Installing Core Arches¶
If you plan to extend or contribute to Arches, please see Creating a Development Environment.
We have an in-progress Docker install, and would love help improving it.
Create a Virtual Environment¶
You need a Python 3.7+ virtual environment. Skip ahead if you have already created and activated one. If you are unfamiliar with virtual environments, we recommend a look at the Python documentation. Use the commands below for a quick start.
Create a virtual environment (will be a new directory called ENV):
python3 -m venv ENV
On some linux distributions, if the python version is less than 3.7, entering the following command may yield an error but it should alert you to any dependencies you may need to install, after which you’ll be able to run this command.
Activate the virtual environment
The following are relative paths to an
activate script within ENV.
Linux and macOS:
After you activate your virtual environment, your command prompt will be prefixed with
(ENV). From here on the documentation will assume you have your virtual environment activated. Run
deactivate if you need to deactivate the virtual environment.
Test the Python version in ENV:
This will run the Python interpreter and tell you what version is in use. If you don’t
see at least 3.7, check your original Python installation, delete the entire
directory, and create a new virtual environment. Use
leave the interpreter.
With your virtual environment activated, you are ready to continue.
Creating a New Arches Project¶
A Project holds branding and customizations that make one installation of Arches different from the next. The name of your project must be lowercase and use underscores instead of spaces or hyphens. The example below uses
Create a Project¶
Linux and macOS:
arches-project create my_project
python ENV\Scripts\arches-project create my_project
You can add
--directory path/to/dir to change the directory your new project will be created in.
On Windows, open
my_project\my_project\settings_local.py and add the following line:
GDAL_LIBRARY_PATH = "C:/OSGeo4W64/bin/gdal201.dll"
Be sure to adjust the path as necessary for your GDAL installation, and note the forward slashes.
Setup the Database¶
First, enter the project directory:
and then run:
python manage.py setup_db
You may be prompted to enter a password for the
postgres user. Generally, our installation scripts set this password to
postgis, however you may have set a different password during your own Postgres/PostGIS installation.
View the Project in a Browser¶
To view your project, run the Django development server:
python manage.py runserver
and navigate to
localhost:8000 in a browser. Use
ctrl+C to stop the server.
Configure the Map Settings¶
The first thing everyone wants to do is look at the map, so let’s set this up first.
Go to Mapbox.com and create a free account.
Find your default API key (starts with
pk.) and copy it.
Now go to
Login with the default credentials: username:
Find the Default Map Settings, and enter your Mapbox API Key there.
Feel free to use the
?in the top-right corner of the page to learn about all of the other settings, and change any that you like (heed warning below).
Save the settings.
localhost:8000/searchto make sure the basemap appears.
We recommend exporting these settings by running
python manage.py packages -o save_system_settings.
This will create a JSON file in your project, which will be used if you ever need
to setup your database again.
If you create a new Project Extent, you should also update the Search Results Grid settings, otherwise you could get a JSON error in the search page. To be on the safe side, choose a high Hexagon Size combined with a low Hexagon Grid Precision.
Load a Package¶
An Arches “package” is an external container for database definitions (graphs, concept schemes), custom extensions (including functions, widgets, datatypes) and even data (resources). Packages are installed into projects, and can be used to share schema between installations.
To get started, load this sample package:
python manage.py packages -o load_package -s https://github.com/archesproject/arches-example-pkg/archive/master.zip -db
localhost:8000/graph to see 6 Resource Models that you can now use. You can also create new Resource models from scratch.
localhost:8000/resource to begin creating resources based on one of these resource models.
localhost:8000/search to find and inspect resources that you have created.
You can add
-dev to the load_package command to create a few test user accounts.
On macOS, If you get this error
ValueError: –enable-zlib requested but zlib not found, aborting.
Getting a connection error like this (in the dev server output or in the browser)
ConnectionError: ConnectionError(<urllib3.connection.HTTPConnection object at 0x0000000005C6BC50>: Failed to establish a new connection: [Errno 10061] No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it) caused by: NewConnectionError(<urllib3.connection.HTTPConnection object at 0x0000000005C6BC50>: Failed to establish a new connection: [Errno 10061] No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it)
means Arches is not able to communicate with ElasticSearch. Most likely, ElasticSearch is just not running, so just start it up and reload the page. If you can confirm that it is running, make sure Arches is pointed to to correct port.
Postgres password authentication error
django.db.utils.OperationalError: FATAL: pw authentification failed for user postgres
Most likely you have not correctly set the database credentials in your
settings.pyfile. Many of our install scripts set the db user to
postgresand password to
postgis, so that’s what Arches looks for by default. However, if you have changed these values (particularly if you are on Windows and had to enter a password during the Postgres/PostGIS installation process), the new values must be reflected in in
On Windows, you can avoid having to repeatedly enter the password while running commands in the console by setting the PGPASSWORD environment variable:
set PGPASSWORD=<your password>.