Installing Zope in a virtualenv

This document describes how to install Zope into a virtualenv using pip.


In order to install Zope, you must have the following prerequisites available:

  • A supported version of Python, including the development support if installed from system-level packages. Supported versions include:

    • 2.7
    • 3.5
    • 3.6
    • 3.7
  • Zope needs the Python zlib module to be importable. If you are building your own Python from source, please be sure that you have the headers installed which correspond to your system’s zlib.

  • A C compiler capable of building extension modules for your Python (gcc recommended).

  • If you are using a Python interpreter shipping with your Linux distribution, you need to install the matching Python development package. As example, for Python 3 on Ubuntu 18.04, you have to type the following:

    $ sudo apt-get install python3-dev

Create a Virtual Environment

Python 3

$ python3.6 -m venv zope
$ cd zope


You might need to install virtualenv.

For example, on Ubuntu 18.04 you have to type the following:

$ sudo apt-get install python3-venv

Python 2.7

If you are still using Python 2.7, install virtualenv onto your system, then call:

$ virtualenv --python=python2.7 zope
New python executable in zope/bin/python2.7
Installing setuptools, pip, wheel...done.
$ cd zope

Make sure you use at least version 12.0.1 of virtualenv (Calling virtualenv --version tells you the used version number.). Older versions install a pip version which is not compatible with the file format of requirements-full.txt used in Zope.


It is recommended to update pip to the lastest version.

$ path/to/your/pip install --upgrade pip

Install the Zope Software Packages

Look for the release you want to install on Than use the specific version of requirements-full.txt in the URL, replacing 4.0b7 in the example below:

$ bin/pip install Zope==4.0b7 -c
Obtaining Zope
Successfully installed ...

You can also install Zope using a single requirements file. Note that this installation method might install packages that are not actually needed (i. e. are not listed in the install_requires section of

$ bin/pip install \

If you are on Python 2 and want to use ZServer instead of WSGI , you’ll have to install that package seperately using the version spec in constraints.txt

$ bin/pip install \
-c \

Creating a Zope instance


The following steps describe how to install a WSGI based Zope instance. If you want/have to use ZServer instead of WSGI (Python 2 only!) follow the documentation Creating a Zope instance for Zope 2.13, .

Once you’ve installed Zope, you will need to create an “instance home”. This is a directory that contains configuration and data for a Zope server process. The instance home is created using the mkwsgiinstance script:

$ bin/mkwsgiinstance -d .

You will be asked to provide a user name and password for an administrator’s account during mkwsgiinstance. To see the available command-line options, run the script with the --help option:

$ bin/mkwsgiinstance --help

The -d . argument specifies the directory to create the instance home in. If you follow the example and choose the current directory, you’ll find the instances files in the subdirectories of the virtualenv:

  • etc/ will hold the configuration files.
  • var/ will hold the database files.