Trac Installation Guide for 1.0

Trac is written in the Python programming language and needs a database, SQLite, PostgreSQL, or MySQL. For HTML rendering, Trac uses the Genshi templating system.

Since version 0.12, Trac can also be localized, and there is probably a translation available in your language. If you want to use the Trac interface in other languages, then make sure you have installed the optional package Babel. Pay attention to the extra steps for localization support in the Installing Trac section below. Lacking Babel, you will only get the default English version.

If you're interested in contributing new translations for other languages or enhancing the existing translations, then please have a look at TracL10N.

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

Installation Steps

  1. Dependencies
    1. Mandatory Dependencies
    2. Optional Dependencies
  2. Installing Trac
    1. Using easy_install
    2. Using pip
    3. From source
    4. Using installer
    5. Using package manager
    6. Advanced easy_install Options
  3. Creating a Project Environment
  4. Deploying Trac
    1. Running the Standalone Server
    2. Running Trac on a Web Server
  5. Configuring Authentication
  6. Granting admin rights to the admin user
  7. Finishing the install
    1. Enable version control components
    2. Using Trac


Mandatory Dependencies

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

  • Python, version >= 2.5 and < 3.0 (note that we dropped the support for Python 2.4 in this release)
  • setuptools, version >= 0.6
  • Genshi, version >= 0.6

You also need a database system and the corresponding python bindings. The database can be either SQLite, PostgreSQL or MySQL.

For the SQLite database

As you must be using Python 2.5, 2.6 or 2.7, you already have the SQLite database bindings bundled with the standard distribution of Python: the sqlite3 module.

Optionally, you may install a newer version of pysqlite than the one provided by the Python distribution. See PySqlite for details.

For the PostgreSQL database

You need to install the database and its Python bindings:

See DatabaseBackend for details.

For the MySQL database

Trac works well with MySQL, provided you follow the guidelines:

Given the caveats and known issues surrounding MySQL, read the MySqlDb page before creating the database.

Optional Dependencies

Version Control System

  • Subversion, 1.5.x or later and the corresponding Python bindings. Older versions starting from 1.0, like 1.2.4, 1.3.2 or 1.4.2, etc. may still work. For troubleshooting information, check the TracSubversion page.

There are pre-compiled SWIG bindings available for various platforms. (Good luck finding precompiled SWIG bindings for any Windows package at that listing. TracSubversion points you to Alagazam, which works for me under Python 2.6.)

Note that Trac doesn't use PySVN, neither does it work yet with the newer ctype-style bindings.

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


More information is available on the TracGit page.


Support for other version control systems is provided via third-parties. See PluginList#VersionControlSystems and VersionControlSystem.

Web Server

A web server is optional because Trac has a server included, see the Running the Standalone Server section below.

Alternatively you can configure Trac to run in any of the following environments:

Other Python Packages

Attention: The available versions of these dependencies are not necessarily interchangeable, so please pay attention to the version numbers. 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.

Installing Trac

The trac-admin command-line tool, used to create and maintain project environments, as well as the tracd standalone server are installed along with Trac. There are several methods for installing Trac.

It is assumed throughout this guide that you have elevated permissions as the root user, or by prefixing commands with sudo. The umask 0022 should be used for a typical installation on a Unix-based platform.

Using easy_install

Trac can be installed from PyPI or the Subversion repository using setuptools.

A few command-line examples:

  • Install Trac 1.0:
    $ easy_install Trac==1.0
  • Install latest development version:
    $ easy_install Trac==dev
    Note that in this case you won't have the possibility to run a localized version of Trac; either use a released version or install from source.

More information can be found on the setuptools page.

Setuptools Warning: If the version of your setuptools is in the range 5.4 through 5.6, the environment variable PKG_RESOURCES_CACHE_ZIP_MANIFESTS must be set in order to avoid significant performance degradation. More information may be found in the sections on Running The Standalone Server and Running Trac on a Web Server.

Using pip

'pip' is an easy_install replacement that is very useful to quickly install Python packages. To get a Trac installation up and running in less than 5 minutes:

Assuming you want to have your entire pip installation in /opt/user/trac:

  • $ pip install trac psycopg2 


  • $ pip install trac mysql-python 

Make sure your OS specific headers are available for pip to automatically build PostgreSQL (libpq-dev) or MySQL (libmysqlclient-dev) bindings.

pip will automatically resolve all dependencies (like Genshi, pygments, etc.), download the latest packages from and create a self contained installation in /opt/user/trac.

All commands (tracd, trac-admin) are available in /opt/user/trac/bin. This can also be leveraged for mod_python (using PythonHandler directive) and mod_wsgi (using WSGIDaemonProcess directive).

Additionally, you can install several Trac plugins (listed here) through pip.

From source

Using the python-typical setup at the top of the source directory also works. You can obtain the source for a .tar.gz or .zip file corresponding to a release (e.g. Trac-1.0.tar.gz) from the TracDownload page, or you can get the source directly from the repository. See TracRepositories for details.

$ python ./ install

You will need root permissions or equivalent for this step.

This will byte-compile the Python source code and install it as an .egg file or folder in the site-packages directory of your Python installation. The .egg will also contain all other resources needed by standard Trac, such as htdocs and templates.

If you install from source and want to make Trac available in other languages, make sure Babel is installed. Only then, perform the install (or simply redo the install once again afterwards if you realize Babel was not yet installed):

$ python ./ install

Alternatively, you can run bdist_egg and copy the .egg from dist/ to the place of your choice, or you can create a Windows installer (bdist_wininst).

Using installer

On Windows Trac can be installed using the exe installers available on the TracDownload page. Installers are available for the 32 and 64 bit versions of Python. Make sure to use the installer that matches the architecture of your Python installation.

Using package manager

Trac may be available in the package repository for your platform. Note however, that the version provided by the package manager may not be the latest release.

Advanced easy_install Options

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

$ easy_install --help

Also see Installing Python Modules for detailed information.

Specifically, you might be interested in:

$ easy_install --prefix=/path/to/installdir

or, if installing Trac on a Mac OS X system:

$ easy_install --prefix=/usr/local --install-dir=/Library/Python/2.5/site-packages

Note: If installing on Mac OS X 10.6 running easy_install will install into /usr/local and /Library/Python/2.5/site-packages by default.

The above will place your tracd and trac-admin commands into /usr/local/bin and will install the Trac libraries and dependencies into /Library/Python/2.5/site-packages, which is Apple's preferred location for third-party Python application installations.

Creating a Project Environment

A Trac environment is the backend 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 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 and the database connection string. If you're not sure what to specify for one of these options, just press <Enter> to use the default value.

Using the default database connection string in particular will always work as long as you have SQLite installed. For the other database backends you should plan ahead and already have a database ready to use at this point.

Since 0.12, Trac doesn't ask for a source code repository anymore when creating an environment. Repositories can be added afterwards, and support for specific version control systems is disabled by default.

Also note that the values you specify here can be changed later by directly editing the conf/trac.ini configuration file.

Filesystem Warning: When selecting the location of your environment, make sure that the filesystem on which the environment directory resides supports sub-second timestamps (i.e. not ext2 or ext3 on Linux, or HFS+ on OSX), as the modification time of the conf/trac.ini file will be monitored to decide whether an environment restart is needed or not. A too coarse-grained timestamp resolution may result in inconsistencies in Trac < 1.0.2. The best advice is to opt for a platform with sub-second timestamp resolution, regardless of the Trac version.

Finally, make sure the user account under which the web front-end runs will have write permissions to the environment directory and all the files inside. This will be the case if you run trac-admin ... initenv as this user. If not, you should set the correct user afterwards. For example on Linux, with the web server running as user apache and group apache, enter:

$ chown -R apache.apache /path/to/myproject

The actual username and groupname of the Apache server may not be exactly apache, and are specified in the Apache configuration file by the directives User and Group (if Apache httpd is what you use).

Warning: Please only use ASCII-characters for account name and project path, unicode characters are not supported there.

Deploying Trac

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. If you only plan on managing a single project with Trac you can have the standalone server skip the environment list by starting it like this:

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

Setuptools Warning: If the version of your setuptools is in the range 5.4 through 5.6, the environment variable PKG_RESOURCES_CACHE_ZIP_MANIFESTS must be set in order to avoid significant performance degradation. The environment variable can be set system-wide, or for just the user that runs the tracd process. There are several ways to accomplish this in addition to what is discussed here, and depending on the distribution of your OS.

To be effective system-wide a shell script with the export statement may be added to /etc/profile.d. Ubuntu/Debian users can add the export statement to /etc/apache2/envvars. RedHat/CentOS/Fedora users can add the export statement to /etc/sysconfig/httpd. To be effective for a user session the export statement may be added to ~/.profile.


Alternatively, the variable can be set in the shell before executing tracd:

$ PKG_RESOURCES_CACHE_ZIP_MANIFESTS=1 tracd --port 8000 /path/to/myproject

Running Trac on a Web Server

Trac provides various options for connecting to a "real" web server:

Trac also supports AJP which may be your choice if you want to connect to IIS. Other deployment scenarios are possible: nginx, uwsgi, Isapi-wsgi etc.

Generating the Trac cgi-bin directory

In order for Trac to function properly with FastCGI you need to have a trac.fcgi file and for mod_wsgi a trac.wsgi file. These are Python scripts which load the appropriate Python code. They can be generated using the deploy option of trac-admin.

There is, however, a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. The trac-admin command requires an existing environment to function, but complains if the deploy directory already exists. This is a problem, because environments are often stored in a subdirectory of the deploy. The solution is to do something like this:

$ mkdir -p /usr/share/trac/projects/my-project
$ trac-admin /usr/share/trac/projects/my-project initenv
$ trac-admin /usr/share/trac/projects/my-project deploy /tmp/deploy
$ mv /tmp/deploy/* /usr/share/trac

Don't forget to check that the web server has the execution right on scripts in the /usr/share/trac/cgi-bin directory.

Mapping Static Resources

Out of the box, Trac will pass static resources such as style sheets or images through itself. For anything but a tracd only based deployment, this is far from optimal as the web server could be set up to directly serve those static resources. For CGI setup, this is highly undesirable as it causes abysmal performance.

Web servers such as Apache allow you to create "Aliases" to resources, giving them a virtual URL that doesn't necessarily reflect the layout of the servers file system. We also can map requests for static resources directly to the directory on the file system, avoiding processing these requests by Trac itself.

There are two primary URL paths for static resources - /chrome/common and /chrome/site. Plugins can add their own resources, usually accessible by /chrome/<plugin> path, so its important to override only known paths and not try to make universal /chrome alias for everything.

Note that in order to get those static resources on the filesystem, you need first to extract the relevant resources from Trac using the trac-admin <environment> deploy command:

deploy <directory>

    Extract static resources from Trac and all plugins

The target <directory> will then contain an htdocs directory with:

  • site/ - a copy of the environment's directory htdocs/
  • common/ - the static resources of Trac itself
  • <plugins>/ - one directory for each resource directory managed by the plugins enabled for this environment
Example: Apache and ScriptAlias

Assuming the deployment has been done this way:

$ trac-admin /var/trac/env deploy /path/to/shared/trac

Add the following snippet to Apache configuration before the ScriptAlias or WSGIScriptAlias (which map all the other requests to the Trac application), changing paths to match your deployment:

Alias /trac/chrome/common /path/to/trac/htdocs/common
Alias /trac/chrome/site /path/to/trac/htdocs/site

<Directory "/path/to/www/trac/htdocs">
  Order allow,deny
  Allow from all

If using mod_python, you might want to add this too, otherwise the alias will be ignored:

<Location "/trac/chrome/common/">
  SetHandler None

Note that we mapped /trac part of the URL to the trac.*cgi script, and the path /trac/chrome/common is the path you have to append to that location to intercept requests to the static resources.

Similarly, if you have static resources in a project's htdocs directory (which is referenced by /trac/chrome/site URL in themes), you can configure Apache to serve those resources (again, put this before the ScriptAlias or WSGIScriptAlias for the .*cgi scripts, and adjust names and locations to match your installation):

Alias /trac/chrome/site /path/to/projectenv/htdocs

<Directory "/path/to/projectenv/htdocs">
  Order allow,deny
  Allow from all

Alternatively to aliasing /trac/chrome/common, you can tell Trac to generate direct links for those static resources (and only those), using the [trac] htdocs_location configuration setting:

htdocs_location =

Note that this makes it easy to have a dedicated domain serve those static resources, preferentially cookie-less.

Of course, you still need to make the Trac htdocs/common directory available through the web server at the specified URL, for example by copying (or linking) the directory into the document root of the web server:

$ ln -s /path/to/trac/htdocs/common /var/www/

Setting up the Plugin Cache

Some Python plugins need to be extracted to a cache directory. By default the cache resides in the home directory of the current user. When running Trac on a Web Server as a dedicated user (which is highly recommended) who has no home directory, this might prevent the plugins from starting. To override the cache location you can set the PYTHON_EGG_CACHE environment variable. Refer to your server documentation for detailed instructions on how to set environment variables.

Configuring Authentication

Trac uses HTTP authentication. You'll need to configure your webserver to request authentication when the .../login URL is hit (the virtual path of the "login" button). Trac will automatically pick the REMOTE_USER variable up after you provide your credentials. Therefore, all user management goes through your web server configuration. Please consult the documentation of your web server for more info.

The process of adding, removing, and configuring user accounts for authentication depends on the specific way you run Trac.

Please refer to one of the following sections:

The following document also contains some useful information for beginners: TracAuthenticationIntroduction.

Granting admin rights to the admin user

Grant admin rights to user admin:

$ trac-admin /path/to/myproject permission add admin TRAC_ADMIN

This user will have an "Admin" entry menu that will allow you to administrate your Trac project.

Finishing the install

Enable version control components

Support for version control systems is provided by optional components in Trac and the components are disabled by default (since 1.0). Subversion and Git must be explicitly enabled if you wish to use them. See TracRepositoryAdmin for more details.

The version control systems are enabled by adding the following to the [components] section of your trac.ini, or enabling the components in the "Plugins" admin panel:

tracopt.versioncontrol.svn.* = enabled
tracopt.versioncontrol.git.* = enabled

After enabling the components, repositories can be configured through the Repositories admin panel or by editing trac.ini. Automatic changeset references can be inserted as ticket comments by configuring CommitTicketUpdater.

Using Trac

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

Keep in mind that anonymous (not logged in) users can by default access only a few of the features, in particular they will have a read-only access to the resources. 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: TracInstallPlatforms, TracGuide, TracUpgrade, TracPermissions

Last modified 16 months ago Last modified on Sep 29, 2015 1:33:38 PM