2. Configure a CubicWeb environment#

You can configure the database system of your choice:

For advanced features, have a look to:

2.1. Databases configuration#

Each instance can be configured with its own database connection information, that will be stored in the instance’s sources file. The database to use will be chosen when creating the instance. CubicWeb is known to run with Postgresql (recommended) and SQLite.

Other possible sources of data include CubicWeb, LDAP and Mercurial, but at least one relational database is required for CubicWeb to work. You do not need to install a backend that you do not intend to use for one of your instances. SQLite is not fit for production use, but it works well for testing and ships with Python, which saves installation time when you want to get started quickly.

2.1.1. PostgreSQL#

Many Linux distributions ship with the appropriate PostgreSQL packages. Basically, you need to install the following packages:

  • postgresql and postgresql-client, which will pull the respective versioned packages (e.g. postgresql-9.1 and postgresql-client-9.1) and, optionally,

  • a postgresql-plpython-X.Y package with a version corresponding to that of the aforementioned packages (e.g. postgresql-plpython-9.1). (Not needed now by default)

If you run postgres on another host than the CubicWeb repository, you should install the postgresql-client package on the CubicWeb host, and others on the database host.

For extra details concerning installation, please refer to the PostgreSQL project online documentation. Database cluster#

If you already have an existing cluster and PostgreSQL server running, you do not need to execute the initilization step of your PostgreSQL database unless you want a specific cluster for CubicWeb databases or if your existing cluster doesn’t use the UTF8 encoding (see note below).

To initialize a PostgreSQL cluster, use the command initdb:

$ initdb -E UTF8 -D /path/to/pgsql

Note: initdb might not be in the PATH, so you may have to use its absolute path instead (usually something like /usr/lib/postgresql/9.4/bin/initdb).

Notice the encoding specification. This is necessary since CubicWeb usually want UTF8 encoded database. If you use a cluster with the wrong encoding, you’ll get error like:

new encoding (UTF8) is incompatible with the encoding of the template database (SQL_ASCII)
HINT:  Use the same encoding as in the template database, or use template0 as template.

Once initialized, start the database server PostgreSQL with the command:

$ postgres -D /path/to/psql

If you cannot execute this command due to permission issues, please make sure that your username has write access on the database.

$ chown username /path/to/pgsql Database authentication#

The database authentication is configured in pg_hba.conf. It can be either set to ident sameuser or md5. If set to md5, make sure to use an existing user of your database. If set to ident sameuser, make sure that your client’s operating system user name has a matching user in the database. If not, please do as follow to create a user:

$ su
$ su - postgres
$ createuser -s -P <dbuser>

The option -P (for password prompt), will encrypt the password with the method set in the configuration file pg_hba.conf. If you do not use this option -P, then the default value will be null and you will need to set it with:

$ su postgres -c "echo ALTER USER <dbuser> WITH PASSWORD '<dbpassword>' | psql"

The above login/password will be requested when you will create an instance with cubicweb-ctl create to initialize the database of your instance. Database creation#

If you create the database by hand (instead of using the cubicweb-ctl db-create tool), you may want to make sure that the local settings are properly set. For example, if you need to handle french accents properly for indexing and sorting, you may need to create the database with something like:

$ createdb --encoding=UTF-8 --locale=fr_FR.UTF-8 -t template0 -O <owner> <dbname>

Notice that the cubicweb-ctl db-create does database initialization that may requires a postgres superuser. That’s why a login/password is explicitly asked at this step, so you can use there a superuser without using this user when running the instance. Things that require special privileges at this step:

  • database creation, require the ‘create database’ permission

Where pgadmin is a postgres superuser.

2.1.2. SQLite#

SQLite has the great advantage of requiring almost no configuration. Simply use ‘sqlite’ as db-driver, and set path to the dabase as db-name. Don’t specify anything for db-user and db-password, they will be ignore anyway.


SQLite is great for testing and to play with cubicweb but is not suited for production environments.

2.2. Cubicweb resources configuration#