Running under a Web Server

Running Pootle under a proper web server will improve performance, give you more flexibility, and might be better for security. It is strongly recommended to run Pootle under Apache, Nginx, or a similar web server.

Running under Apache

You can use Apache either as a reverse proxy or straight with mod_wsgi.

Proxying with Apache

If you want to reverse proxy through Apache, you will need to have mod_proxy installed for forwarding requests and configure it accordingly.

ProxyPass / http://localhost:8000/
ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:8000/

Apache with mod_wsgi

Make sure to review your global Apache settings (something like /etc/apache2/httpd.conf or /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf) for the server-pool settings. The default settings provided by Apache are too high for running a web application like Pootle. The ideal settings depend heavily on your hardware and the number of users you expect to have. A moderate server with 1GB memory might set MaxClients to something like 20, for example.

Make sure Apache has read access to all of Pootle’s files and write access to the PODIRECTORY directory.


Most of the paths present in the examples in this section are the result of deploying Pootle using a Python virtualenv as told in the Setting up the Environment section from the Quickstart installation instructions.

If for any reason you have different paths, you will have to adjust the examples before using them.

For example the path /var/www/pootle/env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/ will be different if you have another Python version, or if the Python virtualenv is located in any other place.

First it is necessary to create a WSGI loader script:

#!/usr/bin/env python
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

import os
import site
import sys

# You probably will need to change these paths to match your deployment,
# most likely because of the Python version you are using.

# Remember original sys.path.
prev_sys_path = list(sys.path)

# Add each new site-packages directory.
for directory in ALLDIRS:

# Reorder sys.path so new directories at the front.
new_sys_path = []

for item in list(sys.path):
    if item not in prev_sys_path:

sys.path[:0] = new_sys_path

# Set the Pootle settings module as DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE.
os.environ['DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE'] = 'pootle.settings'

# Set the WSGI application.
def application(environ, start_response):
    """Wrapper for Django's WSGIHandler().

    This allows to get values specified by SetEnv in the Apache
    configuration or interpose other changes to that environment, like
    installing middleware.
        os.environ['POOTLE_SETTINGS'] = environ['POOTLE_SETTINGS']
    except KeyError:

    from django.core.wsgi import get_wsgi_application
    _wsgi_application = get_wsgi_application()
    return _wsgi_application(environ, start_response)

Place it in /var/www/pootle/ If you use a different location remember to update the Apache configuration accordingly.

A sample Apache configuration with mod_wsgi might look like this:

WSGIRestrictEmbedded On
WSGIPythonOptimize 1

<VirtualHost *:80>
    # Domain for the Pootle server. Use 'localhost' for local deployments.

    # Set the 'POOTLE_SETTINGS' environment variable pointing at your custom
    # Pootle settings file.
    # If you don't know which settings to include in this file you can use
    # the file '90-local.conf.sample' as a starting point. This file can be
    # found at '/var/www/pootle/env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pootle/settings/'.
    # Another way to specify your custom settings is to comment this
    # directive and add a new '90-local.conf' file (by copying the file
    # '90-local.conf.sample' and changing the desired settings) in
    # '/var/www/pootle/env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pootle/settings/'
    # (default location for a pip-installed Pootle, having Python 2.7).
    # This might require enabling the 'env' module.
    SetEnv POOTLE_SETTINGS /var/www/pootle/your_custom_settings.conf

    # The following two optional lines enable the "daemon mode" which
    # limits the number of processes and therefore also keeps memory use
    # more predictable.
    WSGIDaemonProcess pootle processes=2 threads=3 stack-size=1048576 maximum-requests=500 inactivity-timeout=300 display-name=%{GROUP} python-path=/var/www/pootle/env/lib/python2.7/site-packages
    WSGIProcessGroup pootle

    # Point to the WSGI loader script.
    WSGIScriptAlias / /var/www/pootle/

    # Turn off directory listing by default.
    Options -Indexes

    # Set expiration for some types of files.
    # This might require enabling the 'expires' module.
    ExpiresActive On

    ExpiresByType image/jpg "access plus 2 hours"
    ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 2 hours"

    ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 10 years"
    ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "access plus 10 years"

    # Optimal caching by proxies.
    # This might require enabling the 'headers' module.
    Header set Cache-Control "public"

    # Directly serve static files like css and images, no need to go
    # through mod_wsgi and Django. For high performance consider having a
    # separate server.
    Alias /assets /var/www/pootle/env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pootle/assets
    <Directory /var/www/pootle/env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pootle/assets>
        Order deny,allow
        Allow from all

    # Allow downloading translation files directly.
    # This location must be the same in the Pootle 'PODIRECTORY' setting.
    Alias /export /var/www/pootle/env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pootle/po
    <Directory /var/www/pootle/env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pootle/po>
        Order deny,allow
        Allow from all

    <Location /export>
        # Compress before being sent to the client over the network.
        # This might require enabling the 'deflate' module.
        SetOutputFilter DEFLATE

        # Enable directory listing.
        Options Indexes


You can find more information in the Django docs about Apache and mod_wsgi.


If you do not have access to the main Apache configuration, you should still be able to configure things correctly using the .htaccess file.

More information on configuring mod_wsgi (including .htaccess)

Running under Nginx

Running Pootle under a web server such as Nginx will improve performance. For more information about Nginx and WSGI, visit Nginx’s WSGI page

A Pootle server is made up of static and dynamic content. By default Pootle serves all content, and for low-latency purposes it is better to get other webserver to serve the content that does not change, the static content. It is just the issue of low latency and making the translation experience more interactive that calls you to proxy through Nginx. The following steps show you how to setup Pootle to proxy through Nginx.

Proxying with Nginx

The default Pootle server runs at port 8000 and for convenience and simplicity does ugly things such as serving static files — you should definitely avoid that in production environments.

By proxying Pootle through nginx, the web server will serve all the static media and the dynamic content will be produced by the app server.

server {
   listen  80;

   access_log /path/to/pootle/logs/nginx-access.log;

   charset utf-8;

   location /assets {
       alias /path/to/pootle/env/lib/python2.6/site-packages/pootle/assets/;
       expires 14d;
       access_log off;

   location / {
     proxy_pass         http://localhost:8000;
     proxy_redirect     off;

     proxy_set_header   Host             $host;
     proxy_set_header   X-Real-IP        $remote_addr;
     proxy_set_header   X-Forwarded-For  $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

Proxying with Nginx (FastCGI)

Run Pootle as a FastCGI application:

$ pootle runfcgi host= port=8080

There are more possible parameters available. See:

$ pootle help runfcgi

And add the following lines to your Nginx config file:

server {
   listen  80;  # port and optionally hostname where nginx listens
   server_name; # names of your site
   # Change the values above to the appropriate values

   location ^~ /assets/ {
       root /path/to/pootle/;

   location / {
       fastcgi_param QUERY_STRING $query_string;
       fastcgi_param REQUEST_METHOD $request_method;
       fastcgi_param CONTENT_TYPE $content_type;
       fastcgi_param CONTENT_LENGTH $content_length;
       fastcgi_param REQUEST_URI $request_uri;
       fastcgi_param DOCUMENT_URI $document_uri;
       fastcgi_param DOCUMENT_ROOT $document_root;
       fastcgi_param SERVER_PROTOCOL $server_protocol;
       fastcgi_param REMOTE_ADDR $remote_addr;
       fastcgi_param REMOTE_PORT $remote_port;
       fastcgi_param SERVER_ADDR $server_addr;
       fastcgi_param SERVER_PORT $server_port;
       fastcgi_param SERVER_NAME $server_name;
       fastcgi_pass_header Authorization;
       fastcgi_intercept_errors off;
       fastcgi_read_timeout 600;


The fastcgi_read_timeout line is only relevant if you’re getting Gateway Timeout errors and you find them annoying. It defines how long (in seconds, default is 60) Nginx will wait for response from Pootle before giving up. Your optimal value will vary depending on the size of your translation project(s) and capabilities of the server.


Not all of these lines may be required. Feel free to remove those you find useless from this instruction.