Before you begin

This tutorial assumes that you have already followed the steps in Installing Pyramid, except do not create a virtualenv or install Pyramid. Thereby you will satisfy the following requirements.

Create directory to contain the project

We need a workspace for our project files.


$ mkdir ~/pyramidtut

On Windows

c:\> mkdir pyramidtut

Create and use a virtual Python environment

Next let's create a virtualenv workspace for our project. We will use the VENV environment variable instead of the absolute path of the virtual environment.


$ export VENV=~/pyramidtut
$ virtualenv $VENV
New python executable in /home/foo/env/bin/python
Installing setuptools.............done.

On Windows

c:\> set VENV=c:\pyramidtut

Versions of Python use different paths, so you will need to adjust the path to the command for your Python version.

Python 2.7:

c:\> c:\Python27\Scripts\virtualenv %VENV%

Python 3.2:

c:\> c:\Python32\Scripts\virtualenv %VENV%

Install Pyramid and tutorial dependencies into the virtual Python environment


$ $VENV/bin/easy_install docutils pyramid_tm pyramid_zodbconn \
        pyramid_debugtoolbar nose coverage

On Windows

c:\> %VENV%\Scripts\easy_install docutils pyramid_tm pyramid_zodbconn \
       pyramid_debugtoolbar nose coverage

Change Directory to Your Virtual Python Environment

Change directory to the pyramidtut directory.


$ cd pyramidtut

On Windows

c:\> cd pyramidtut

Making a project

Your next step is to create a project. For this tutorial, we will use the scaffold named zodb, which generates an application that uses ZODB and traversal.

Pyramid supplies a variety of scaffolds to generate sample projects. We will use pcreate—a script that comes with Pyramid to quickly and easily generate scaffolds, usually with a single command—to create the scaffold for our project.

By passing zodb into the pcreate command, the script creates the files needed to use ZODB. By passing in our application name tutorial, the script inserts that application name into all the required files.

The below instructions assume your current working directory is "pyramidtut".


$ $VENV/bin/pcreate -s zodb tutorial

On Windows

c:\pyramidtut> %VENV%\Scripts\pcreate -s zodb tutorial


If you are using Windows, the zodb scaffold may not deal gracefully with installation into a location that contains spaces in the path. If you experience startup problems, try putting both the virtualenv and the project into directories that do not contain spaces in their paths.

Installing the project in development mode

In order to do development on the project easily, you must "register" the project as a development egg in your workspace using the develop command. In order to do so, cd to the tutorial directory you created in Making a project, and run the develop command using the virtualenv Python interpreter.


$ cd tutorial
$ $VENV/bin/python develop

On Windows

c:\pyramidtut> cd tutorial
c:\pyramidtut\tutorial> %VENV%\Scripts\python develop

The console will show checking for packages and installing missing packages. Success executing this command will show a line like the following:

Finished processing dependencies for tutorial==0.0

Run the tests

After you've installed the project in development mode, you may run the tests for the project.


$ $VENV/bin/python test -q

On Windows

c:\pyramidtut\tutorial> %VENV%\Scripts\python test -q

For a successful test run, you should see output that ends like this:

Ran 1 test in 0.094s


Expose test coverage information

You can run the nosetests command to see test coverage information. This runs the tests in the same way that test does but provides additional "coverage" information, exposing which lines of your project are "covered" (or not covered) by the tests.


$ $VENV/bin/nosetests --cover-package=tutorial --cover-erase --with-coverage

On Windows

c:\pyramidtut\tutorial> %VENV%\Scripts\nosetests --cover-package=tutorial \
      --cover-erase --with-coverage

If successful, you will see output something like this:

Name                 Stmts   Miss  Cover   Missing
--------------------------------------------------             12      7    42%   7-8, 14-18
tutorial/      10      6    40%   9-14
tutorial/        4      0   100%
TOTAL                   26     13    50%
Ran 1 test in 0.392s


Looks like our package doesn't quite have 100% test coverage.

Start the application

Start the application.


$ $VENV/bin/pserve development.ini --reload

On Windows

c:\pyramidtut\tutorial> %VENV%\Scripts\pserve development.ini --reload


Your OS firewall, if any, may pop up a dialog asking for authorization to allow python to accept incoming network connections.

If successful, you will see something like this on your console:

Starting subprocess with file monitor
Starting server in PID 95736.
serving on

This means the server is ready to accept requests.

Visit the application in a browser

In a browser, visit http://localhost:6543/. You will see the generated application's default page.

One thing you'll notice is the "debug toolbar" icon on right hand side of the page. You can read more about the purpose of the icon at The Debug Toolbar. It allows you to get information about your application while you develop.

Decisions the zodb scaffold has made for you

Creating a project using the zodb scaffold makes the following assumptions:

  • you are willing to use ZODB as persistent storage
  • you are willing to use traversal to map URLs to code


Pyramid supports any persistent storage mechanism (e.g., a SQL database or filesystem files). It also supports an additional mechanism to map URLs to code (URL dispatch). However, for the purposes of this tutorial, we'll only be using traversal and ZODB.