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Installing TurboGears2

This charpter provides more complete informations about the install process. In case you had issues installing TurboGears, this is the place to take a look at.

virtualenv and You: A Perfect Match

virtualenv is an extremely handy tool while doing development of any sort, or even just testing out a new application. Using it allows you to have a sandbox in which to work, separate from your system’s Python. This way, you can try out experimental code without worrying about breaking another application on your system. It also provides easy ways for you to work on developing the next version of your application without worrying about a conflicting version already installed on your system.

It’s a tool that you would do well to learn and use. You could even check out the virtualenvwrapper tools by Doug Hellman (though this is not required, and we will not assume you have them installed throughout this book, they are still quite nice to have and use).

Installation on Windows

Open a command prompt, and run:

C:\> easy_install virtualenv

This will install a binary distribution for you, precompiled for Windows.

Installation on UNIX/Linux/Mac OSX

For these platforms, there exists a large amount of variation in the exact process to install virtualenv.

  1. Attempt to install via your platform’s package manager (for example: apt-get install python-virtualenv or yum install virtualenv).
  2. From the command line, attempt a plain easy_install via easy_install virtualenv
  3. Your platform may need to have the Python header files installed. You will need to work with whatever tools come with your platform to make this happen (for instance, OSX requires the XCode tools to install virtualenv, or on Ubuntu, you can use apt-get install python-dev). After doing this, easy_install virtualenv should work.

If none of these methods work, please feel free to ask on the mailing list for help, and we’ll work through it with you.

virtualenv Notes

When you use virtualenv, you have many options available to you (use virtualenv --help from the command line to see the full list). We are only going to cover basic use here.

The first thing you need to know is that virtualenv is going to make a directory which amounts to a private installation of Python. This means it will have bin, include, and lib directories. Most commonly, you will be using the files in the bin directory: specifically, the new command activate will become your best friend.

The second thing you need to know is that you will rarely want to use the system site-packages directory, and we never recommend it with TurboGears2. As a result, we always recommend turning it off when using virtualenv. It makes debugging much easier when you know what is there all the time.

The last thing to note is that you have the option of choosing a different default Python interpreter for your virtualenv. This will allow you to test on different Python versions, such as 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, or even PyPy. Normally, this won’t matter, but it is helpful to know that you can switch easily.

Usage of virtualenv

To use virtualenv, you run it like so:

$ virtualenv --no-site-packages -p /usr/bin/python2.7 ${HOME}/tg2env

When done, with these options, you will now have a Python 2.7 virtualenv located at ${HOME]/tg2 that has nothing but what comes with Python. By changing /usr/bin/python2.7 to point to a different Python interpreter, you will be able to choose a different version of Python. By changing ${HOME}/tg2env to point to a different directory, you can choose a different location for your new virtualenv.

For the duration of this book, we will assume that the virtualenv you are using is located at ${HOME}/tg2env. Please change the commands we give to you to match your system’s directory structure if you choose to use a different directory for your virtualenv.

Once you have a virtualenv, you must activate it. On a UNIX/Linux/Mac OSX machine, from the command line, you do the following:

$ source ${HOME}/tg2env/bin/activate

On Windows systems, from the command line, you do the following:

C:\> \path\to\virtualenv\Script\activate.bat

That’s it. From this point onward, any pip commands will automatically use your virtualenv, as will your scripts that will be developed in later chapters.

When you are done with this virtualenv, use the command deactivate. This will return your environment to what it was, and allow you to work with the system wide Python installation.

Installing TurboGears2

TurboGears2 is actually distributed in two separate packages: TurboGears2 and tg.devtools.

This is the actual framework. If you are writing an application which utilizes TurboGears2, then this is the package you need to add as a dependency in your file.
This package contains tools and dependencies to help you during your development process. It includes the Paste HTTP server, quickstart templates, and other tools. You will generally not list this as a dependency in your file, though you may have reason to do so. The application we will be developing for this book does not rely on it, and will not list it.

After activating your virtualenv, you only need to run one command:

$ pip install -f tg.devtools

That’s it. Once it completes, you now have the TurboGears2 framework and development tools installed.