Installing django CMS

We’ll get started by setting up our environment.

Your working environment

We’re going to assume that you have a reasonably recent version of virtualenv installed and that you have some basic familiarity with it.

Create and activate a virtual env

virtualenv env
source env/bin/activate

Note that if you’re using Windows, to activate the virtualenv you’ll need:


Use the django CMS installer

The django CMS installer is a helpful script that takes care of setting up a new project.

Install it:

pip install djangocms-installer

This provides you with a new command, djangocms.

Create a new directory to work in, and cd into it:

mkdir tutorial-project
cd tutorial-project

Run it to create a new Django project called mysite:

djangocms -p . mysite


djangocms-installer expects directory . to be empty at this stage, and will check for this, and will warn if it’s not. You can get it to skip the check and go ahead anyway using the -s flag; note that this may overwrite existing files.

Windows users may need to do a little extra to make sure Python files are associated correctly if that doesn’t work right away:

assoc .py=Python.file
ftype Python.File="C:\Users\Username\workspace\demo\env\Scripts\python.exe" "%1" %*

For the purposes of this tutorial, it’s recommended that you answer the installer’s questions as follows - where our suggestions differ from the default, they’re highlighted below:

  • Database configuration (in URL format): sqlite://localhost/project.db
  • django CMS version: stable
  • Django version: 1.6
  • Activate Django I18N / L10N setting: yes
  • Install and configure reversion support: yes
  • Languages to enable. Option can be provided multiple times, or as a comma separated list: en, de
  • Optional default time zone: America/Chicago:
  • Activate Django timezone support: yes
  • Activate CMS permission management: yes
  • Use Twitter Bootstrap Theme: yes
  • Use custom template set: no
  • Load a starting page with examples after installation: yes

Create a Django admin user when invited.

Start up the runserver

python runserver

Open http://localhost:8000/ in your browser, where you should be presented with your brand new django CMS homepage.

Congratulations, you now have installed a fully functional CMS!

To log in, append ?edit to the URL and hit enter. This will enable the toolbar, from where you can log in and manage your website. Switch to Draft mode to add and edit content.

Try to switch between Live and Draft view, between Structure and Content mode, add plugins, move them around and delete them again.

To add a Text or or other plugin elements to a placeholder:

  1. switch to Structure mode
  2. select the menu icon on the placeholder’s title bar
  3. select a plugin type to add