Installing Silva 3.0 on Debian 6


Debian 7 (wheezy) was released on May 4th, 2013. It is now the “stable” distribution and should be used in preference to Debian 6 (squeeze, aka “old stable”). The following instructions will work just fine to install Silva 3.0 on Debian 7, but you can use to install the needed packages directly without needing to fetch them from the snapshot server as discussed below.

The new version of Silva (3.0) was released on December 13, 2012 (announcement), and brings in many new features, including a new SMI and WYSIWYG editor. In the backend, the version of Zope has been updated to 2.13, and the version of Python used by Silva has been bumped up to 2.7.

My main web server runs Debian GNU/Linux 6 (squeeze), which only ships with Python up to version 2.6. I wanted to use the new version of Silva without upgrading to a non-stable Debian release. Luckily, using Python 2.7 packages from the testing release (wheezy), we can get Silva 3.0 up and running.

System Preparation

Beginning with a minimal fresh install of Debian 6, we need to fetch the following packages from the testing (wheezy) repository via the server (links are for x86, but you can adjust the architecture to match your machine):

Note: Debian 7 is switching to a multiarch system, which is causing large changes in packages. Thus, it is not possible to use the most recent versions of all packages from testing, since both the python2.7 and libssl1.0.0 packages have a dependency on the multiarch-support package. The linked versions above have the last versions which are easily installable on Debian 6.

Silva 3.0 Buildout

The recommended way to install Silva is to check out a copy of the appropriate tag in SVN.

Now we can run buildout. You may want to change what profile is used and modify other options, but the gist is:

Now go do something else for a while as the buildout runs…

Via and XKCD

Via and XKCD

Fire it up!

Now that the buildout has completed, we can start up our new instance. It’s important to notice that the method used to startup the instance is different than previous versions of Silva! for the debug instance; for the production instance

Next steps

Now that you’ve got Silva up and running, you will probably want to configure a proper web server to modify and pass requests through to Silva. This is easy to do with Apache mod_wsgi, and I have documented it here. Additionally, once mod_wsgi is configured it’s quite easy to configure one Silva instance to serve many virtual hosts, if you so desire.

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