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Trac is an open source, web-based project management and bug-tracking tool (source:Wikipedia). Trac is built on python and provides a web interface to version control systems such as Subversion, Git, Mercurial etc. With its wiki markup capability, Trac serves as a great annotation tool for a project's source code.

End Users

For end users interested in using Trac as a wiki, ticket/bug reporting tool send an email to...

Coming soon, a self servicing web interface for provisioning a trac instance(TBD, a landing page...)


For developers, interested in customizing Trac (theme, plugins etc), setting up a development environment in one's own space without much fuss and moving parts, is of primary concern. This brings down to two essential components for developing for Trac,

  1. Python
  2. XAMPP (Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl) stack.

NOTE: Though there may be any number of ways to set up an AMP stack, recommended here is one easy way which has cross-platform capability ie., XAMPP developed by Apache Friends.

Mac OS X

To set up a dev environment for Trac

  1. Configure Python
  2. Install Trac and related dependencies like Genshi
  3. Create Trac instance
  4. Deploy Trac on a web server as a CGI executable
  5. Configure Apache for Trac


  1. Mac OS X comes with a pre-installation of Python, usually one or two years old [1]. Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) has 2.6.1 version of Python. This is adequate for developing Trac on Mac. Trac officially supports any Python version >=2.5 and <3.0 [2].
  2. Configure Python path for custom install of packages to your $HOME
  3. Install setuptools

Install Trac

  1. EasyInstall the latest development version of Trac, which is currently, Trac-0.13dev-r10355. Note: the latest dev version of Trac auto-installs its dependencies ie., Genshi, which was not a feature for Trac-0.12 and earlier installs
easy_install Trac==dev
2. This will install tracd and trac-admin to ~/bin

Create a Trac project

NOTE: Directory structure mentioned below is just a recommendation. Can customize it to any desired location

  1. Create a directory for trac meta data
mkdir -p ~/project-tmd/sites
2. Create a directory with project name. Replace <myproject>
cd ~/project-tmd/sites/
mkdir $project_name
3. Create a trac environment for the above project. NOTE: mention full paths when invoking trac-admin command
trac-admin /Users/pnm/project-tmd/sites/myproject1 initenv

Run Trac on Web Server

  1. Trac provides various options for connecting to a "real" web server: CGI, FastCGI, mod_wsgi and mod_python [3]. Here we will look at running Trac as a simple CGI script. trac.cgi is a Python script which loads the appropriate Python code. This can be generated using the deploy option of trac-admin.
trac-admin /Users/pnm/project-tmd/sites/myproject1 deploy /tmp/deploy
cd ~/project-tmd
mv /tmp/deploy/* .
2. trac.cgi will be in the cgi-bin folder inside the given path. Make sure it is executable by your web server. This command also copies static resource files to a htdocs directory of a given destination.
$ cd ~/project-tmd 
$ ls
cgi-bin htdocs  sites

$ chmod +x cgi-bin/*
3. Copy trac.cgi to ~/Sites
cp ~/project-tmd/cgi-bin/trac.cgi ~/Sites/.


  1. Install and configure XAMPP for Mac
  2. Edit /Applications/XAMPP/etc/httpd.conf with the following
<Location /trac>
        SetEnv TRAC_ENV_PARENT_DIR /Users/pnm/project-tmd/sites
        SetEnv PYTHONPATH /Users/pnm/Library/Python/2.6/site-packages
        SetEnv PYTHON_EGG_CACHE /Users/pnm/Library/Python/2.6/site-packages

ScriptAlias /trac /Users/pnm/Sites/trac.cgi
3. Start xampp's apache, either through the xampp control or command line. NOTE: xampp needs root permission to start apache, but will switch to the current user.
$ sudo /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/bin/httpd -k start
4. Browsing to http://localhost/trac should bring up a list of trac projects created within the ~/project-tmd/sites directory (a link for each project). So, for the above created project (myproject1), the url will be http://localhost/trac/myproject1