GeoNode is an open source platform that facilitates the creation, sharing, and collaborative use of geospatial data.
JavaScript Python Java Shell
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Build Requirements

Before starting work on the GeoNode, you will need to have the following software installed and in your PATH:

  • The git command-line client, version 1.5.3 or higher: - To verify that it is available, run git --version and verify the

    version is something like git version

    • If not, you can download one of the installers from or from your operating system provider.
  • Sun Java Development Kit 1.5 or Higher: - To verify that it is available, run

    javac -help -version and verify that it reports a list of usage flags, ending with a line like javac 1.5.0_18 (the numbers will vary with your installed version).

  • Python 2.6: - To verify that it is available, run

    python --version and verify that it reports a version number like Python 2.6

    • If not, download from

    • Python must be compiled w/ SSL support and sqlite support to

      openssl development headers before building Python will suffice.

  • Apache Maven 2.0.10 or Later: - To verify that it is available, run

    mvn -version and verify that it reports version information like:

    Maven version: 2.0.10
    Java version: 1.5.0_18
    OS name: "linux" version: "" arch: "amd64" Family: "unix"

Additionally, GeoNode uses a number of native-code libraries in Python. You can install these libraries manually, or allow the GeoNode setup script to compile them for you. In the latter case, you will need to install a C compiler such as GCC, as well as any requisite development libraries. GCC packages are available for Mac OSX and all Linux distributions; consult your operating system provider for installation instructions.

The native libraries needed include:

For GCC, packages are available for Mac OSX and all Linux distributions; consult your operating system provider for installation instructions. When build PIL from source, ensure that you have development libraries available for libpng, libjpeg, and libgif if you want to be able to use those formats in your GeoNode site.


The following steps should prepare a Python virtual environment for you:

git clone git:// geonode
cd geonode
git submodule update --init
python --no-site-packages # see note below
source bin/activate
paver build createsuperuser --settings=geonode.settings
paver host

Once fully started, you should see a message indicating the address of your geonode:

Development GeoNode is running at http://localhost:8000/
The GeoNode is an unstoppable machine
Press CTRL-C to shut down


When running python the --no-site-packages option is not required. If enabled, the bootstrap script will sandbox your virtual environment from any packages that are installed in the system, useful if you have incompatible versions of libraries such as Django installed system-wide. On the other hand, sometimes it is useful to use a version of the Python Imaging Library provided by your operating system vendor, or packaged other than on PyPI. When in doubt, however, just leave this option in.

This command: createsuperuser --settings=geonode.settings

can be used to create additional administrative user accounts. The administrative control panel is not linked from the main site, but can be accessed at http://localhost:8000/admin/


For JavaScript Developers

Minified Scripts

JavaScript Developers can switch to using unminified scripts and CSS:

  1. Get and run geonode-client:

    $ git clone git:// geonode-client $ cd geonode-client $ ant init debug

  2. Set the GEONODE_CLIENT_LOCATION entry in :file:`src/geonode/` to http://localhost:8080/ and run paver as described above.

Note that this requires ant ( in addition to the above build requirements.

VirtualBox Setup

To test the application in different browsers in VirtualBox guests, the following needs to be done before running paver host:

  • Start the guest in VirtualBox. Set the network adapter mode to "Host-only adapter". Then set it back to "NAT".

  • On the host, do ifconfig and write down the IP address of the vboxnet0 adapter.

  • Edit :file:`src/GeoNodePy/geonode/` and change the line:


    to use the IP address you have written down above:

  • Make sure to change other http://localhost urls in :file:`src/GeoNodePy/geonode/` accordingly as well

  • To start the web server, run:

    $ paver host -b
  • Now GeoNode is available in your browser at

For Java Developers

How GeoNode Finds GeoServer

Java Developers can point the application at a particular GeoServer instance by setting the GEOSERVER_BASE_URL entry in to the context path of the GeoServer instance. This should include the trailing slash. For example, the GeoServer used for is:

The default value is http://localhost:8001/geoserver/. The GeoServer module in :file:`src/geonode-geoserver-ext/` is configured to provide a GeoServer instance at that port with the following commands:

cd src/geonode-geoserver-ext/


Normally, mvn jetty:run-war would be sufficient. However, we use the shell script to add some extra parameters to the JVM command-line used to run Jetty in order to workaround a JVM bug that affects GeoNetwork.

If you want to change this service URL, edit :file:`src/geonode/` and change the line:


to indicate the GeoServer URL that you want to use.

To run the Django app when Jetty is started independently, use:

paster serve --reload shared/dev-paste.ini

in the base of your working directory.

Alternative GeoServer Data Directories

This server defaults to using :file:`gs-data/` as the data directory by default. If you need you need to use an alternative data directory, you can specify it by editing to specify a different data directory:


For Deployment


Adding an email gateway to GeoNode can be very useful, the two main reasons are the ADMINS and REGISTRATION_OPEN settings explained below.

Here is a sample configuration to setup a Gmail account as the email gateway:

EMAIL_BACKEND = 'django.core.mail.backends.smtp.EmailBackend'

More informacion can be found in the django docs:


When DEBUG=False django will not display the usual error page, but will email the people in the ADMINS tuple with the error traceback:

    ('Carlos Valderrama', ''),
    ('Diego Maradona', ''),


In order to let people autoregister to the GeoNode, set:


This needs email to be configured and your website's domain name properly set in the Sites application (the default is



To automatically import uploaded shapefiles to a PostGIS database, open the file and set 'DB_DATASTORE' to 'True'. Then assign the appropriate connection values to the other DB_DATASTORE_* settings below it:

DB_DATASTORE_NAME = '<Name of your PostGIS database>' DB_DATASTORE_USER = '<Database user name>' DB_DATASTORE_PASSWORD = '<Database user password>' DB_DATASTORE_HOST = '<Database hostname (typically localhost)' DB_DATASTORE_PORT = '<Database port (typically 5432)>' DB_DATASTORE_TYPE='postgis'

Directory Structure

  • docs/ - Documentation based on Sphinx

  • - Main build script.

  • shared/ - Configuration files and support files for the installer.

  • src/ - Source code for the java, javascript and python modules. Split in:

    • geonode-client/ - the JavaScript/CSS for general apps (the Map editor, search, embedded viewer...)
    • GeoNodePy/ - the Python/Django modules. Inside, geonode/ is the "core".
    • geoserver-geonode-ext/ - the GeoServer extensions used by the GeoNode. Actually, the build script for this project is set up to create a WAR that includes those extensions, not just a bundle with the extension.

GPL License

GeoNode is Copyright 2010 OpenPlans.

GeoNode is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

GeoNode is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with GeoNode. If not, see <>.