Plone 4: When Your Plone Doesn't Really Start

I hadn’t really noticed this until I was on Plone 4, so perhaps this is something that is common on Plone 3 as well. I wish I’d seen it before, because it is an indicator that sometimes when you think your Plone site should be running, it may not be. Look to the dots!

When you make a configuration change, you should run

bin/buildout or    sudo bin/buildout

This updates your Plone configuration and then you can restart your site to take advantage of your changes.  If your buildout spits back errors, you may find that when you try to restart your site, you are told that your zope.conf file is missing.  What I have found is that you can rerun buildout and ask it to update the eggs and this will recreate your zope.conf file:

bin/buildout -n

For more on buildout and switches, check out the great resource at Weblion!

When I then start my Plone instance, one of two things happens.  Plone starts – the command line tells me it starts and I can verify that by seeing the Web site – or Plone doesn’t start.  The command line looks like it has but the Web site never arrives.

Since I don’t run in debug mode, I may be missing some other indicators.  What I have noticed, though, is that once I have sent the command for plonectl start or restart, the next line says Instance.  If Instance is followed by just one period (full stop) and then daemon process started appears, then something isn’t working.  My Plone site will not appear.  If, however, Instance is followed by 2 or more periods, followed by daemon process started, then everything is working fine.  My own experience has required me to back out some new add-on product or run buildout again and that often will clear the problem up.

So, for what it’s worth:  if you only see one dot, you may have something wrong under the hood.