • ln -s ../../../Arkestra/links
  • ln -s ../../../Arkestra/video
  • ln -s ../../../semanticeditor/semanticeditor
  • ln -s ../../../django-filer/filer
  • ln -s ../../../django-widgetry/widgetry

From this point you can wrestle Arkestra into submission on your own, or get started using the example project included.

Set up the supplied example database

  • cd ../../../Arkestra/example/
  • python syncdb

Answer no to the question about setting up a superuser.

  • python reset contenttypes

Answer yes.

  • python loaddata example_database.json

Fire up the server

  • python runserver

Username and password are both arkestra.


When you start up the server, you won't see any of the news/events/vacancies/studentships items you'd expect.

That's because they're all out of date by now - this database was created some time ago.

Go into the news/events/vacancies/studentships and give them more appropriate dates.

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