Home > Articles > Web Development

Using Zope

This sample chapter will get you up and running with Zope. Authors Amos Latteier and Michael Pelletier guide you through installing and running Zope, and cover the most important Zope concepts. By the end of this chapter, you should be able to use Zope to create and manage simple, yet powerful, Web applications.
This sample chapter is excerpted from The Zope Book, by Amos Latteier and Michael Pelletier.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Downloading Zope

The first steps to using Zope are to download and install it. Zope is available for free from the Zope.org Web site (http://www.zope.org). The most recent stable version is always available from the Download section at Zope.org (http://www.zope.org/Products).

Zope is currently available as a binary for Windows, Linux, and Solaris. This means that you can just download and install it without having to compile any programs. For other platforms, you must download the source and compile Zope. Zope can be compiled and run on almost any UNIX-like operating system. As a general rule of thumb, if Python is available for your operating system and you have a C compiler, then you can probably use Zope.

Installing Zope

You will install Zope differently, depending on your platform. If you are running a recent version of Linux, you might already have Zope installed. You can get Zope in both binary and source forms. Several different binary formats are also available.

Installing Zope for Windows

Zope for Windows comes as a self-installing .exe file. To install Zope, double-click the .exe file. This launches an Installer that walks you through the installation process. Pick a name for your Zope installation and a directory in which to install it. Click Next, and create a new Zope user account. This account is called the initial user account. This creates an account that you can use to log into Zope for the first time. You can change this username and password later if you want.

If you are using Windows NT or Windows 2000, you can choose to run Zope as a service. Running Zope as a service is a good idea for a public server. If you are just running Zope for personal use, don't bother running it as a service. Keep in mind that if you are running Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows ME (Millenium Edition), you cannot run Zope as a service.

If you decide to uninstall Zope later, you can use the Unwise.exe program in your Zope directory.

Downloading Linux and Solaris Binaries

The following code shows how to download the binary for your platform and extract the tarball:

$ tar xvfz Zope-2.3.0-linux2-x86.tgz

In the previous example, you are downloading version 2.3.0. This might not be the most recent version of Zope when you read this, so be sure to get the latest stable version of Zope for your platform.

The following code unpacks Zope into a new directory. Enter the Zope directory and run the Zope Installer script:

$ cd Zope-2.3.0-linux2-x86
$ ./install

The Installer prints information as it installs Zope. Among other things, it creates an Initial User account. You can change the initial username and password later with the zpasswd.py script (see Chapter 6, "Users and Security").

The Installer configures Zope to run as your UNIX userid. If you prefer to run Zope as another userid, you can use the -u command-line switch and specify the user you want to configure Zope to run as. Many books on the market contain more information on userids and UNIX administration; in general, you should check out userids and UNIX administration if you want to do anything fancy. For now, things will work fine if you just install Zope as your user by not specifying any extra command line options.

For more information on installing Zope, see the installation instructions in doc/INSTALL.txt, and find out more about the Installer script by running it with the following -h help switch:

$ ./install -h

Getting Zope in RPM and deb Format

Zope Corporation doesn't make Zope available in RPM format, but other people do. Jeff Rush regularly packages Zope as RPMs. For more information, check out his Web page ( http://starship.python.net/crew/jrush/Zope/). Zope is also available in the Debian Linux deb package format. You can find Zope deb packages at the Debian Web site (http://packages.debian.org/zope). Generally, the latest Zope releases are found in the unstable distribution.

Compiling Zope from Source Code

If binaries aren't available for your platform, then chances are you can compile Zope from the source. To do this, install Python from your platform sources and make sure you have a C compiler. You can get Python from the Python Web site (http://www.python.org). Although we try to use the most recent Python for Zope, often the latest Python version is more recent than the version we "officially" support for Zope. For information on what version of Python you need to compile Zope, see the release notes on the Web page for each version.

The following code shows how to download the Zope source distribution and extract the tarball:

$ tar xvfz Zope-2.2.0-src.tgz

The previous example unpacks Zope into a new directory. In the following example, enter the Zope directory and run the Zope Installer script:

$ cd Zope-2.2.0-src
$ python wo_pcgi.py

The Installer compiles Zope and sets up your installation. The Installer prints information as it runs, including the initial username and password. It's important to write down that information so that you can log into Zope. For more information, see the installation instructions in the file doc/INSTALL.txt. Again, you can change the initial user account later with the zpasswd.py script (see Chapter 6).

Starting Zope

Depending on your platform, Zope is run with different commands. Whatever your platform, you can either run Zope manually, or automatically. When running Zope manually, you simply tell Zope when to start and when to stop. When running Zope automatically, Zope starts and stops when your computer starts and stops.

Starting Zope on Windows

The Installer creates a Zope directory with a batch file called start.bat. Double-click the start.bat icon. This opens a window that includes logging information. In this window, you find the port on which Zope is listening. You can now log into Zope with a Web browser.

If you are running Zope as a service, you can start and stop Zope via the Services Control Panel. Zope writes events to the event log so that you can keep track of when your service starts and stops. If you run Zope as a service, you must know what port Zope is running on because you will not have direct access to its detailed logging information.

Zope comes with its own Web server. When you start Zope, its Web server starts. If you want, you can connect Zope to your existing Web server, such as IIS, but that is beyond the scope of this book. The Zope Administrator's Guide covers this kind of material ( http://www.zope.org/DocProjects/AdminGuide).

Starting Zope on UNIX

Run the following Start script:

$ ./start &

Zope starts running and prints logging information to the console. You should see information telling you on which port Zope is listening. You can now log into Zope with a Web browser.

Zope comes with its own Web server. When you start Zope, its Web server starts. If you want, you can connect Zope to your existing Web server, such as Apache, but that is beyond the scope of this book. The Zope Administrator's Guide covers this kind of material ( http://www.zope.org/DocProjects/AdminGuide).

The Start script can also be edited to start Zope with many different options. How to customize your Zope startup is also described in the Administrator's Guide.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020