CKAN extension for the Open Knowledge Data Packager

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Open Knowledge Data Packager

The Open Knowledge Data Packager is a web app for quickly creating and publishing Tabular Data Packages. For more information, see the blog post on and the about page on

Installing your own Data Packager

To install Data Packager:

  1. Get an Ubuntu 12.04, 64-bit server or virtual machine, ssh into it and follow the steps below.

  2. Make sure Ubuntu’s package index is up to date:

     sudo apt-get update
  3. Install the Ubuntu packages that Data Packager requires:

     sudo apt-get install -y nginx apache2 libapache2-mod-wsgi libpq5 postgresql solr-jetty
  4. Download the latest version of the Data Packager package from the releases page, for example (replacing the URL with the URL of the deb file for the latest release):

     wget ''

    (If you get wget: command not found then do sudo apt-get install wget and try again.)

  5. Install the package, for example (replacing the filename with the name of the file you downloaded):

     sudo dpkg -i datapackager_X.Y.Z-I_amd64.deb

    If you get this error:

     Syntax error on line 1 of /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/ckan_default:
     Invalid command 'WSGISocketPrefix', perhaps misspelled or defined by a module not included in the server configuration
     Action 'configtest' failed.
     The Apache error log may have more information.!

    It means that for some reason the Apache WSGI module was not enabled. Enable it by running these commands:

     sudo a2enmod wsgi
     sudo service apache2 restart

    Then try again.

  6. Follow these instructions to setup Solr for CKAN:

  7. Follow these instructions to setup PostgreSQL for CKAN:, then edit the sqlalchemy.url setting in your /etc/ckan/default/production.ini file and set the correct password, database and database user.

  8. Initialize your CKAN database:

     sudo ckan db init
  9. Follow these instructions to enable file uploads:

  10. Restart Apache and Nginx:

    sudo service apache2 restart
    sudo service nginx restart
  11. You’re done! Data Packager should be running on port 80 on your server.

Updating your Data Packager

If you’ve already installed Data Packager and now you want to upgrade to a new release, follow these steps:

  1. Download the new release from the releases page, for example (replacing the URL with the URL of the deb file for the latest release):

     wget ''
  2. Install the new release, for example (replacing the filename with the name of the file you downloaded):

     sudo dpkg -i datapackager_X.Y.Z-I_amd64.deb
  3. Restart Apache:

     sudo service apache2 restart

Building the Data Packager Ubuntu package

Note: You’ll need a build machine capable of 64-bit virtualization to do this.

To build a new version of the Data Packager Ubuntu package containing the latest code:

  1. Install Vagrant 1.4, Virtualbox 4.3, Git and Ansible.

  2. Clone the ckan-packaging git repo, checking out the datapackager branch:

     git clone -b datapackager
  3. Change to the directory that you cloned ckan-packaging into:

     cd ckan-packaging
  4. Update the version number in package.yml (the --version argument to the fpm command). We use Semantic Versioning to decide the version numbers.

  5. Create and boot the virtual machine:

     vagrant up

    This will create a virtual machine and run the Vagrantfile in the ckan-packaging directory, which in turn runs an Ansible playbook which builds the Data Packager package.

    You’ll be prompted for a build ‘iteration’. This should normally be 0, but if for some reason you have to publish a new version of the same package (i.e. nothing in the code changed, but something went wrong in the packaging so the package has to be rebuilt), then you should increase the iteration number. When building the first package for a new version of Data Packager, the iteration number should be reset to 0 again.

    When typing the iteration number, your input will not be output to the console as there is a current bug with Ansible and Vagrant.

    The build process may take some time. Once it has completed, there will be a file called datapackager_X.Y.Z-I_amd64.deb in the ckan-packaging directory.

Once you’ve followed the above process once, you can re-use the same virtual machine to rebuild the package (using the latest code from each git repo). Just update the version number in ckan-packaging/package.yml, then do:

vagrant provision

Installing Data Packager for development

If you want to hack on Data Packager, follow these instructions to install a development version.

Data Packager is implemented as a CKAN extension (ckanext-datapackager).

To install the latest development version on Ubuntu 12.04, first install CKAN 2.2 from source and then (assuming you installed CKAN in the default location):

sudo apt-get install build-essential  # Install packages needed to build ckanext-datapackager
. /usr/lib/ckan/default/bin/activate  # Activate your CKAN virtualenv
cd /usr/lib/ckan/default/src/ckan
git checkout datapackager  # ckanext-datapackager currently requires this custom CKAN branch
pip install -e 'git+'
pip install -r ../ckanext-datapackager/requirements.txt

The final pip install -r command may take a while to run, because it installs pandas which requires a lot of compiling.

Then add datapackager to the ckan.plugins setting in your CKAN config file, and restart your web server.


You’ll need to install the dev requirements to run the tests:

pip install -r dev-requirements.txt

To run the tests:

nosetests --nologcapture --ckan --with-pylons=test.ini

Note that ckanext-datapackager’s test.ini file assumes that the relative path from it to CKAN’s test-core.ini file is ../ckan/test-core.ini, i.e. that you have CKAN and ckanext-datapackager installed next to each other in the same directory. This would normally be the case if you’ve done development installs of CKAN and ckanext-datapackager.


To run the tests with test coverage reporting, first install coverage in your virtualenv:

pip install coverage

Then run nosetests like this from the top-level ckanext-datapackager directory:

nosetests --nologcapture --ckan --with-pylons=test.ini --with-coverage --cover-package=ckanext.datapackager --cover-inclusive --cover-erase .

To get a nice, HTML-formatted coverage report in cover/index.html add the --cover-html option.

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