6. Installation and Setup of Plone 6

Plone is the combination of a backend (data storage) with a frontend (user interface) into a fully featured CMS.

Plone 6 is an installation of Plone. By default it uses Volto for the frontend, based on ReactJS, on top of the plone.restapi to interact with the backend. This combines the stability, maturity, and security of the Plone backend with a modern, mature, user-friendly, and well maintained frontend.

Plone Classic is another installation of Plone. It uses Barceloneta, a customized version of Twitter Bootstrap, for the frontend. It will stay in place as a frontend option, giving developers and users time to adapt to Volto.

See the Plone road map for details.

This training is about Plone 6.

6.1. Installing Plone backend

Make sure you have a current and by Plone supported Python 3 version. One way to achieve is pyenv which lets you manage different Python versions. It even let's you setup virtual Pythons of the same version for individual projects. https://github.com/pyenv/pyenv-installer

pyenv install 3.9.5
pyenv virtualenv 3.9.5 plonepy
pyenv activate plonepy

This installs and activates a Python 3.9.5. It does not affect your system Python as it is an isolated virtual Python environment.

6.1.1. Prerequisites

The following instructions are based on Ubuntu and macOS. If you use a different operating system (OS), please adjust them to fit your OS.

On Ubuntu/Debian, you need to make sure your system is up-to-date:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y upgrade

Then, you need to install the following packages:

sudo apt-get install python3.9-dev python3.9-tk python3.9-venv build-essential libssl-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libbz2-dev libjpeg62-dev
sudo apt-get install libreadline-dev wv poppler-utils
sudo apt-get install git

On MacOS you at least need to install some dependencies with Homebrew

brew install zlib git readline jpeg libpng libyaml

See also

For more information or in case of problems see the official installation instructions.

6.1.2. Get Plone backend and install

Download Plone from https://plone.org/download

Follow the instructions. Select option 'standalone' for your first Plone installation.


You do not find a Plone 6 to download? Well it's not released. We still do a Plone 6 setup: Plone backend plus Plone frontend. If Plone backend is still a Plone 5, that's OK.

6.2. Installing Plone frontend

For a Plone 6 installation by now two installations are needed: Plone backend and Volto frontend. The former section is describing the options for a Plone backend installation. This section is about setting up a Volto project.

Install pre-requisites:

  1. Install nvm (Node Version Manager) to manage NodeJS versions.

    # macOS
    brew install nvm
    apt-get install nvm
  2. Install NodeJS

    nvm install 14 --latest-npm
    nvm use 14

    Test NodeJS:

    node -v

    The version of the current 14 NodeJS is printed. At the time of writing:

  3. Install package manager yarn.

    npm install --global yarn
  4. Install Yeoman and the Volto generator for apps and add-ons.

    npm install -g yo @plone/generator-volto

    Run npm update to be sure to have the current version.

Create your Volto project:

  1. Generate a project with Yeoman and the Volto generator:

    yo @plone/volto

    It will take a while to install all dependencies. yo will ask a series of questions.

  2. Start up the project myprojectname with

    cd myprojectname
    yarn start

If successful, you get:

🎭 Volto started at <http://localhost:3000> 🚀

Create a Plone site object Plone on http://localhost:8080

Point your browser to http://localhost:3000 and see that Plone is up and running.

You can stop the Volto app anytime using ctrl + c.

6.3. Hosting Plone

If you want to host a real live Plone site yourself then running it from your laptop is not a viable option.

You can host Plone...

  • with one of many professional hosting providers

  • on a virtual private server

  • on dedicated servers

See all the ways you can set up Plone

See also

Plone Installation Requirements: https://docs.plone.org/manage/installing/requirements.html

6.4. Production Deployment

The way we are setting up a Plone site during this class may be adequate for a small site — or even a large one that's not very busy — but you are likely to want to do much more if you are using Plone for anything demanding.

  • Using a production web server like Apache or nginx for URL rewriting, SSL and combining multiple, best-of-breed solutions into a single web site.

  • Reverse proxy caching with a tool like Varnish to improve site performance.

  • Load balancing to make best use of multiple core CPUs and even multiple servers.

  • Optimizing cache headers and Plone's internal caching schemes with plone.app.caching.

And you will need to learn strategies for efficient backup and log file rotation.

All these topics are introduced in Guide to deploying and installing Plone in production.