Basic troubleshooting


Here is some info for basic Plone troubleshooting, especially with add-on modules-

Start Plone as foreground / debug mode

Plone runs on the top of Zope application service. Zope is a Python process and will appear as "python ....." in your task manager process list.

Zope will report any problems with code when it is launched in foreground mode (attached to a terminal).

  • Basic command-line knowledge is needed in order to proceed

First stop Zope if it's running as a background process

  • On Windows: use Plone Control Panel or Windows Control Panel Services section to shutdown Plone first
  • On Linux: use /etc/init.d/plone stop or related command to shutdown Plone

Use the command

bin/instance fg

or Windows command-line command (note that Plone location may depend on where you installed it)

cd "C:\Program files\Plone"
bin\instance.exe fg

to start Plone.

All errors will be printed into the terminal. The error is printed as Python traceback. It is important to copy-paste all lines of this traceback, not just the last line.

If there is no start up error you will see the line

No such file or directory: 'zope.conf'


sudo /Applications/Plone/zinstance/bin/plonectl start
instance: Error: error opening file /Applications/Plone/zinstance/parts/instance/etc/zope.conf: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '/Applications/Plone/zinstance/parts/instance/etc/zope.conf'

This means that running bin/buildout script did not complete successfully. Re-run buildout and see what's wrong.

Dropping into pdb

If you need to inspect start-up errors in Python's debugger.

Activate Python configuration associated with your bin/instance script:

source ~/code/collective.buildout.python/python-2.6/bin/activate

Start Plone pdb enabled:

python -m pdb bin/instance fg

Check if Plone is up and responds to requests

Enter to the computer running Plone (SSH in on UNIX).

Use telnet command to connect Plone port and see if you get valid HTTP response from Plone

telnet localhost 8080

Then do a human HTTP user agent simulation by typing:

GET / HTTP/1.0<enter><enter>

Plone response looks like this:

Connected to localhost.localdomain.
Escape character is '^]'.
GET / HTTP/1.0

HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Server: Zope/(2.13.10, python 2.6.6, linux2) ZServer/1.1
Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2012 09:59:40 GMT
Content-Length: 1614
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Connection: close

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
<html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en">

<base href="" />

If you get the answer from Plone (based on HTTP response headers) then Plone is running and you have problem elsewhere in your firewall/server/ front-end web server configuration.

Consult your operating system manual for fixing your problem.

Cleaning up bad add-on uninstalls

Many low quality Plone add-ons do not uninstall cleanly. You need to remove persistent objects from site database after add-on uninstall while code is still in buildout.

Otherwise your Plone site may not

  • Pack properly
  • Start properly
  • Migrate to new version

For more information see

Not able to log in

It might happen that you start your instance with an empty database and you are not able to log in even if you are absolutely sure about your password. If you work on localhost throw away the localhost related cookies in your browser and restart.

If you have lost the Zope Admin Password you can create an emergency user: