Getting Started#

Installing Volto#

Volto can be installed in any operating system assuming that this requirements are met:

Depending on the OS that you are using some of the following might change, they are assuming a MacOS/Linux machine:

Components / Processes running#

There are three processes continuously running when you have a working Volto website:

  1. A frontend web application running in your browser (JavaScript)

  2. A Node.js server process that delivers the JavaScript to the client and does Server Side Rendering (SSR) of your pages on first request (JavaScript, the Razzle package is used for SSR)

  3. A Plone server process that stores and delivers all content through a REST API (Python)

When you start with Volto most of the first customisations you will want to make (or maybe ever need to make) are in the JavaScript code used in the browser and Razzle process. Therefore this getting started chapter will focus on installing a NodeJS/JavaScript environment locally and suggest you start the API backend using a container.

Install nvm (NodeJS version manager)#

If you have a working Node JavaScript development already set up on your machine or you prefer another management tool to install/maintain node this step is not needed. If you have less experience with setting up JavaScript, it's a good idea to integrate nvm for development, as it provides easy access to any NodeJS released version.

  1. Open a terminal console and type:

    touch ~/.bash_profile
    curl -o- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/creationix/nvm/v0.39.1/install.sh | bash
    

    (Please check the latest available version of nvm on the main README

  2. Close the terminal and open a new one or execute:

    source ~/.bash_profile
    
  3. Test it:

    nvm version
    
  4. Install any active LTS version of NodeJS (https://github.com/nodejs/release#release-schedule):

    nvm install 16
    nvm use 16
    
  5. Test NodeJS:

    node -v
    

    Note

    If you're using the fish shell, you can use nvm.fish

    Note

    Volto supports currently active NodeJS LTS versions based on NodeJS Releases page, starting with Node 12 LTS.

Yarn (NodeJS package manager)#

Install the Yarn Classic version (not the 2.x one!), of the popular node package manager.

  1. Open a terminal and type:

    curl -o- -L https://yarnpkg.com/install.sh | bash
    
  2. Test it, running:

    yarn -v
    

    Tip

    As alternative, you can install yarn using several approaches too, depending on the platform you are on. Take a look at the original yarn documentation for a list of them.

Use or Install Docker#

In order to run the API backend, it's recommended to start run it in a container. For this getting started section we assume you are either using Linux, or Mac. Most modern Linux distributions have docker in their package manager available.

To install Docker desktop for Mac, here are the detailed instructions:

https://hub.docker.com/editions/community/docker-ce-desktop-mac
  1. Download the appropriate .dmg for your Intel or Apple chip.

  2. Install the package as any other Mac software, if required, follow instructions from:

    https://docs.docker.com/desktop/install/mac-install/

  3. Check that docker is installed correctly, open a new terminal and type:

    docker ps
    

    should not throw an error and show the current running containers.

Run a Volto ready Plone Docker container#

When you have installed Docker, you can use the official Plone Docker container with the proper configuration for Volto using the plone.volto add'on right away by issuing:

docker run -it --rm --name=plone \
  -p 8080:8080 -e SITE=Plone -e \
  ADDONS="plone.restapi==8.18.0 plone.app.iterate==4.0.2 plone.rest==2.0.0a1 plone.app.vocabularies==4.3.0 plone.volto==3.1.0a8" \
  -e PROFILES="plone.volto:default-homepage" \
  plone/plone-backend

Tip

This setup is meant only for demonstration and quick testing purposes (since it destroys the container on exit (--rm)). In case you need production ready deployment, check the latest Plone Deployment Training.

Note

The example above does not persist yet any changes you make through Volto in the Plone docker container backend! For this you need to map the /data directory in the container properly. Check Docker storage documentation for more information.

As a quick example: if you add --mount type=bind,source="$(pwd)/plone-data",target=/data to the previous example. The local subdirectory plone-data relative to where you execute docker run will be use to persist the backend server data.

If you are somewhat familiar with Python development, you can also install Plone locally without using Docker. Check the backend configuration section. It also has more information on plone.volto.

Install Volto#

Use the project generator helper utility.

  1. Open a terminal and execute:

    $ npm install -g yo @plone/generator-volto
    $ yo @plone/volto
    
  2. Answer to the prompted questions and provide the name of the new app (folder) to be created. For the sake of this documentation, provide myvoltoproject as project name then.

    Note

    You can run the generator with parameters to tailor your requirements.

    yo @plone/volto --help
    

    or take a look at the README for more information.

  3. Change directory to the newly created folder myvoltoapp (or the one you've chosen):

    cd myvoltoapp
    

    Then start Volto with:

    yarn start
    

    This command will build an in-memory bundle and execute Volto in development mode. Open a browser to take a look at http://localhost:3000

    Danger

    create-volto-app was deprecated from January 2021, in favor of @plone/generator-volto.

Build the production bundle#

In production environments, you should build an static version of your (Volto) app. The app should be run in a node process (because of the server side rendering part), but it also have a client part that is provided and deployed by the server side rendering process.

  1. Compile the app using the command:

    yarn build
    

    The resultant build is available in the build folder.

  2. Run the Volto Nodejs process

    yarn start:prod
    

    to run the node process with the production build. You can also run it manually:

    NODE_ENV=production node build/server.js
    

    Your production ready Volto will be available in http://localhost:3000