Multiple Environments

There is more than one way of configuring multiple environments. Directories relevant for separate environments are:

  • bots/config: global configuration; eg values for usersys, botssys, database connection, port number.
  • bots/botssys: storage of edi files, database, loggings etc.
  • bots/usersys: grammars, mappings, route scripts etc.

Use config parameter

Each bots program start script accepts a parameter (-c) that indicates which config directory to use. Within config there are settings for botssys and usersys, so this gives us the ability to have separate environments. The default, if this parameter is not used, is config.

By example:

  1. Start with configuration with the default config, usersys and botssys directories in bots directory.

  2. Purpose is to create a 2nd environment (env2).

  3. Make copies of 3 directories within bots directory. Advised is to use the same name-suffix:
    • Make copy of config, name it config-env2
    • Make copy of botssys, name it botssys-env2
    • Make copy of usersys, name it usersys-env2
  4. Edit the configuration files in config-env2 and change (at least) the following settings:
    • in bots.ini

      botssys = botssys-env2
      usersys = usersys-env2

      DATABASE_NAME = os.path.join(PROJECT_PATH, 'botssys-env2/sqlitedb/botsdb')

  5. Start bots scripts using the -c parameter to refer to the new environment, eg:

    $ -cconfig-env2
    $ -cconfig-env2


On linux the use of symlinks in bots directory might be useful.

Use different computers

  • Your production environment is on a server.
  • Your development environment is on your desktop/laptop PC.
  • In this way, you can replicate exactly the same setup (same python version etc), and transfer things from one to the other once tested.

Using different python installations

  • I used this for a long time for windows.
  • I had python2.5 and 2.6 installed; Bots in python 2.6 was my development environment; bots in python 2.5 was production.
  • This is a very simple way to have 2 environments in windows.

Using python virtualenv tool

  • virtualenv is a tool to create isolated Python environments.
  • Each environment has a separate installation of bots and its dependencies, so different versions can be tested.
  • You can activate and deactivate the environments as needed.
  • You can use in combination with method 1 to have config environments within python environments.


  1. Install python: You have probably done this already. Make sure you have the paths of your python27 and python27\scripts included in the system path variable.

  2. Install distribute: Download and invoke it using python.

    >> python C:\Path\to\

  3. Install Pip: Download (right click, save as) and invoke it using python.

    >> python C:\Path\to\

  4. Install Virtualenv: Once Pip is installed, installing any other package (that is available in the Python Package Index) is easy.

    >> pip install virtualenv

  5. Install C and C++ compilers (optional):

    • Not all python libraries are pure python, some may contain C code that must be compiled to install successfully.
    • Download MinGW, run it, and select the C and C++ compilers to install.
    • When complete, edit the file Python27\Lib\distutils\ and remove -mno-cygwin from lines 322-326.
    • This flag is no longer supported.
    • You also need to add a setting to each virtual environment that needs to use the compilers (described in the next section).
    • Make sure you have the path of your MinGW\bin included in the system path variable.

Create your environments

Technically your virtual environments can be stored and scattered anywhere, but it makes sense to keep them all grouped together. I suggest you create a “root” directory for environments, each environment will be a subdirectory, eg.

D:\> mkdir PythonEnv
D:\> cd PythonEnv

Create as many environments as you need (for ease of use, keep environment names short but meaningful and without spaces), eg. bots310

D:\PythonEnv> virtualenv bots310
New python executable in bots310\Scripts\python.exe
Installing Setuptools...........................................................
Installing Pip..................................................................


If you installed compilers in the previous section and want to use them for this environment, then edit Libdistutilsdistutils.cfg within the environment folder, and add


Activate and deactivate environments

To activate an environment, use the activate command in it’s script directory. Notice your command prompt changes to show the active environment in brackets. Only one environment can be activated at a time, in order to install modules etc.

D:\PythonEnv> bots310\scripts\activate
(bots310) D:\PythonEnv>

To deactivate the current environment, use the deactivate command. Notice your command prompt changes back to show no active environment in brackets.

(bots310) D:\PythonEnv> deactivate

Optional; create an activate.bat file in your environment root directory. This gives you a shortcut to activate environments.

REM activate.bat gives you a shortcut to activate python environments
REM eg. activate bots310
call "%1\scripts\activate"

Install Bots in a virtual environment

First, activate the required environment. Install Bots and dependencies using pip (don’t use the Bots Windows installer, because it installs to the default python folder)

  • Install Bots from local downloaded .tar.gz file

    (bots310) D:\PythonEnv> pip install .\bots-3.1.0.tar.gz
    Unpacking d:\pythonenv\bots-3.1.0.tar.gz
      Running egg_info for package from file:///d7C%5Cpythonenv%5Cbots-3.1.0.tar.gz
    Installing collected packages: bots
      Running install for bots
    Successfully installed bots
    Cleaning up...
    (bots310) D:\PythonEnv>
  • Install Django (version 1.4.x)

    (bots310) D:\PythonEnv>pip install Django==1.4.6
    Downloading/unpacking Django==1.4.6
      Downloading Django-1.4.6.tar.gz (7.7MB): 7.7MB downloaded
      Running egg_info for package Django
    Installing collected packages: Django
      Running install for Django
    Successfully installed Django
    Cleaning up...
    (bots310) D:\PythonEnv>
  • Install cherrypy (latest)

    (bots310) D:\PythonEnv> pip install cherrypy
    Downloading/unpacking cherrypy
      Downloading CherryPy-3.2.4.tar.gz (424kB): 424kB downloaded
      Running egg_info for package cherrypy
    Installing collected packages: cherrypy
      Running install for cherrypy
    Successfully installed cherrypy
    Cleaning up...
    (bots310) D:\PythonEnv>
  • Install Genshi (optional, required for template-html output)

    (bots310) D:\PythonEnv> pip install Genshi
    Downloading/unpacking Genshi
      You are installing a potentially insecure and unverifiable file. Future versions of pip will default to disallowing insecure files.
      Downloading Genshi-0.7.tar.gz (491kB): 491kB downloaded
      Running egg_info for package Genshi
        warning: no files found matching 'COPYING' under directory 'doc'
        warning: no previously-included files matching '*' found under directory 'doc\logo.lineform'
        warning: no previously-included files found matching 'doc\2000ft.graffle'
        warning: no previously-included files matching '\*.pyc' found anywhere in distribution
    Installing collected packages: Genshi
      Running install for Genshi
        building 'genshi._speedups' extension
        C:\MinGW\bin\gcc.exe -mdll -O -Wall -ID:\Python27\include -ID:\PythonEnv\bots310\PC -c genshi/_speedups.c -o build\temp.win32-2.7\Release\genshi\_speedups.o
        C:\MinGW\bin\gcc.exe -shared -s build\temp.win32-2.7\Release\genshi\_speedups.o build\temp.win32-2.7\Release\genshi\_speedups.def -LD:\Python27\Libs -LD:\PythonEnv\bots310\libs -LD:\PythonEnv\bots310\PCbuild -lpython27 -lmsvcr90 -obuild\lib.win32-2.7\genshi\_speedups.pyd
        warning: no files found matching 'COPYING' under directory 'doc'
        warning: no previously-included files matching '\*' found under directory 'doc\logo.lineform'
        warning: no previously-included files found matching 'doc\2000ft.graffle'
        warning: no previously-included files matching '\*.pyc' found anywhere in distribution
    Successfully installed Genshi
    Cleaning up...
    (bots310) D:\PythonEnv>
  • Install cdecimal (optional, improves performance)

    This will not install/compile correctly on Windows using pip, and the installer is an msi (not exe) so easy_install won’t work either. You can install it manually though; the two files needed are cdedimal.pyd and cdecimal-2.3-py2.7.egg-info and they go in your virtual environment’s site-packages directory. There are two ways to get these files.

    • Install cdecimal in the default python folder (eg. C:\python27\lib\site-packages) using the windows msi installer, then copy the two files to your virtual environment.
    • Extract the files from the windows msi installer using a tool such as universal extractor.
  • Install pycrypto and paramiko (optional, required for sftp channels)

    These will not install/compile correctly on Windows using pip. Instead, I used easy_install with a downloaded Windows installer exe.

    (bots310) C:\PythonEnv>easy_install pycrypto-2.1.0.win32-py2.7.exe
    Processing pycrypto-2.1.0.win32-py2.7.exe
    creating 'c:\docume~1\adadmi~3\locals~1\temp\1\easy_install-wy9qt4\pycrypto-2.1.
    0-py2.7-win32.egg' and adding 'c:\docume~1\adadmi~3\locals~1\temp\1\easy_install
    -wy9qt4\pycrypto-2.1.0-py2.7-win32.egg.tmp' to it
    Moving pycrypto-2.1.0-py2.7-win32.egg to c:\pythonenv\bots310\lib\site-packages
    Adding pycrypto 2.1.0 to easy-install.pth file
    Installed c:\pythonenv\bots310\lib\site-packages\pycrypto-2.1.0-py2.7-win32.egg
    Processing dependencies for pycrypto==2.1.0
    Finished processing dependencies for pycrypto==2.1.0
    (bots310) C:\PythonEnv>easy_install paramiko-1.7.6.win32.exe
    Processing paramiko-1.7.6.win32.exe
    creating 'c:\docume~1\adadmi~3\locals~1\temp\1\easy_install-mwtlnu\paramiko-1.7.
    6-py2.7-win32.egg' and adding 'c:\docume~1\adadmi~3\locals~1\temp\1\easy_install
    -mwtlnu\paramiko-1.7.6-py2.7-win32.egg.tmp' to it
    Moving paramiko-1.7.6-py2.7-win32.egg to c:\pythonenv\bots310\lib\site-packages
    Adding paramiko 1.7.6 to easy-install.pth file
    Installed c:\pythonenv\bots310\lib\site-packages\paramiko-1.7.6-py2.7-win32.egg
    Processing dependencies for paramiko==1.7.6
    Finished processing dependencies for paramiko==1.7.6

Start Bots Webserver in the virtual environment

You can simply start the webserver manually from commandline. The variable %VIRTUAL_ENV% contains the path to the activated environment. Using the start command causes a new console window to be opened.

(bots310) D:\PythonEnv> start python %VIRTUAL_ENV%\scripts\

Alternatively you can modify the environment’s activate command (it is a small batch file of about 25 lines). Edit %VIRTUAL_ENV%\scripts\activate.bat and add the above command to the end. Then every time you activate the environment, the webserver is started too. Same for jobqueueserver (if required). I also add a window title. eg.

start "webserver (bots310)" python %VIRTUAL_ENV%\scripts\

Running multiple Bots environments concurrently

Yes, this is possible. Although only a single environment can be “activated”, once they are created you can run multiple bots webservers and engines simultaneously from different environments, if configured with different ports.

bots.ini - use different ports for each environment. eg.

#port used to assure only one instance of bots-engine is running. default: 28081
port = 28091

#port at which at bots-gui is server. default is 8080
port = 8090

# Port to use for the job queue xmlrpc server (on localhost). Default: 28082
port = 28092 - add new setting for the session cookie name, and use a different name for each environment. This allows simultaneous login to each environment from the same browser. eg. use the environment name (default is sessionid)

#*********sessions, cookies, log out time*************************