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zc.buildout recipe to setup and configure a Zope 2 instance.
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This recipe creates and configures a Zope 2 instance in parts. It also installs a control script, which is like zopectl, in the bin/ directory. The name of the control script is the the name of the part in buildout. By default various runtime and log information will be stored inside the var/ directory.

Note: This recipe is not intended to setup a Zope 2 WSGI based instance and will not work for this use-case. There's no special recipe required to setup WSGI any longer and you can use simple template recipes instead.

You can use it with a part like this:

recipe = plone.recipe.zope2instance
user = admin:admin
http-address = 8080
eggs = my.distribution
zcml = my.distribution


This release is targeted at Zope 2.12+ and Python 2.6. If you are using this recipe with earlier versions of Zope or Python, you should use one of the releases from the 3.x series.


Common options

The list of distributions you want to make available to the instance.
Install ZCML slugs for the distributions listed, separated by whitespace. You can specify the type of slug by appending '-' and the type of slug you want to create. Some examples: my.distribution my.distribution-meta.
Give a port for the HTTP server. Defaults to 8080. Set to an empty string to disable the HTTP server. You may want to do this when running Zope under an external server such as a WSGI deployment.
The default IP address on which Zope's various server protocol implementations will listen for requests. If this is unset, Zope will listen on all IP addresses supported by the machine. This directive can be overridden on a per-server basis in the servers section. Defaults to not setting an ip-address.
Set the ZODB cache size, i.e. the number of objects which the ZODB cache will try to hold. Defaults to 30000.
Specify the number of threads that Zope's ZServer web server will use to service requests. The recipes default is 2.

Define arbitrary key-value pairs for use as environment variables during Zope's run cycle. Example:

environment-vars =
  TZ US/Eastern
  zope_i18n_allowed_languages en
  zope_i18n_compile_mo_files true
Specify some Python initialization code to include within the generated script (Buildout >= 1.5) or within the instance script (Buildout < 1.5). This is very limited. In particular, be aware that leading whitespace is stripped from the code given. added in version 4.2.14

Theme resources

Please refer to for more details and setup instructions.


Specify a central resource directory. Example:

resources = ${buildout:directory}/resources



Specify a locales directory. Example:

locales = ${buildout:directory}/locales

This registers a locales directory with extra or different translations. If you want to override a few translations from the plone domain in the English language, you can add a en/LC_MESSAGES/plone.po file in this directory, with standard headers at the top, followed by something like this:

#. Default: "You are here:"
msgid "you_are_here"
msgstr "You are very welcome here:"

Translations for other message ids are not affected and will continue to work.

Development options

Set to on to turn on verbose security (and switch to the Python security implementation). Defaults to off (and the C security implementation).

Direct storage

If you have only one application process, it can open the database files directly without running a database server process.

The filename where the ZODB data file will be stored. Defaults to ${buildout:directory}/var/filestorage/Data.fs.
The name of the directory where the ZODB blob data will be stored, defaults to ${buildout:directory}/var/blobstorage.

Basic ZEO storage

If you want multiple application processes you need to run a separate database server process and connect to it, either via ZEO or RelStorage.

Set the address of the ZEO server. Defaults to 8100. You can set more than one address (white space delimited). Alternative addresses will be used if the primary address is down.
Set to 'on' to make this instance a ZEO client. In this case, setting the zeo-address option is required, and the file-storage option has no effect. To set up a ZEO server, you can use the plone.recipe.zeoserver recipe. Defaults to 'off'.
The location of the blob zeocache, defaults to var/blobcache. If shared-blob is on it defaults to ${buildout:directory}/var/blobstorage.
Defaults to off. Set this to on if the ZEO server and the instance have access to the same directory. Either by being on the same physical machine or by virtue of a network file system like NFS. Make sure this instances blob-storage is set to the same directory used for the ZEO servers blob-storage. In this case the instance will not stream the blob file through the ZEO connection, but just send the information of the file location to the ZEO server, resulting in faster execution and less memory overhead.
A flag indicating whether a read-only remote storage should be acceptable as a fallback when no writable storages are available. Defaults to false.
Set zeo client as read only added in version 4.2.12

ZEO authentication

You need to activate ZEO auth on the server side as well, for this to work. Without this anyone that can connect to the database servers socket can read and write arbitrary data.

Enable ZEO authentication and use the given username when accessing the ZEO server. It is obligatory to also specify a zeo-password.
Password to use when connecting to a ZEO server with authentication enabled.
Authentication realm to use when authentication with a ZEO server. Defaults to 'ZEO'.


Please refer to for more details and setup instructions.


Allows to set a RelStorage instead of a FileStorage.

Contains settings separated by newlines, with these values:

  • type: any database type supported (postgresql, oracle, mysql)
  • RelStorage specific keys, like cache-servers and poll-interval
  • all other keys are passed on to the database-specific RelStorage adapter.


rel-storage =
  type oracle
  user tarek
  password secret


In most cases you don't need to adjust any of this, you might want to adjust log levels or configure mailinglogger.

The filename of the event log. Defaults to ${buildout:directory}/var/log/${partname}.log Setting this value to 'disable' will make the <eventlog> section to be omitted, disabling logging events by default to a .log file.
Set the level of the console output for the event log. Level may be any of CRITICAL, ERROR, WARN, INFO, DEBUG, or ALL. Defaults to INFO.
Maximum size of event log file. Enables log rotation.
Number of previous log files to retain when log rotation is enabled. Defaults to 1.
A custom section for the eventlog, to be able to use another event logger than logfile

A mailinglogger section added into the event log. Example snippet:

  level error
  flood-level 10
  subject [My domain error] [%(hostname)s] %(line)s
The filename for the Z2 access log. Defaults to var/log/${partname}-Z2.log. Setting this value to 'disable' will make the <logger access> section to be omitted, disabling logging access events to a .log file
Set the log level for the access log. Level may be any of CRITICAL, ERROR, WARN, INFO, DEBUG, or ALL. Defaults to WARN.
Maximum size of access log file. Enables log rotation.
Number of previous log files to retain when log rotation is enabled. Defaults to 1.
Like event-log-custom, a custom section for the access logger, to be able to use another event logger than logfile.

Load non-setuptools compatible Python libraries

A list of paths where Zope 2 products are installed. The first path takes precedence in case the same product is found in more than one directory. Zope 2 products are deprecated and won't work any longer in a future version of Zope/Plone.
A list of paths where additional Python packages are installed. The paths are searched in the given order after all egg and products paths.

Advanced ZCML options

If you want a custom site.zcml file, put its content here. If this option is used the zcml and zcml-additional options are ignored.
Extra ZCML statements that should be included in the generated site.zcml file.

Advanced ZEO options

Set the size of the ZEO client cache. Defaults to '128MB'. The ZEO cache is a disk based cache shared between application threads. It's stored inside the directory designated by the TMP environment variable.
Set the persistent cache name that is used to construct the cache filenames. This enabled the ZEO cache to be persisted. Persistent cache files are disabled by default.
Set the maximum size of the ZEO blob cache, in bytes. If not set, then the cache size isn't checked and the blob directory will grow without bound.
Set the ZEO check size as percent of zeo-client-blob-cache-size (for example, 10 for 10%). The ZEO cache size will be checked when this many bytes have been loaded into the cache. Defaults to 10% of the blob cache size. This option is ignored if shared-blob is enabled.
Indicates that the cache should be dropped rather than verified when the verification optimization is not available (e.g. when the ZEO server restarted). Defaults to 'False'.
Set the storage number of the ZEO storage. Defaults to '1'.
Used in the ZEO storage snippets to configure the ZEO var folder. Defaults to $INSTANCE_HOME/var.

Advanced options


Wraps the base storage in a "before storage" which sets it in read-only mode from the time given (or "now" for the current time).

This option is normally used together with demo-storage for a normally running site in order for changes to be made to the database.

Sets the clienthome for the generated instance. Defaults to ${buildout:directory}/var/<name of the section>.
This controls what character set is used to encode unicode data that reaches ZPublisher without any other specified encoding. This defaults to 'utf-8'. Plone requires this to be set to utf-8.

If 'on' it enables the demo storage. By default, this is a memory-based storage option; changes are not persisted (see the demo-file-storage option to use a persistent storage for changes made during the demonstration).

To use with a base storage option configured with a blob-storage, you must set a demo-blob-storage.

If provided, the filename where the ZODB data file for changes committed during a demonstration will be stored.

If provided, the name of the directory where demonstration ZODB blob data will be stored.

This storage may be connected to a demonstration file storage, or used with the default memory-based demo storage (in this case you might want to use a temporary directory).

The name of the effective user for the Zope process. Defaults to not setting an effective user.
Enable the persistent product registry by setting this to on. By default the registry is turned off. Enabling the registry is deprecated.
Give a port for the FTP server. This enables the FTP server.
Set to on to enforce Zope to set Connection: close header. This is useful if for example a 304 leaves the connection open with Varnish in front and Varnish tries to reuse the connection.
Set to off to defer opening of the HTTP socket until the end of the Zope startup phase. Defaults to on.
Give a port for the ICP server. This enables the ICP server.
Used to configure the import directory for instance. Defaults to <client-home>/import.
Offset applied to the port numbers used for ZServer configurations. For example, if the http-server port is 8080 and the port-base is 1000, the HTTP server will listen on port 9080. This makes it easy to change the complete set of ports used by a Zope server process. Zope defaults to 0.
An integer telling the Python interpreter to check for asynchronous events every number of instructions. This affects how often thread switches occur. Defaults to 1000.
Set this to true to make the generated scripts use relative paths. You can also enable this in the [buildout] section.

Add this parameter with no arguments to suppress script generation. Otherwise (i.e. without this parameter), scripts for packages added to the eggs parameter will be generated. You may also configure per package. E.g.:

recipe = plone.recipe.zope2instance
eggs =
scripts = zopeskel

In the above example, only zopeskel's scripts will be generated.

Used to configure the base directory for all things going into var. Defaults to ${buildout:directory}/var.
Give a port for the WebDAV server. This enables the WebDAV server
Valid options are off and on. Defaults to off

Adds support for file compression on a file storage database. The option accepts the values 'active' (compress new records) or 'passive' (do not compress new records). Both options support already compressed records.

You can use the 'passive' setting while you prepare a number of connected clients for compressed records.

Set the ZODB cache sizes in bytes. This feature is still experimental.
If given Zope's default temporary storage definition will be replaced by the lines of this parameter.
A relative or absolute path to a zope.conf file. If this is given, many of the options in the recipe will be ignored.

You can define custom sections within zope.conf using the ZConfig API. But, in order for Zope to understand your custom sections, you'll have to import the python packages that define these custom sections using %import syntax.


zope-conf-imports =

Give additional lines to zope.conf. Make sure you indent any lines after the one with the parameter.


zope-conf-additional =
  locale fr_FR
  http-realm Slipknot

Manually set the umask for the zopectl process.


zopectl-umask = 002

Manually set the maximum size of received HTTP header being processed by Zope. The request is discarded and considered as a DoS attack if the header size exceeds this limit. Default: 8192


http-header-max-length = 16384

Additional Control Script debug, console and run Commands

The extended Zope 2 control script installed by this recipe, usually bininstance by convention, offers a debug command and another run command. The debug command starts an interactive Python prompt with the Zope 2 application available via the app name. Similarly, the run command accepts a Python script as an argument that will be run under the same conditions.

These commands have also been extended to set up a more complete environment. Specifically, these commands set up a REQUEST, log in the AccessControl.SpecialUsers.system user, and may traverse to an object, such as a CMF portal. This environment set up is controlled with following options:

-R/--no-request -- do not set up a REQUEST.
-L/--no-login -- do not login the system user.
-O/--object-path <path> -- Traverse to <path> from the app
                           and make available as `obj`.

Note that these options must come before the script name, e.g. bin/instance -RLOPlone/front-page debug

The console command is similar to the fg command, but it does not create a subprocess to start up Zope 2. This is useful for two use cases. First, the supervisor program, to supervise long running processes like a Zope, require the process not to fork away, so that supervisor can control it. Second, IDEs like WingIDE and PyCharm support debugging running processes from within. For this to work, the process should also not fork away.

Additional control script commands

Third-party distributions may add additional commands to the control script by installing a 'plone.recipe.zope2instance.ctl' entry point. For example, an egg called MyDist could include a module called mymodule with the following custom command:

def foo(self, *args)
    """Help message here"""
    print 'foo'

It would then install the foo method as a command for the control script using the following entry point configuration in

foo = mymodule:foo

This would allow invoking the foo method by running bin/instance foo (assuming the instance control script was installed by a buildout part called instance.) The entry point is invoked with the following parameters:

An instance of plone.recipe.zope2instance.ctl.AdjustedZopeCmd.
Any additional arguments that were passed on the command line.

Reporting bugs or asking questions

We have a shared bugtracker and help desk on Launchpad:

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