To get Zotonic running, you first need to install it. This chapter describes how to install Zotonic manually. Alternatively, you can run Zotonic from one of the Docker images.


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

See also

a more extensive discussion of all requirements

On Linux

For instance on Debian you can install the dependencies by running:

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential git erlang 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-0.60.0 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: http://localhost:8000/. 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