Fitting puzzle pieces together

"Buildout is an exceedingly civilized way to develop an app."

--- Jacob Kaplan-Moss, creator of Django

Django is an island

Let's take Django as an example:

No Project is an island

Framework has no dependencies ? Cool.

OTOH non trivial projects have many of them (good thing ™). Let's take Django as an example:

No developer is an island

Lost your marbles ?

Recreating the environment and dependencies walk in the park.


Enter zc.buildout

Python-based reproducible build and configuration system for multi-part applications:

Work flow

  1. Create configuration file
  2. Get and run the bootstrap script
  3. Run bin/buildout
  4. Update configuration, add/remove dependencies
  5. Goto 3

Create configuration file

Recipes for a great dish

Each part is handled by a recipe which is downloaded as needed. There are many of them, search buildout @PyPI. e.g:

Get and run bootstrap

Get it:

wget http://svn.zope.org/*checkout*/\

Run it:

[meir@metallix buildout]$ python bootstrap.py
Creating directory '/home/meir/tmp/buildout/bin'.
Creating directory '/home/meir/tmp/buildout/parts'.
Creating directory '/home/meir/tmp/buildout/develop-eggs'.
Generated script '/home/meir/tmp/buildout/bin/buildout'.

Update configuration

parts = python
eggs =

recipe = zc.recipe.egg
interpreter = mypython
eggs = ${buildout:eggs}

Run bin/buildout

[meir@metallix buildout]$ bin/buildout
Installing python.
Generated interpreter '/home/meir/tmp/buildout/bin/mypython'.

It's all in the paths, let's examine bin/mypython:


import sys

sys.path[0:0] = [


djangorecipe example

parts = python django
develop = .
eggs = django-bidi-utils

recipe = zc.recipe.egg
interpreter = python
eggs = ${buildout:eggs}

recipe = djangorecipe
version = 1.0.2
project = bidiutils
projectegg = bidiutils
settings = testsettings
test = bidiutils
eggs = ${buildout:eggs}

Extending config files

Config files can extends other ones, useful for different scenarios, e.g staging.cfg:


extends = buildout.cfg
parts +=


recipe = ...
$ bin/buildout -c staging.cfg

Recipes for fun and profit

Can't find the receipe ? Need customization ? don't despair, recipes are python after all, write your own.

Each recipe is a class implementing install, update and optional uninstall. For more info, see Writing recipes in the buildout tutorial.

That's all folks, questions ?

Contact: Meir Kriheli, meir@mksoft.co.il