Setting up your GeoNode project


These instructions are only valid if you’ve installed GeoNode in development mode!!


If you’ve installed GeoNode using apt-get and want to customize your GeoNode then go to the Customize the look and feel of the Administrator Workshop.

This section will walk you through the steps necessary to set up your own GeoNode project. It assumes that you have installed GeoNode in developing mode.

Setup steps

If you are working remotely, you should first connect to the machine that has your GeoNode installation. You will need to perform the following steps in a directory where you intend to keep your newly created project.

  1. Activate GeoNode’s Virtual Environment

    $ workon geonode
  2. Create your GeoNode project from the template

    $ startproject my_geonode --template= -epy,rst
    $ cd my_geonode
  3. Update your You will need to check the that is included with the template project and be sure that it reflects your own local environment. You should pay particular attention to the Database settings especially if you intend to reuse the database that was set up with your base GeoNode installation.

  4. Run the test server

    $ python runserver
  5. Visit your new GeoNode site at http://localhost:8000.

Source code revision control

It is recommended that you immediately put your new project under source code revision control. The GeoNode development team uses Git and GitHub and recommends that you do the same. If you do not already have a GitHub account, you can easily set one up. A full review of Git and distributed source code revision control systems is beyond the scope of this tutorial, but you may find the Git Book useful if you are not already familiar with these concepts.

  1. Create a new repository in GitHub. You should use the GitHub user interface to create a new repository for your new project.


    Creating a new GitHub Repository From GitHub’s Homepage


    Specifying new GitHub Repository Parameters


    Your new Empty GitHub Repository

  2. Initialize your own repository:

    $ git init
  3. Add the remote repository reference to your local git configuration:

    $ git remote add
  4. Add your project files to the repository:

    $ git add .
  5. Commit your changes:

    $ git commit -am "Initial commit"
  6. Push to the remote repository:

    $ git push origin master

Project structure

Your GeoNode project will now be structured as depicted below:

|-- README.rst
|-- my_geonode
|   |--
|   |--
|   |-- static
|   |   |-- README
|   |   |-- css
|   |   |   |-- site_base.css
|   |   |-- img
|   |   |   |-- README
|   |   |-- js
|   |       |-- README
|   |-- templates
|   |   |-- site_base.html
|   |   |-- site_index.html
|   |--
|   |--

You can also view your project on GitHub.


Viewing your project on GitHub

Each of the key files in your project are described below. is the main entry point for managing your project during development. It allows running all the management commands from each app in your project. When run with no arguments, it will list all of the management commands. is the primary settings file for your project. It is quite common to put all sensible defaults here and keep deployment specific configuration in the file. All of the possible settings values and their meanings are detailed in the Django documentation.

A common paradigm for handing ‘local settings’ (and in other areas where some python module may not be available) is:

from local_settings import *

This is not required and there are many other solutions to handling varying deployment configuration requirements. is where your application specific URL routes go. Additionally, any overrides can be placed here, too.

This is a generated file to make deploying your project to a WSGI server easier. Unless there is very specific configuration you need, can be left alone.

There are several packaging options in python but a common approach is to place your project metadata (version, author, etc.) and dependencies in

This is a large topic and not necessary to understand while getting started with GeoNode development but will be important for larger projects and to make development easier for other developers.



The static directory will contain your fixed resources: css, html, images, etc. Everything in this directory will be copied to the final media directory (along with the static resources from other apps in your project).


All of your projects templates go in the templates directory. While no organization is required for your project specific templates, when overriding or replacing a template from another app, the path must be the same as the template to be replaced.

Staying in sync with mainline GeoNode

If you want to stay in sync with the mainline GeoNode you have to execute the following commands. Your own project should not be adversely affected by these changes, but you will receive bug fixes and other improvements by staying in sync.

$ git fetch upstream master
$ git merge