Plone: Quickest start

by ada last modified Sep 14, 2013 10:44 AM
An attempt to describe how to get started with Plone, for people who do not necessarily have advanced or even basic programming skills. Call it "Plone for dummies", call it how you want. If it works, you should be happy, and so will I ;)

Install Plone


The following how-to applies to Ubuntu and Debian operating systems, only.
For other OS, please see the official fully detailed documentation here:


You need to install some packages (programs) on your computer, which Plone needs, before we continue.
To do that, open a "Terminal" (you should be able to find that, in your computers program-folder), then copy and paste this line into the terminal:
sudo apt-get install libxml2 libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libbz2-dev libssl-dev p7zip-full unzip unace unp bzip2 gzip patch g++ zlibc python-imaging zlib1g-dev python-dev build-essential
And hit the return-key.
You'll be asked to enter your password for the computer, do it. Hit it.

Get the Unified-Installer

Plone has quite some more dependencies but there is the awesome Unified-Installer who'll take care of that.

In your terminal type:


Hit the enter-key.

This will get you the newest Plone-version at the time of writing (Sept. 2013). Have a look at to find the newest or an older release.

Unpack the Unified-Installer

In your terminal type:

tar -xvzf Plone-4.3.1r1-UnifiedInstaller.tgz

And hit the enter key.

Go into the unpacked folder

cd Plone-4.3.1-UnifiedInstaller

Execute the installation

./ standalone

This will create a folder named 'Plone' in your homedirectory, where the server and everything of Plone will live.

If you want the Plone-folder to be located in another place, or are courious for more options to tweak the install, read the contained README.txt or the official docs (see link on top in preamble). If you think, to expect a lot of traffic on your site, consider a zeo-install.

The installation will take quite some time, depending on your internet-connection, for sure enough time for a decent cup of tea.

Start server

cd Plone/zinstance
./bin instance start

Access the Management-Interface to create a Plonesite

Open a browser of your choice (f.e. firefox), enter "localhost:8080/manage" into the browser's adressbar. You'll be asked to log in, username is "admin" and password either lives in the Plone-directory in the adminPassword.txt-file or you have been asked during install to enter a login of your choice, then you should use this one.

You should now see a button "Add Plonsite" on the right-top-corner, hit it. Welcome to the Plone-world!

Adding an add-on

So you have installed Plone with the Unified-Installer, a running site, and now you want to enhance it with some add-ons of your choice. In this example we'll add 'collective.plonetruegallery'.

Ok, some rough background for the following steps: Plone is made of Python-packages, which live in the cheeseshop, a public repository provided at Then, there is a tool called buildout. It'll let you define which add-ons you want in a configuration-file, and then download it of the cheeseshop for you. Let's go.

Go into your Plone's instance-directory

cd Plone/zinstance

In a zeo-install, that would be "cd Plone/zeocluster".

Edit the configuration-file

vi buildout.cfg

Scroll down with the arrow-down button until you find the line starting with "eggs", hit the key "i" for entering the editmode of the editor (here: vi) and add the name of the add-on:

eggs =

Hit "Esc" for leaving the edit mode, enter ":wq" for saving the changement and and close the file.

You can of course use an editor of your choice, instead.

Run buildout to let it fetch the add-on for you


Restart instance to update the changement

./bin/instance restart

For a zeo-install use "./bin/plonectl restart".

Go to your Plonesite's controlpanel to activate the add-on

Call "" in a browser, tic the box for collective.plonetruegallery and hit 'Activate' at the bottom, done.

This is how it should work ideally. For more details, please see the official documentations:

Ask on the lists or StackOverflow, if you get stucked somewhere. On StackOverflow, please add the tag 'plone' to your question, in order to get noticed by Plonistas, as StackOverflow is a general programming-forum.