Configuring and Running Zope

Whichever method you used to install Zope and create a server instance (see Installing Zope with zc.buildout and Installing Zope with virtualenv), the end result is configured and operated the same way.

Configuring Zope

Your instance’s configuration is defined in its etc/zope.conf file. Unless you created the file manually, that file should contain fully- annotated examples of each directive.

You can also pass an explicit configuration file on the command line:

$ /path/to/zope/instance/bin/zopectl -c /tmp/other.conf show
Config file:  /tmp/other.conf

When starting Zope, if you see errors indicating that an address is in use, then you may have to change the ports Zope uses for HTTP or FTP. The default HTTP and FTP ports used by Zope are 8080 and 8021 respectively. You can change the ports used by editing ./etc/zope.conf appropriately.

The section in the configuration file looks like this:

  # valid keys are "address" and "force-connection-close"
  address 8080
  # force-connection-close on

The address can just be a port number as shown, or a host:port pair to bind only to a specific interface.

After making any changes to the configuration file, you need to restart any running Zope server for the affected instance before changes are in effect.

Running Zope in the Foreground

To run Zope without detaching from the console, use the fg command (short for foreground):

$ /path/to/zope/instance/bin/zopectl fg

In this mode, Zope emits its log messages to the console, and does not detach from the terminal. This also automatically enables debug-mode. Do not use this for production servers.

Running Zope as a Daemon

Once an instance home has been created, the Zope server can now be started using this command:

$ /path/to/zope/instance/bin/zopectl start

During startup, Zope emits log messages into /path/to/zope/instance/log/event.log. You can examine it with the usual tools (cat, more, tail, etc) and see if there are any errors preventing Zope from starting.


For this to work on Windows, the Zope instance must be installed as a Service. This is done with:

bin\zopectl install

If you later want to remove this Service, do the following:

bin\zopectl remove

For the full list of options available for setting up Zope as a Windows Service, do:

bin\zopectl install --help

Integrating with System Startup

zopectl can be linked as rc-script in the usual start directories on linux or other System V unix variants.

You can use zopectl interactively as a command shell by just calling it without any arguments. Try help there and help <command> to find out about additionally commands of zopectl. These commands also work at the command line.


On Windows, a Service can be installed and set to start automatically with the following:

bin\zopectl install --startup=auto

Logging In To Zope

Once you’ve started Zope, you can then connect to the Zope webserver by directing your browser to:


where ‘yourhost’ is the DNS name or IP address of the machine running Zope. If you changed the HTTP port as described, use the port you configured.

You will be prompted for a user name and password. Use the user name and password you provided in response to the prompts issued during the “make instance” process.

Now you’re off and running! You should be looking at the Zope management screen which is divided into two frames. On the left you can navigate between Zope objects and on the right you can edit them by selecting different management functions with the tabs at the top of the frame.

If you haven’t used Zope before, you should head to the Zope web site and read some documentation. The Zope Documentation section is a good place to start. You can access it at


  • This version of Zope requires Python 2.6.4 or better. It will not run with Python 3.x.
  • The Python you run Zope with must have threads compiled in, which is the case for a vanilla build. Warning: Zope will not run with a Python version that uses libpth. You must use libpthread.
  • To build Python extensions you need to have Python configuration information available. If your Python comes from an RPM you may need the python-devel (or python-dev) package installed too. If you built Python from source all the configuration information should already be available.
  • See the Changelog for important notes on this version of Zope.

Adding extra commands to Zope

It is possible to add extra commands to zopectl by defining entry points in Commands have to be put in the zopectl.command group:

      init_app = mypackage.commands:init_application


Due to an implementation detail of zopectl you can not use a minus character (-) in the command name.

This adds a init_app command that can be used directly from the command line:

bin\zopectl init_app

The command must be implemented as a Python callable. It will be called with two parameters: the Zope2 application and a list with all command line arguments. Here is a basic example:

def init_application(app, args):
    print 'Initializing the application'

Make sure the callable can be imported without side-effects, such as setting up the database connection used by Zope 2.