In this post I’ll show you how I installed Python 2.4 on Mac OS X Leopard and how, starting from a bare Python environment, we can build a stand-alone Zope 2.10 instance with Plone 3.2 thanks to zc.buildout .

If your goal is to play with or evaluate Plone (or if you don’t know what zc.buildout is), then this article will lead you to some troubles and pain. The Plone community maintain a collection of out-of-the-box and ready-to-use installers for all major platforms. So before going further, I strongly advise you to use the official Plone installer for Mac OS X . This is much simpler and faster than the process described below.

Now that all Plone newcomers are redirected to the right place, I can start to talk about how to install Python 2.4 on Mac OS X. Why the 2.4 release? That’s simple: Mac OS X Leopard ships with Python 2.5, but Plone 3 requires Python 2.4.

To get Python 2.4 on your machine, you can install it from its source code . But this is too much work for me. There should be a way to do it easier and faster… And there is.

Browsing the net, I found the repository of the “fat python” project , were you can find a universal binary installer for Mac OS X Panther . I’ve just installed it on my brand new Mac OS X 10.5.7 and it seems to works perfectly:


Now that the most annoying part (to me) is done, we can install Plone via zc.buildout  .

Before going further, you need to have a machine that is able to compile code, which mean Apple’s developer tools must be installed locally. These software are available for free on the second DVD that ships with every Mac OS X copy.

First we create our project directory, then we download, from its SVN repository, the bootstrap code of buildout:

$ mkdir -p ~/plone-vanilla
$ cd ~/plone-vanilla
$ curl*checkout*/zc.buildout/trunk/bootstrap/ --output ./

Then we create our buildout config file and edit it:

$ touch ./buildout.cfg
$ vi ./buildout.cfg

The buildout.cfg file should contain the following directives, which tell buildout to install Plone 3.2.3, Zope 2.10.8 and all their dependencies:

find-links =
extends =
versions = versions
parts = zope-server
eggs = PIL

recipe = plone.recipe.zope2install
url =
fake-zope-eggs = true
additional-fake-eggs = ZConfig

recipe = plone.recipe.zope2instance
zope2-location = ${zope-server:location}
user = admin:admin
debug-mode = on
verbose-security = on
eggs = ${buildout:eggs}

Now let’s build our Plone and Zope environment:

$ python2.4 ./
$ ./bin/buildout

At the end, if your build process didn’t fail, you’ll be able to start your Zope server:

$ ./bin/zope-instance
program: /Users/kevin/plone-vanilla/parts/zope-instance/bin/runzope
daemon manager not running
zopectl> start
. daemon process started, pid=17585
zopectl> logtail
2009-07-20T20:42:26 INFO ZServer HTTP server started at Mon Jul 20 20:42:26 2009
    Port: 8080
2009-07-20T20:42:35 INFO Marshall libxml2-python not available. Unable to register libxml2 based marshallers.
2009-07-20T20:42:59 INFO Zope Ready to handle requests

Then you can fire up Safari, go to http://localhost:8080/manage (default Zope config), and login as the admin user (password: admin ):


Create a Plone site:


Check that your using the right version of Plone in the control panel: