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Thanks for downloading the code to the Bespin project. You can easily get Bespin's Python server running on your local Mac or Linux machine (see note about Windows below).


You will need the following installed on your system to get Bespin up and running:

  • Mercurial
  • Python 2.5 or 2.6

Python 2.6 is preferred.

NOTE FOR LINUX USERS: If you are running on a Linux system, you will likely need a "python-dev" and "ruby1.8-dev" (on Ubuntu; possibly "python-devel" elsewhere) package installed, if you do not already have it. If you want to build the embedded release, you will want libyaml: the package on Ubuntu is "libyaml-dev".

NOTE FOR MAC USERS: You will need Xcode installed.

NOTE FOR WINDOWS USERS: Most Bespin developers are using unix-like platforms. Bespin's server should be able to run on Windows, though. You'll need a C compiler, and you can use Microsoft's free Visual C++ compiler. As an alternative, you can use Cygwin or MinGW to have a unix-like environment on your Windows system.

Getting Started


   hg clone
   hg clone
   cd bespinclient

This will get the Bespin client and Python Bespin server code checked out. The bespinclient/ directory is the "main" directory that you'll use. (See the Using Mercurial article for more detailed instructions on using Mercurial.)

To set up Bespin for the first time, run:

   python --no-site-packages

to get the environment set up. This is built around virtualenv. Please watch for helpful hints and instructions on screen.

In Unix-like environments, the next step is to activate the virtualenv using this command:

   source bin/activate

on Windows, the command is Scripts/activate.bat

Once the virtualenv is activate, you need to get the server set up:

   paver install_server

And the first time around, you're also going to want to get a database set up:

   paver create_db

If you have some trouble on macos x like the error message: ImportError: No module named `xxx' It's probably cause the server side is not completely installed so try

   cd ../bespinserver
   paver develop
   paver create_db

Starting the development server

If you are no longer (or not yet) in the virtualenv environment run within the bespinclient directory:

 source bin/activate

To start the server execute:

 paver start

This will start the Bespin server. You can now access the Bespin editor at http://localhost:8080/ in you browser.

Have fun!

More Documentation

The documentation of the last release is here.

Contributing to Bespin

For details see: