Author:Étienne Loks
Copyright:CC-BY 3.0

This document presents the installation of Chimère.


If you want to install the Chimère package for Debian Wheezy dependencies are managed by the package. You can go to the next section of the documentation.

geodjango is a part of django since version 1.0 but it has some specific (geographically related) additional dependencies:

Optionaly (but recommanded):

The simpliest way to obtain these packages is to get them from your favorite Linux distribution repositories. For instance on Debian Wheezy:

apt-get install apache2 python python-django python-django-south \
    postgresql-9.1 gettext python-psycopg2 python-imaging \
    python-pyexiv2 python-beautifulsoup python-simplejson python-gdal \
    python-lxml libjs-jquery libjs-jquery-ui python-feedparser \
    libgeos-3.3.3 proj-bin postgresql-9.1-postgis gdal-bin \
    tinymce gpsbabel python-django-celery javascript-common

On Debian Squeeze (you need to activate backports):

apt-get install -t squeeze-backports python-django libjs-jquery

apt-get install apache2 python python-django python-django-south \
    postgresql-8.4 gettext python-psycopg2 python-imaging \
    python-pyexiv2 python-beautifulsoup python-simplejson python-gdal \
    python-lxml libjs-jquery libjs-jquery-ui python-feedparser \
    libgeos-3.2.0 proj-bin postgresql-8.4-postgis gdal-bin \
    tinymce gpsbabel javascript-common

The package python-django-celery doesn’t exist for Debian Squeeze.

If these packages do not exist in your distribution’s repository, please refer to the applications’ websites.

Database configuration

Now that postgres and postgis are installed, you need to create a new user for Chimère:

su postgres
createuser --echo --adduser --createdb --encrypted --pwprompt chimere-user

Then, you have to create the database and initialize the geographic types (adapt the paths accordingly to your needs):

PG_VERSION=9.1 # 8.4 for debian Squeeze
createdb --echo --owner chimere-user --encoding UNICODE chimere "My Chimère database"
createlang plpgsql chimere # only necessary on Debian Squeeze
psql -d chimere -f /usr/share/postgresql/$PG_VERSION/contrib/postgis-1.5/postgis.sql
psql -d chimere -f /usr/share/postgresql/$PG_VERSION/contrib/postgis-1.5/spatial_ref_sys.sql

Installing the sources


If you are considering to contribute on Chimère get the Git master.

Choose a path to install your Chimère:


From Debian package

If you want to install the last stable version of Chimère and your system is under Debian Wheezy it is wise to use Chimère Debian packages.

You can install Chimère this way.

# add Chimère repository
echo "deb wheezy main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update
# install
apt-get install python-django-chimere

From an archive

The last “stable” version is available in this directory. Take care of getting the last version in the desired X.Y branch (for instance the last version for the 1.0 branch is version 1.0.2).:

wget -q -O -| html2text
[[   ]] chimere-1.0.0.tar.bz2     17-Nov-2010 16:51  53K
[[   ]] chimere-1.0.1.tar.bz2     17-Nov-2010 16:51  53K
[[   ]] chimere-1.0.2.tar.bz2     17-Nov-2010 16:51  53K


Download, unpack and move the files in an apache user (www-data for Debian) readable directory:

tar xvjf chimere-last.tar.bz2
chown -R myusername:www-data chimere

From the Git repository

Another solution is to get it from the Git repository:

CHIMERE_BRANCH=v2.0 # choose v2.0 for stable ou master for bleeding edge
git clone git://
cd chimere
git checkout origin/$CHIMERE_BRANCH

Creating a custom project template

A default project can be found on Gitorious. Get it and start a new project with it (or get another project based on Chimère):

cd $INSTALL_PATH/chimere
git clone git://
django-admin startproject --template=chimere-example-project mychimere_project
rm -rf chimere-example-project

Your project name is used for the name of the Python package of your template. As a Python package it should follow the rule of Python variable name: it must contain at least one letter and can have a string of numbers, letters and underscores (“_”) to any length. Don’t use accentuated letters. Don’t begin the name by “_” because it has special significance in Python.

In your Chimère application directory create to fit to your configuration. A base template is provided ( and short descriptions of the more relevant fields are given below (at least check them). Most of these settings are initialized in

cd $INSTALL_PATH/chimere/mychimere_project
  • DATABASES: parameters for the database
  • PROJECT_NAME: name of the project
  • SECRET_KEY: a secret key for a particular Django installation. This is used to provide cryptographic signing, and should be set to a unique, unpredictable value. Change it!
  • ROOT_URLCONF: url configuration for your project something like: ‘mychimere_project.urls’
  • EMAIL_HOST: smtp of an email server to send emails
  • TINYMCE_URL: url to tinymce path (default is appropriate for a Debian installation with tinymce package installed)
  • JQUERY_JS_URLS: list of jquery and jquery-ui javascript urls (default is appropriate for a Debian installation with libjs-jquery libjs-jquery-ui packages installed)
  • JQUERY_CSS_URLS: list of jquery and jquery-ui CSS urls (default is appropriate for a Debian installation with libjs-jquery libjs-jquery-ui packages installed)
  • GPSBABEL: path to gpsbabel (default is appropriate for a Debian installation with gpsbabel package installed)
  • TIME_ZONE: local time zone for this installation
  • LANGUAGE_CODE: language code for this installation

Manage media path permission:

cd $INSTALL_PATH/chimere/mychimere_project
chown -R user:www-data media
chmod -R g+w media

Create log file:

mkdir /var/log/django
touch /var/log/django/chimere.log
chown -R root:www-data /var/log/django/
chmod -R g+w /var/log/django/

Regroup static files in one path:

cd $INSTALL_PATH/chimere/mychimere_project
./ collectstatic

Compiling languages

If your language is available in the directory chimere/locale/, you will just need to get it compiled. This can be done with the following command (here, fr stands for French, replace it with the appropriate language code):

cd $INSTALL_PATH/chimere/chimere/
django-admin compilemessages -l fr

If your language is not available, feel free to create the default po file and to submit it, contributions are well appreciated. Procedure is as follows:

You first need to create the default po file (of course, replace fr according to the language you choose to create):

django-admin makemessages -l fr

There should now be a django.po file in locale/fr/LC_MESSAGES. Complete it with your translation.

Now that the translation file is completed, just compile it the same way you would have if the language file was already available.

Database initialisation

Create the appropriate tables (still being in your Chimère project directory):

cd $INSTALL_PATH/chimere/mychimere_project
./ syncdb

You will be prompted for the creation of an administrator account (administration can be found at: http://where_is_chimere/admin/). Then you have to create tables managed with Django-South:

./ migrate

The database is set, congratulations!

You can load the default group permissions (it is at least a good start):

./ loaddata ../chimere/fixtures/auth_group.json

If you want to populate your installation with default data (don’t do this on an already populated instance!):

./ loaddata ../chimere/fixtures/default_data.json

Webserver configuration

Apache configuration with mod_wsgi

Install mod_wsgi for Apache:

apt-get install libapache2-mod-wsgi

Create and edit a configuration for Chimère:

cp $INSTALL_PATH/chimere/apache/django.wsgi \
vim $INSTALL_PATH/chimere/apache/mydjango.wsgi
cp $INSTALL_PATH/chimere/apache/apache-wsgi.conf \
vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/chimere
# create log dir
mkdir /var/log/apache2/chimere/
chown www-data /var/log/apache2/chimere/

Adapt the files mydjango.wsgi (with the correct module) and Apache chimere (with the correct servername and correct paths).

To activate the website, reload apache:

a2ensite chimere
/etc/init.d/apache2 reload

If you encounter problem with the upload of files with Unicode chars in their names, activate the appropriate locale in Apache. On a Debian server with UTF-8 as default encoding, in the file /etc/apache2/envvars uncomment the following line:

. /etc/default/locale

Configuring the Sites framework

Sites framework allow you to serve the same content on different domains. Most of you will probably use only one domain but this unique domain has to be configured. This is done in the web administration interface in Sites > Sites. You only need to change by your domain name. If you forget to do that, some functionalities such as RSS feeds will not work properly.