Before you start¶
A basic Wagtail setup can be installed on your machine with only a few prerequisites - see A basic Wagtail installation. However, there are various optional components that will improve the performance and feature set of Wagtail, and our recommended software stack includes the PostgreSQL database, ElasticSearch (for free-text searching), the OpenCV library (for image feature detection), and Redis (as a cache and message queue backend). This would be a lot to install in one go, and for this reason, we provide a virtual machine image, for use with Vagrant, with all of these components ready installed.
Whether you just want to try out the demo site, or you’re ready to dive in and create a Wagtail site with all bells and whistles enabled, we strongly recommend the Vagrant approach. Nevertheless, if you’re the sort of person who balks at the idea of downloading a whole operating system just to run a web app, we’ve got you covered too. Start from A basic Wagtail installation below.
The demo site (a.k.a. the no-installation route)¶
We provide a demo site containing a set of standard templates and page types - if you’re new to Wagtail, this is the best way to try it out and familiarise yourself with how Wagtail works from the point of view of an editor.
If you’re happy to use Vagrant, and you just want to set up the Wagtail demo site, or any other pre-existing Wagtail site that ships with Vagrant support, you don’t need to install Wagtail at all. Install Vagrant and VirtualBox, and run:
git clone https://github.com/torchbox/wagtaildemo.git cd wagtaildemo vagrant up vagrant ssh
Then, within the SSH session:
./manage.py createsuperuser ./manage.py runserver 0.0.0.0:8000
This will make the demo site available on your host machine at the URL http://localhost:8111/ - you can access the Wagtail admin interface at http://localhost:8111/admin/ . Further instructions can be found at Using Wagtail: an Editor’s guide.
Once you’ve experimented with the demo site and are ready to build your own site, it’s time to install Wagtail on your host machine. Even if you intend to do all further Wagtail work within Vagrant, installing the Wagtail package on your host machine will provide the wagtail start command that sets up the initial file structure for your project.
A basic Wagtail installation¶
This provides everything you need to create a new Wagtail project from scratch, containing no page definitions or templates other than a basic homepage as a starting point for building your site. (For a gentler introduction to Wagtail, you may wish to try out the demo site first!)
You will need Python’s pip package manager. We also recommend virtualenvwrapper so that you can manage multiple independent Python environments for different projects - although this is not strictly necessary if you intend to do all your development under Vagrant.
Wagtail is based on the Django web framework and various other Python libraries. Most of these are pure Python and will install automatically using pip, but there are a few native-code components that require further attention:
- libsass-python (for compiling SASS stylesheets) - requires a C++ compiler and the Python development headers.
- Pillow (for image processing) - additionally requires libjpeg and zlib.
On Debian or Ubuntu, these can be installed with the command:
sudo apt-get install python-dev python-pip g++ libjpeg62-dev zlib1g-dev
With these dependencies installed, Wagtail can then be installed with the command:
pip install wagtail
(or if you’re not using virtualenvwrapper: sudo pip install wagtail.)
You will now be able to run the following command to set up an initial file structure for your Wagtail project (replace myprojectname with a name of your choice):
wagtail start myprojectname
Without Vagrant: Run the following steps to complete setup of your project (the createsuperuser step will prompt you to set up a superuser account):
cd myprojectname pip install -r requirements.txt python manage.py migrate python manage.py createsuperuser python manage.py runserver
With Vagrant: Run the following steps to bring up the virtual machine and complete setup of your project (the createsuperuser step will prompt you to set up a superuser account):
cd myprojectname vagrant up vagrant ssh ./manage.py createsuperuser ./manage.py runserver 0.0.0.0:8000
For the best possible performance and feature set, we recommend setting up the following components. If you’re using Vagrant, these are provided as part of the virtual machine image and just need to be enabled in the settings for your project. If you’re using Wagtail without Vagrant, this will involve additional installation.
PostgreSQL is a mature database engine suitable for production use, and is recommended by the Django development team. Non-Vagrant users will need to install the PostgreSQL development headers in addition to Postgres itself; on Debian or Ubuntu, this can be done with the following command:
sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-server-dev-all
To enable Postgres for your project, uncomment the psycopg2 line from your project’s requirements.txt, and in myprojectname/settings/base.py, uncomment the DATABASES section for PostgreSQL, commenting out the SQLite one instead. Then run:
pip install -r requirements.txt createdb -Upostgres myprojectname ./manage.py migrate ./manage.py createsuperuser
This assumes that your PostgreSQL instance is configured to allow you to connect as the ‘postgres’ user - if not, you’ll need to adjust the createdb line and the database settings in settings/base.py accordingly.
Wagtail integrates with ElasticSearch to provide full-text searching of your content, both within the Wagtail interface and on your site’s front-end. If ElasticSearch is not available, Wagtail will fall back to much more basic search functionality using database queries. ElasticSearch is pre-installed as part of the Vagrant virtual machine image; non-Vagrant users can use the debian.sh or ubuntu.sh installation scripts as a guide.
To enable ElasticSearch for your project, uncomment the elasticsearch line from your project’s requirements.txt, and in myprojectname/settings/base.py, uncomment the WAGTAILSEARCH_BACKENDS section. Then run:
pip install -r requirements.txt ./manage.py update_index
Image feature detection¶
Wagtail can use the OpenCV computer vision library to detect faces and other features in images, and use this information to select the most appropriate centre point when cropping the image. OpenCV is pre-installed as part of the Vagrant virtual machine image, and Vagrant users can enable this by setting WAGTAILIMAGES_FEATURE_DETECTION_ENABLED to True in myprojectname/settings/base.py. For installation outside of Vagrant, see Feature Detection.
Alternative installation methods¶
If you have a fresh instance of Ubuntu 13.04 or later, you can install Wagtail, along with a demonstration site containing a set of standard templates and page types, in one step. As the root user:
curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/torchbox/wagtail/master/scripts/install/ubuntu.sh; bash ubuntu.sh
This script installs all the dependencies for a production-ready Wagtail site, including PostgreSQL, Redis, Elasticsearch, Nginx and uwsgi. We recommend you check through the script before running it, and adapt it according to your deployment preferences. The canonical version is at github.com/torchbox/wagtail/blob/master/scripts/install/ubuntu.sh.
If you have a fresh instance of Debian 7, you can install Wagtail, along with a demonstration site containing a set of standard templates and page types, in one step. As the root user:
curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/torchbox/wagtail/master/scripts/install/debian.sh; bash debian.sh
This script installs all the dependencies for a production-ready Wagtail site, including PostgreSQL, Redis, Elasticsearch, Nginx and uwsgi. We recommend you check through the script before running it, and adapt it according to your deployment preferences. The canonical version is at github.com/torchbox/wagtail/blob/master/scripts/install/debian.sh.
@oyvindsk has built a Dockerfile for the Wagtail demo. Simply run:
docker run -p 8000:8000 -d oyvindsk/wagtail-demo
See https://index.docker.io/u/oyvindsk/wagtail-demo/ for more details.