Installing Plone 3.0 on Ubuntu 6.06

Plone on Ubuntu
Plone 3.0.2 on an 32-bit Ubuntu 6.06 LTS ‘Dapper Drake’ LAMP

What is Plone?Plone is a pretty cool content management system (CMS). Well, I think it’s cool based on some videos and documentation on their site. After comparing a lot of CMS options (including some really expensive closed-source stuff and 2 weeks of developer training on Sharepoint) I’m trying out Plone because a) open source is cool. b) Google people are smart, c) it supports LDAP authentication which I need for my all-M$ work enviro, d) there’s training/conferences/books/commercial support!? available and d) I’ve read some great reviews and CMS comparisons that rated it #1.

That was the good, now the most common complaint: hellish learning curve. Well, if you’re a developer and you’re going to customize beyond the existing system and available plugins. Why? Well, you’ll have to learn some python and the database is the rather obscure Zope instead of MySQL or SQL. In fact, I just read this on 456 Berea St (one of my fav dev blogs) and it gave me the shivers:

And the inital learning curve, even though I was a fairly good python programmer, was insane.

Then again, people told me Perl was insane too and I loved working with Perl. Besides, we’re just playing right now, right?

What is Ubuntu? - Ubuntu is a community developed, linux-based operating system that I use for a web server. ‘Dapper Drake’ is the release name for 6.06 LTS. (Keyword: LTS – long term support). It’s surprisingly easy to install. If you’re bored, geeky and/or have extra VMs or boxes lying around you should try a LAMP install and get your web server up in 15 minutes!

There’s already a Plone From Scratch HOWTO on the Ubuntu Forums, however it is for a previous version of Plone (2.0.5) and uses the apt-get method which I’ve noticed a lot of people in the forums having trouble with. Disclaimer: I do not provide ‘undo/uninstall’ instructions, other than, whip up a a LAMP on VMware and test it first or backup your system. I would welcome uninstall directions if someone who knows what they are doing could provide them.

Doesn’t Plone provide installation instructions? Well, yes. But when I started to read them I got real nervous. What the heck is gcc? libssl? TLS? etc. Those poor geeks at Plone don’t realize how noob noob can be! I tried to find better instructions (for me) at the Ubuntu Forums and instead I found a lot of people having problems trying to install Plone via Synaptic or apt-get instead of using Plone’s instructions. So here ya go.

You should already have gcc, g++, make and tar installed by default, but if you want to be anal do this:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gcc g++ make tar

Sidetrack > (Possibly totally unnecessary step!) If you’re a fair server noob like me you have no idea what libssl and readline libraries and development headers are and what the heck is TLS? Google suggests it has something to do with mail encryption. I read some confusing stuff on Ubuntu Forums about RPM and a program called Alien that converts RPMs to DEB packages seemed probably unrelated but like a handy utility to have and so:

sudo apt-get install alien

Download the Plone Installer Package. I saved it in my home folder – it doesn’t really matter where you put it so long as you can find it.

wget -c http://plone.googlecode.com/files/Plone-3.0.2-UnifiedInstaller-Rev2.tar.gz
tar zxf Plone-3.0.2-UnifiedInstaller-Rev2.tar.gz
cd Plone-3.0.2-UnifiedInstaller

Here’s where you have to pay attention. You can do a ZEO or Stand-Alone install. “WTF?” you say? Yeah, well just pick your poison after reading all about it. Me, I’m doing a Stand-Alone as root install.

According to the README.TXT in the installation package my choice of standalone instance installed as root will result in Plone being installed to /opt/Plone-3.0.2 and libz and libjpeg libraries getting built in /user/local. A “plone” user will be added and Zope will be configured to run under that user id. You need to start Zope as root user (via sudo).

sudo ./install.sh standalone

Then a whole bunch of stuff happens. Lots of gcc (compiling) and checking for things (lots of yes and a few no-s in my case). Just wait, watch, hail Mary and knock on wood. This is a good time to read about the rest of this tutorial or creating new Zope/Plone instances if you want to do that. Or just catch up on your RSS feeds and I’ll hold your hand some more ;o)

If you’re real lucky, this is what you’ll see when it’s all said and done:


#####################################################################
###################### Installation Complete ######################
Use the account information below to log into the Zope Management Interface
The account has full 'Manager' privileges.
Username: admin
Password: XXXXXXX
Before you start Plone, you should review the settings in:
/opt/Plone-3.0.2/zinstance/etc/zope.conf
Adjust the ports Plone uses before starting the site, if necessary
To start Plone, issue the following command in a Terminal window:
sudo /opt/Plone-3.0.2/zinstance/bin/zopectl start
To stop Plone, issue the following command in a Terminal window:
sudo /opt/Plone-3.0.2/zinstance/bin/zopectl stop
Plone successfully installed at /opt/Plone-3.0.2
See /opt/Plone-3.0.2/zinstance/adminPassword.txt
for password and startup instructions
Ask for help on plone-users list or #plone
Submit feedback and report errors at http://dev.plone.org/plone
This installer was created by Kamal Gill (kamalgill at mac.com)
Maintainers for Plone 3 are Kamal Gill and Steve McMahon (steve at dcn.org)

First, write down your admin password!! Then, check zope.conf to ‘review settings’. I’m not familiar with them, so I just scanned for the port. Found it on line 969 (YMMV), set to the default Zope/Plone standalone install grabs, port 8080.

sudo vi /opt/Plone-3.0.2/zinstance/etc/zope.conf

Use :q! to quit vi without messing anything up

Use netcat to see what ports you have open already. (Netcat comes with Ubuntu install)

nc -z -v -w2 localhost 1-65535

After confirming that 8080 is avail (or changing it in zope.conf if it is not available) continue following directions.

sudo /opt/Plone-3.0.2/zinstance/bin/zopectl start #that last part is an L not a 1, took me a while...

Then go to: http://localhost:8080 (or sub servername for localhost to test from other computer). If you’re lucky AGAIN you’ll see the Zope Quick Start page!! Wahoo! Hii Fiiiiveh to self! Then look at the example site: http://localhost:8080/Plone, and then check out the management interface at http://localhost:8080/manage. Have fun. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me!

BTW: I suggest the Ubuntu Support Forum and Plone Support Forum for help. I am totally new at server administration, I prolly shouldn’t even publish this and I definitely can’t support your lazy arse!

13 thoughts on “Installing Plone 3.0 on Ubuntu 6.06”

  1. nice tut…..

    zopectl start
    is like
    apachectl start

    I typed in apachect1 once when i was teh n00b until i realized ctl stands for control

  2. Thanks for your tutorial. It was after reading this tutorial that I had the courage to try it on my own. For the record, the procedure described above worked flawlessly on an Ubuntu(gutsy) JeOS running in Vmware. I am running Vmware in Ubuntu Gutsy (Desktop). I am accessing the plone site from the host. Instead of http://localhost:8080 I am using http://(ip address of the JeOs virtual Os):8080

  3. I’m glad it worked for you. I have to admit, I ended up moving to Drupal because I’m less of a newb at PHP and couldn’t figure out the dependency tree of installs for one module. Not a good sign when you can’t figure out how to even install modules!!

  4. Thanks for this, it was dead easy to install from this, and worked fine for Ubuntu 8.04 as well.

  5. I’m on Kubuntu Hardy with Kde 4.0.4

    I’m trying to install 3.1.1 unified installer:

    dread@Freezing-Moon:~/Plone-3.1$ sudo ./install.sh standalone
    sudo: ./install.sh: command not found

    WTF?! need help :-\

  6. @Dread Knight – first make sure you’re in the right directory, then if “sudo ./install.sh” does not work you may have to type “sh install.sh”. if that doesn’t work then try “sh ./install.sh”

    I’m fairly new to *nix myself, you might hit up the Ubuntu forums for how to run shell scripts if the above doesn’t help.

  7. This was incredibly helpful. I’ve used it with several versions of Plone (latest 3.3.3), on several versions of Ubuntu, running in several versions of Virtual Box. And it always gets me through the installation successfully. Thanks!

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