Installing django CMS

We’ll get started by setting up our environment.


django CMS requires Django 1.8, and Python 2.7, 3.3 or 3.4.

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:


Update pip

pip is the Python installer. Make sure yours is up-to-date, as earlier versions can be less reliable:

pip install --upgrade pip

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 -f -p . mysite

This means:

  • run the django CMS installer
  • install Django Filer too (-f) - required for this tutorial
  • use the current directory as the parent of the new project directory (-p .)
  • call the new project directory mysite


About Django Filer

Django Filer, a useful application for managing files and processing images. Although it’s not required for django CMS itself, a vast number of django CMS addons use it, and nearly all django CMS projects have it installed. If you know you won’t need it, omit the flag. See the django CMS installer documentation for more information.


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" %*

By default, the installer runs in Batch mode, and sets up your new project with some default values.

Later, you may wish to manage some of these yourself, in which case you need to run it in Wizard mode. The default in Batch mode is to set up an English-only project, which will be sufficient for the purposes of this tutorial. You can of course simply edit the new project’s file at any time to change or add site languages or amend other settings.

The installer creates an admin user for you, with username/password admin/admin.

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.

a django CMS home page

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.

If you are not already familiar with django CMS, take a few minutes to run through the basics of the django CMS tutorial for users.