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Created by Stephen McDonald

Drum is a Reddit / Hacker News clone, built using Mezzanine and Django. It is BSD licensed, and designed to demonstrate some of the non-CMS capabilities of Mezzanine, such as threaded comments, ratings, and public user accounts.

Check out the blog post Building Social Apps with Mezzanine, which contains a detailed walk-through of how Drum was built. A live demo of Drum is also available.


Drum is designed as a plugin for the Mezzanine content management platform, and therefore requires Mezzanine to be installed. The integration of the two applications should occur automatically by following the installation instructions below.


The easiest method is to install directly from PyPI using pip by running the command below, which will also install the required dependencies mentioned above:

$ pip install -U drum

Otherwise, you can download Drum and install it directly from source:

$ python install

Once installed, the command mezzanine-project can be used to create a new Mezzanine project, with Drum installed, in similar fashion to

# FIXME: add new instructions of how to create a project with drum
$ mezzanine-project -a drum project_name
$ cd project_name
$ python createdb --noinput
$ python runserver

Here we specify the -a switch for the mezzanine-project command, which tells it to use an alternative package (drum) for the project template to use. Both Mezzanine and Drum contain a project template package containing the and modules for an initial project. If you'd like to add Drum to an existing Mezzanine or Django project, you'll need to manually configure these yourself. See the FAQ section of the Mezzanine documentation for more information.


The createdb is a shortcut for using Django's syncdb command and setting the initial migration state. You can alternatively use syncdb and migrate if preferred.

You should then be able to browse to and log in using the default account (username: admin, password: default). If you'd like to specify a different username and password during set up, simply exclude the --noinput option included above when running createdb.

RSS Import

One difficulty faced with a Drum site is building up an initial user base, as well as a good amount of interesting link content. This is a bit of a chicken and egg problem, in that each of these depends on the other. One way to address this is to automatically populate the site with interesting links. To help with this, Drum provides the Django management command poll_rss for retrieving links from an RSS feed, and populating the site with them. For example, suppose I was a terrible person and wanted to populate my Drum site with links directly from the Hacker News front page and the programming section of Reddit:

python poll_rss

Here you can see multiple RSS feeds being passed to the command, which I could then run on a scheduled basis using a cron job. Note that to use the poll_rss command, you'll need the feedparser library installed.

Auto Tagging

Drum provides some basic support for automatically tagging new links as they're added. This is first configured by setting the AUTO_TAG setting to True. With that set, when a new link is added, its given title is broken up into keywords, and if those keywords already exist as tags in the database, they're applied to the newly added link.

This means that for auto-tagging to work, the tags must already exist in the database. You can either add them manually via the admin (under the "Keywords" section), or if you have a large number of existing links, you can use the auto_tag management command Drum provides, which will analyse the titles of all your existing links, and provide tags it extracts from them. This makes use of the topia.termextract package which you'll first need to install:

python auto_tag --generate=100 --assign --remove

The --generate option must be provided to extract tags, and limits the number of tags extracted. Generally more tags will be extracted than are relevant, depending on your existing set of links, so experiment with different values here. You'll likely want to review all the tags added, deleting some and manually editing others, via the Django admin interface. The --assign option will go back and assign all tags in the database to all links in the database, as would occur if they were newly created. The --remove option will cause all existing tags to be removed.

You can also define your own tag extraction function, if splitting the title on spaces doesn't suffice. To do so, define the setting AUTO_TAG_FUNCTION which should contain a string with the Python dotted path to your custom tag function. The function will be given an unsaved Link object, and should return a sequence of tags to add.


Drum is an open source project managed using both the Git and Mercurial version control systems. These repositories are hosted on both GitHub and Bitbucket respectively, so contributing is as easy as forking the project on either of these sites and committing back your enhancements.

Please note the following guidelines for contributing:

  • Contributed code must be written in the existing style. This is as simple as following the Django coding style and (most importantly) PEP 8.
  • Contributions must be available on a separately named branch based on the latest version of the main branch.
  • Run the tests before committing your changes. If your changes cause the tests to break, they won't be accepted.
  • If you are adding new functionality, you must include basic tests and documentation.


If you would like to make a donation to continue development of Drum, you can do so via the Mezzanine Project website.


To report a security issue, please send an email privately to This gives us a chance to fix the issue and create an official release prior to the issue being made public.

For general questions or comments, please join the mezzanine-users mailing list. To report a bug or other type of issue, please use the GitHub issue tracker. And feel free to drop by the #mezzanine IRC channel on Freenode, for a chat.

Sites Using Drum


Reddit / Hacker News clone for Mezzanine







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