Installing a Lino developer environment¶
This document describes how to install a Lino developer environment on your computer. This is the easiest way to get started. You might later evolve into a contributing developer as described in Setting up a Lino contributor environment. For installing Lino on a production server you should read Installing Lino on a production server.
This document is written for Debian and derived distributions. Other Linuxes should be pretty similar. On proprietary operating systems you might encounter problems that are not documented here because some dependencies are more difficult to install on these systems. Lino itself has no specific OS requirements.
This document assumes you are familiar with the Linux shell at least for basic
file operations like
permissions, environment variables, bash scripts etc. Otherwise we suggest to
learn about Working in a UNIX shell.
Rather than installing Lino into your site-wide Python installation, you install it to a separate virtual Python environment, also known as a virtualenv
If virtualenvs are new to you: the reason for creating a new environment is to separate Lino from your system-wide Python. The main advantages are: if you are also developing other things with Python you might require different packages than what Lino uses, and there is the chance of version or dependency conflicts.
Also if you wish to remove Lino from your system you only need to remove the virtual environment rather than trying to remove Lino's dependencies from the system environment without breaking any other programs that use python.
Where to put your virtualenv:
In a developer environment we suggest
~/lino/envas your default environment.
On a production server we suggest
How to create a new virtual environment and activate it:
$ sudo apt-get install python3-pip $ mkdir ~/lino $ cd ~/lino $ virtualenv -p python3 env $ . env/bin/activate
After creating a new environment, you should always update pip and setuptools to the latest version:
$ pip install -U pip $ pip install -U setuptools
Did you know?
You can deactivate a virtual environment with the command
deactivate. This switches you back to your machine's
You can switch to another virtualenv simply by activating it, you don't need to deactivate the current one first.
You should never rename a virtualenv (they are not designed for that), but you can easily create a new one and remove the old one.
To learn more, read Dan Poirier's post Managing multiple Python projects: Virtual environments where he explains what they are and why you want them.
As a developer you probably don't want to type
. ~/env/bin/activate each
time you open a new terminal with Ctrl+Alt+T. So you should set your
default default environment by adding the following line to your
You will also instruct your favourite code editor to use this default
environment when doing syntax checks or finding definitions etc. For example in
Atom you say Path to Python
directory field to
Make sure your default environment is activated and then install getlino via pip:
$ pip install getlino
$ getlino configure
It asks a lot of questions, but you can hit ENTER for each of them.
when getlino asks a
[y or n] question, you should read it and understand it before you hit y.
getlino overwrites certain configuration files without making a backup copy.
Read twice before you hit y!
For details about each question see the documentation about getlino.
getlino startsite to create a first site:
$ getlino startsite noi first
$ cd ~/lino/sites/first $ python manage.py runserver
Now start your browser, point it to http://127.0.0.1:8000/ and you should see something like this:
Congratulations! Enjoy the first Lino application running on your machine!
Using virtual environments seems to be one of the biggest challenges for newbies. Here are some diagnostic tricks.
How to see which is your current virtualenv:
$ echo $VIRTUAL_ENV /home/joe/lino/env $ which python /home/joe/lino/env/bin/python
How to see what's installed in your current virtualenv:
$ pip freeze
The output will be about 60 lines of text, here is an excerpt:
alabaster==0.7.9 appy==0.9.4 argh==0.26.2 ... Django==1.11.2 ... future==0.15.2 ... -e git+git+ssh://email@example.com/lino-framework/lino.git@91c28245c970210474e2cc29ab2223fa4cf49c4d#egg=lino -e git+git+ssh://firstname.lastname@example.org/lino-framework/book.git@e1ce69aaa712956cf462498aa768d2a0c93ba5ec#egg=lino_book -e git+git+ssh://email@example.com/lino-framework/noi.git@2e56f2d07a940a42e563cfb8db4fa7444d073e7b#egg=lino_noi -e firstname.lastname@example.org:lino-framework/xl.git@db3875a6f7d449490537d68b08daf471a7f0e573#egg=lino_xl lxml==3.6.4 ... Unipath==1.1 WeasyPrint==0.31 webencodings==0.5
The getlino script does a lot of work.
These commands take some time when you run them the first time on your machine because they will download and install all Python packages needed by Lino. If you install them a second time into another environment, the process will be quicker because the dependencies have been cached.
Note that the -e
command-line switch for pip causes it to use the "development" mode.
Development mode means that these modules run "directly from source". pip
does not copy the sources to your Python site_packages, but instead adds a
link to them. The first argument after
-e is not a project name but a
A quick test when you want to see whether Lino is installed is to say "hello" to Lino:
$ python -m lino.hello Lino 20.3.0, Django 3.0.3, Python 3.6.8, Babel 2.7.0, Jinja 2.10.1, python-dateutil 2.8.0
A virtual Python environment.
- Developer environment
A set of tools configured on the desktop computer of a Lino developer who wants to develop their own Lino application.
- Contributor environment
- Production server
A dedicated server designed to host one or several production sites.
- Demo server
A dedicated server designed to host a series of demo sites.