Edgewall Software

This page documents the 0.10 release. Documentation for other releases can be found here.

Trac Installation Guide

Trac is a lightweight project management tool that is implemented as a web-based application. Trac is written in the Python programming language and needs a database (either SQLite, PostgreSQL, or MySQL works). For HTML rendering, Trac uses the ClearSilver templating system.

What follows are generic instructions for installing and setting up Trac and its requirements. While you can find instructions for installing Trac on specific systems at TracInstallPlatforms on the main Trac site, please be sure to first read through these general instructions to get a good understanding of the tasks involved.


To install Trac, the following software packages must be installed:

  • Python, version ≥ 2.3
    • if using mod_python together with xml-related things (like 0.11, or xml-rpc plugin), use python-2.5. expat is namespaced there and does not cause apache to crash any more(see here for details).
    • For RPM-based systems you might also need the python-devel and python-xml packages.
    • Please make sure to get at least ClearSilver 10.4 if you have Python 2.5. ClearSilver up to 10.3 and Python 2.5 don't seem to get along, so you'll probably have more luck with Python 2.4. Note about it in this mail exchange. To follow-up on that thread, with Trac 0.11dev (i.e. current trunk since r3832), Clearsilver is no longer needed. Yay. See instructions in TracOnWindows/Python2.5
    • You can fix the problem with Python 2.5 (x_64) relatively easily because Clearsilver installed neo_cgi.so in the path /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages instead of /usr/lib64/python2.5/site-packages. To solve the problem, make a link in /usr/lib64/python2.5/site-packages with ln -s /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/neo_cgi.so neo_cgi.so or just move the file to the correct location.
      — KarlHeinzMarbaise
  • For OS X 10.5 (Leopard) make a link:
    sudo ln -s /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/neo-cgi.so /Library/Python/2.5/site-packages
    after you install clearsilver.
    — Samvel
  • You also need a database system and the corresponding python drivers for it. The database can be either SQLite, PostgreSQL or MySQL (experimental).
  • For 0.11dev:
  • ClearSilver, version ≥ 0.9.3
    • With python-bindings (./configure --with-python=/usr/bin/python)
    • Version 10.4 required for Python 2.5
    • No longer required by Trac core starting with 0.11dev… although some plugins may still require it

For SQLite

  • SQLite, version 3.3.4 and above preferred.
  • PySQLite, version 1.x (for SQLite 2.x) or version 2.x (for SQLite 3.x), version 2.3.2 preferred. For details see PySqlite

Note: It appears that PySQLite 2.x is required for Trac 0.9+/SQLite 3.x if you plan to use the 'trac-post-commit-hook.py' script available from the 'contrib' section of the source repository.

Note: Users of Mac OS X please take care; the Apple-supplied SQLite contains additional code to support file locking on network filesystems like AFP or SMB. This is not presently (3.3.6) in the mainline sources, so if you build your own SQLite from source it will not function correctly on such filesystems - typically it gives the error "database is locked". A patch is available for version 3.3.6, based on Apple's code, otherwise you're probably best off using the Apple supplied version (presently 3.1.3).

For PostgreSQL

Note: PostgreSQL support requires Trac version 0.9 or later.


Warning: MySQL support is currently still experimental. That means it works for some people, but several issues remain, in particular regarding the use of unicode and the key length in the repository cache. See MySqlDb for more detailed informations.

Note: MySQL support requires Trac version 0.10 or later.

Optional Requirements

Version Control System

Please note: if using Subversion, Trac must be installed on the same machine. Remote repositories are not currently supported.

  • Subversion, version ≥ 1.0. (versions recommended: 1.2.4, 1.3.2 or 1.4.0) and the corresponding Python bindings. For troubleshooting, check TracSubversion
    • Trac uses the SWIG bindings included in the Subversion distribution, not PySVN (which is sometimes confused with the standard SWIG bindings).
    • If Subversion was already installed without the SWIG bindings, on Unix you'll need to re-configure Subversion and make swig-py, make install-swig-py.
    • There are pre-compiled bindings available for win32.
  • Support for other version control systems is provided via third-parties. See PluginList and VersioningSystemBackend.

Web Server

Other Python Utilities

Attention: The various available versions of these dependencies are not necessarily interchangable, so please pay attention to the version numbers above. If you are having trouble getting Trac to work please double-check all the dependencies before asking for help on the MailingList or IrcChannel.

Please refer to the documentation of these packages to find out how they are best installed. In addition, most of the platform-specific instructions also describe the installation of the dependencies. Keep in mind however that the information there probably concern older versions of Trac than the one you're installing (there are even some pages that are still talking about Trac 0.8!).

Installing Trac

Like most Python programs, the Trac Python package is installed by running the following command at the top of the source directory (you must issue this command from the source directory; the installation will not work properly if you run setup.py from a different directory) :

$ python ./setup.py install

Note: you'll need root permissions or equivalent for this step.

This will byte-compile the python source code and install it in the site-packages directory of your Python installation. The directories cgi-bin, templates, htdocs, wiki-default and wiki-macros are all copied to $prefix/share/trac/. conf and plugins stub directories are also created under $prefix/share/trac/ (since 0.10).

The script will also install the trac-admin command-line tool, used to create and maintain project environments, as well as the tracd standalone server.

Advanced Options

To install Trac to a custom location, or find out about other advanced installation options, run:

$ python ./setup.py install --help

Also see Installing Python Modules for detailed information.

Specifically, you might be interested in:

$ python ./setup.py install --prefix=/path/to/installdir

Creating a Project Environment

A Trac environment is the backend storage where Trac stores information like wiki pages, tickets, reports, settings, etc. An environment is basically a directory that contains a human-readable configuration file and various other files and directories.

A new environment is created using trac-admin:

$ trac-admin /path/to/myproject initenv

trac-admin will prompt you for the information it needs to create the environment, such as the name of the project, the type and the path to an existing source code repository, the database connection string, and so on. If you're not sure what to specify for one of these options, just leave it blank to use the default value. The database connection string in particular will always work as long as you have SQLite installed. Leaving the path to the source code repository empty will disable any functionality related to version control, but you can always add that back when the basic system is running.

Also note that the values you specify here can be changed later by directly editing the TracIni configuration file.

Note: The user account under which the web server runs will require write permissions to the environment directory and all the files inside.

Running the Standalone Server

After having created a Trac environment, you can easily try the web interface by running the standalone server tracd:

$ tracd --port 8000 /path/to/myproject

Then, fire up a browser and visit http://localhost:8000/. You should get a simple listing of all environments that tracd knows about. Follow the link to the environment you just created, and you should see Trac in action.

Running Trac on a Web Server

Trac provides four options for connecting to a “real” web server: CGI, FastCGI, mod_wsgi and mod_python. For decent performance, it is recommended that you use either mod_wsgi, FastCGI or mod_python.

Configuring Authentication

The process of adding, removing, and configuring user accounts for authentication depends on the specific way you run Trac. The basic procedure is described in the Adding Authentication section on the TracCgi page. To learn how to setup authentication for the frontend you're using, please refer to one of the following pages:

Using Trac

Once you have your Trac site up and running, you should be able to browse your subversion repository, create tickets, view the timeline, etc.

Keep in mind that anonymous (not logged in) users can by default access most but not all of the features. You will need to configure authentication and grant additional permissions to authenticated users to see the full set of features.


The Trac Team

See also: TracGuide, TracCgi, TracFastCgi, TracModPython, TracModWSGI, TracUpgrade, TracPermissions

Last modified 16 years ago Last modified on Apr 23, 2008, 8:14:20 AM
Note: See TracWiki for help on using the wiki.