Getting Started

You have two options for running Zotonic: to get started quickly, start our Zotonic container. Or you can install Zotonic on your computer.


First download and install Docker . Then start Zotonic with a single command:

$ docker run -v `pwd`:/opt/zotonic/user/sites -p 8443:8443 zotonic/zotonic-heavy

Docker will download and boot the container. Zotonic will be available on port 8443 on your machine. So, after Docker has booted, open your browser and go to https://localhost:8443 to view the Zotonic Status page. If you wish to quit the container, press Ctrl+C.

You can now move on to creating your first site.

See also

Docker for more information on our images.


If you don’t like Docker, or you like to do things yourself, you can always install Zotonic on your computer yourself.


First prepare your system for running Zotonic. Zotonic needs:

  • Erlang 18 or higher
  • PostgreSQL 8.4 or higher
  • ImageMagick 6.5 or higher for image resizing
  • Git for pulling in external dependencies
  • C++ compiler (gcc) for erl_exec and other dependencies

See also

a more extensive discussion of all requirements

Ubuntu / Debian

We recommend you install Erlang from the Erlang solutions website:

The other requirements are easily fetched with apt:

sudo sudo apt-get install gcc g++ build-essential git imagemagick postgresql


Install Homebrew, then run:

$ brew install erlang git imagemagick postgresql

On Windows

Currently, Zotonic is not officially supported on the Windows platform. However, the main dependencies Erlang, PostgreSQL and ImageMagick do work on Windows, so, if you’re adventurous, it should be possible to get it running.

We have included user-contributed start.cmd and build.cmd batch-scripts which used to work on Windows, but have not been kept up-to-date with recent changes. Expect some major tweaking to get this back on track.

Getting Zotonic

  1. Download the latest Zotonic release ZIP file from the GitHub releases page. For instance:

    $ wget

    Then unzip the file and rename the directory:

    $ unzip
    $ mv zotonic-1.0-dev zotonic

    Alternatively, clone the latest development version using Git:

    $ git clone
  2. You then need to compile the Zotonic sources:

    $ cd zotonic
    $ make
  3. Then start Zotonic in debug mode:

    $ bin/zotonic debug
  4. Now point your browser to: https://localhost:8443/. You should see a welcome message, ‘Powered by Zotonic’. This is the so-called status website. So far, so good! Now it’s time to create your first site.

Next steps