Creating Pyramid Scaffolds

Deprecated since version 1.8: Scaffolds and the pcreate script used to generate Pyramid projects from scaffolds have been deprecated. Use Pyramid cookiecutters instead.

You can extend Pyramid by creating a scaffold template. A scaffold template is useful if you'd like to distribute a customizable configuration of Pyramid to other users. Once you've created a scaffold, and someone has installed the distribution that houses the scaffold, they can use the pcreate script to create a custom version of your scaffold's template. Pyramid itself uses scaffolds to allow people to bootstrap new projects. For example, pcreate -s alchemy MyStuff causes Pyramid to render the alchemy scaffold template to the MyStuff directory.


A scaffold template is just a bunch of source files and directories on disk. A small definition class points at this directory. It is in turn pointed at by a Setuptools "entry point" which registers the scaffold so it can be found by the pcreate command.

To create a scaffold template, create a Python distribution to house the scaffold which includes a that relies on the Setuptools package. See Packaging and Distributing Projects for more information about how to do this. For example, we'll pretend the distribution you create is named CoolExtension, and it has a package directory within it named coolextension.

Once you've created the distribution, put a "scaffolds" directory within your distribution's package directory, and create a file within that directory named with something like the following:

1# CoolExtension/coolextension/scaffolds/
3from pyramid.scaffolds import PyramidTemplate
5class CoolExtensionTemplate(PyramidTemplate):
6    _template_dir = 'coolextension_scaffold'
7    summary = 'My cool extension'

Once this is done, within the scaffolds directory, create a template directory. Our example used a template directory named coolextension_scaffold.

As you create files and directories within the template directory, note that:

  • Files which have a name which are suffixed with the value _tmpl will be rendered, and replacing any instance of the literal string {{var}} with the string value of the variable named var provided to the scaffold.

  • Files and directories with filenames that contain the string +var+ will have that string replaced with the value of the var variable provided to the scaffold.

  • Files that start with a dot (e.g., .env) are ignored and will not be copied over to the destination directory. If you want to include a file with a leading dot, then you must replace the dot with +dot+ (e.g., +dot+env).

Otherwise, files and directories which live in the template directory will be copied directly without modification to the pcreate output location.

The variables provided by the default PyramidTemplate include project (the project name provided by the user as an argument to pcreate), package (a lowercasing and normalizing of the project name provided by the user), random_string (a long random string), and package_logger (the name of the package's logger).

See Pyramid's "scaffolds" package ( for concrete examples of scaffold directories (zodb, alchemy, and starter, for example).

After you've created the template directory, add the following to the entry_points value of your distribution's


For example:

def setup(
    entry_points = """\

Run your distribution's develop or install command. After that, you should be able to see your scaffolding template listed when you run pcreate -l. It will be named coolextension because that's the name we gave it in the entry point setup. Running pcreate -s coolextension MyStuff will then render your scaffold to an output directory named MyStuff.

See the module documentation for pyramid.scaffolds for information about the API of the pyramid.scaffolds.Template class and related classes. You can override methods of this class to get special behavior.

Supporting Older Pyramid Versions

Because different versions of Pyramid handled scaffolding differently, if you want to have extension scaffolds that can work across Pyramid 1.0.X, 1.1.X, 1.2.X and 1.3.X, you'll need to use something like this bit of horror while defining your scaffold template:

 1try: # pyramid 1.0.X
 2    # "pyramid.paster.paste_script..." doesn't exist past 1.0.X
 3    from pyramid.paster import paste_script_template_renderer
 4    from pyramid.paster import PyramidTemplate
 5except ImportError:
 6    try: # pyramid 1.1.X, 1.2.X
 7        # trying to import "paste_script_template_renderer" fails on 1.3.X
 8        from pyramid.scaffolds import paste_script_template_renderer
 9        from pyramid.scaffolds import PyramidTemplate
10    except ImportError: # pyramid >=1.3a2
11        paste_script_template_renderer = None
12        from pyramid.scaffolds import PyramidTemplate
14class CoolExtensionTemplate(PyramidTemplate):
15    _template_dir = 'coolextension_scaffold'
16    summary = 'My cool extension'
17    template_renderer = staticmethod(paste_script_template_renderer)

And then in the of the package that contains your scaffold, define the template as a target of both paste.paster_create_template (for paster create) and pyramid.scaffold (for pcreate).


Doing this hideousness will allow your scaffold to work as a paster create target (under 1.0, 1.1, or 1.2) or as a pcreate target (under 1.3). If an invoker tries to run paster create against a scaffold defined this way under 1.3, an error is raised instructing them to use pcreate instead.

If you want to support Pyramid 1.3 only, it's much cleaner, and the API is stable:

1from pyramid.scaffolds import PyramidTemplate
3class CoolExtensionTemplate(PyramidTemplate):
4    _template_dir = 'coolextension_scaffold'
5    summary = 'My cool_extension'

You only need to specify a paste.paster_create_template entry point target in your if you want your scaffold to be consumable by users of Pyramid 1.0, 1.1, or 1.2. To support only 1.3, specifying only the pyramid.scaffold entry point is good enough. If you want to support both paster create and pcreate (meaning you want to support Pyramid 1.2 and some older version), you'll need to define both.


Existing third-party distributions which house scaffolding are available via PyPI. The pyramid_jqm, pyramid_zcml, and pyramid_jinja2 packages house scaffolds. You can install and examine these packages to see how they work in the quest to develop your own scaffolding.