Prelude: Quick Project Startup with Scaffolds

To ease the process of getting started, Pyramid provides scaffolds that generate sample projects from templates in Pyramid and Pyramid add-ons.


We're going to cover a lot in this tutorial, focusing on one topic at a time and writing everything from scratch. As a warmup, though, it sure would be nice to see some pixels on a screen.

Like other web development frameworks, Pyramid provides a number of "scaffolds" that generate working Python, template, and CSS code for sample applications. In this step we'll use a built-in scaffold to let us preview a Pyramid application, before starting from scratch on Step 1.


  • Use Pyramid's pcreate command to list scaffolds and make a new project
  • Start up a Pyramid application and visit it in a web browser


  1. Pyramid's pcreate command can list the available scaffolds:

    $ $VENV/bin/pcreate --list
    Available scaffolds:
      alchemy:                 Pyramid SQLAlchemy project using url dispatch
      starter:                 Pyramid starter project
      zodb:                    Pyramid ZODB project using traversal
  2. Tell pcreate to use the starter scaffold to make our project:

    $ $VENV/bin/pcreate --scaffold starter scaffolds
  3. Use normal Python development to setup our project for development:

    $ cd scaffolds
    $ $VENV/bin/python develop
  4. Startup the application by pointing Pyramid's pserve command at the project's (generated) configuration file:

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

    On startup, pserve logs some output:

    Starting subprocess with file monitor
    Starting server in PID 72213.
    Starting HTTP server on
  5. Open http://localhost:6543/ in your browser.


Rather than starting from scratch, pcreate can make getting a Python project containing a Pyramid application a quick matter. Pyramid ships with a few scaffolds. But installing a Pyramid add-on can give you new scaffolds from that add-on.

pserve is Pyramid's application runner, separating operational details from your code. When you install Pyramid, a small command program called pserve is written to your bin directory. This program is an executable Python module. It is passed a configuration file (in this case, development.ini.)