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Tendenci Installation

NOTE - These are for Tendenci 5.x. For Tendenci 6 Please Read Notes Here:

Tendenci 5 Installation Notes:

You can use the following installation instructions to install a local Tendenci site. This Django project is intended to help create a Tendenci site that you can deploy on a public hosting, but it's recommended that you install locally first in order to test your themes and designs. From the Terminal prompt on a Mac or Linux follow these steps.


Install pip

sudo easy_install pip

Install virtualenv

pip install virtualenv

If you are using OS X, you may need to sudo that command with:

sudo pip install virtualenv

You'll also need to have Git set up:

On Mac OS X 10.7 or higher you will need Xcode 4.4.1 or higher (in app store) and will need to install the Command Line tools it comes with. To install these, open Xcode, click the "Xcode" menu item in the top left of the screen near the Apple logo, then click "Preferences", then click "Downloads". Then click install on the line next to Command Line Tools.

Setting up the database

Tendenci is designed for use with PostgreSQL. You will need to have a PostgreSQL server running locally. If you are on OS X, we recommend to get up and running fast.

With installed, you can create a database from Terminal:

psql -h localhost -c "CREATE DATABASE tendenci"

You can also create a database in your GUI of choice (recommended:

For more on installing PostgreSQL for Django check the docs at:

Downloading Tendenci

Make a folder for your site and cd into it. Replace 'sitename' with the name of your site.

mkdir sitename
cd sitename

It's best practice to make a virtual environment for your site. You will need virtualenv installed for the next step. If you don't have it, you can install it with pip install virtualenv. Make a virtual environment called 'venv' and activate it.

virtualenv venv
source venv/bin/activate

Install Tendenci. This download and install step may take a few minutes.

pip install tendenci

Setting up your site

Once this is done, you can setup django project with the following:


If you created a database with a name other than 'tendenci', you will need to edit the database name 'tendenci' inside the .env file that is created. The .env file is in the root of your site and is a hidden file. Do a "ls -a" to see it. And type "nano .env" to edit it.

Next, we install requirements for the project. We add tendenci videos as an example to use.

pip install -r requirements/dev.txt

Now we are ready to use our deploy script.


Recommended: If this is your first time using Tendenci, we recommend you install some default data and our twenty-thirteen theme to get a feel of what a full Tendenci site is like. You can install this data and theme with the command:

python load_npo_defaults

To create your login, run the following command and fill in the prompts:

python createsuperuser

Finally, we can use the runserver command so that we can view the site in our browser:

python runserver

Open in your browser to see your tendenci site!

Advanced options

Optional: If you want to use a different theme, you can set that theme with the following command, replacing my-theme-name with the name of your theme:

python set_theme my-theme-name

Optional: You can download a set of starter themes at:

Optional: You can add additional local environment variables to the .env file by defining them as KEY='value'. Settings that are sensitive (like passwords) or vary per environment should be added to this file. For example, to use Amazon's S3 service as a file storage backend, set the following key/value pairs in your .env file:


If you are interested in deploying your site to Heroku, see our online instructions at

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