Advanced installation options


Every time you install or update kalite, you should (re)run kalite manage setup to setup the database and download content packs (exercise texts, images, translations etc.).

Generic installation (pip install)

Installing through pip or with

For command line users with access to pip, you can install KA Lite from an online source like this:

pip install ka-lite

Static version

If you need to run KA Lite with static dependencies bundled and isolated from the rest of your environment, you can run:

pip install ka-lite-static

Portable tarballs / zip files with

If you can’t install KA Lite on systems with the standard Windows/Mac/Linux installers, you can fetch the KA Lite python package from PyPi.

To unpack the package for installation, run:

tar -xf ka-lite-static-0.17.1.tar.gz

Once it’s unpacked, install it by entering the extracted directory and running:

sudo python install

Beware that the PyPi sources do not contain assessment items, so you need to download the contentpack manually (>700 MB)..

Debian/Ubuntu: Subscribe to updates through a PPA

We maintain a PPA on Launchpad and if you are connected to the internet, this will also give you automatic updates.

To add the PPA as a repository on an apt-based system, you need to ensure that a few libraries are present, and then add our repository and the public key that packages are signed with:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common python-software-properties
sudo su -c 'echo "deb xenial main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ka-lite.list'
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 74F88ADB3194DD81
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ka-lite  # ...or 'ka-lite-raspberry-pi'

User interface for Debian/Ubuntu

Make sure you have the PPA added, then run:

sudo apt-get install ka-lite-gtk


A guide recommending how to install KA Lite for development is available in Setting up your development environment.

Specific system setups

Nginx / Apache setup

This section is written for the Django-knowledgable crowd.

KA Lite includes a web server implemented in pure Python for serving the website, capable of handling hundreds of simultaneous users while using very little memory. So you don’t have to run Apache or Nginx for efficiency.

Apache configuration, using mod_wsgi, example would work for an Ubuntu .deb installation:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/

    <Directory />
        Require all granted

    Alias /static /var/www/.kalite/httpsrv/static
    Alias /media /var/www/.kalite/httpsrv/media
    Alias /content /var/www/.kalite/content

    WSGIScriptAlias / /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/kalite/project/

    # Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
    # alert, emerg.
    LogLevel warn

    ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/kalite-error.log
    CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/kalite-access.log combined


It’s recommended that you install ka-lite-static in a virtualenv. If you are using Apache+mod_wsgi, you should copy & modify to reflect the path of your venv.

If you are using uwsgi+Nginx, this is the critical part of your uwsgi configuration, provided that you have installed kalite from PyPi or .deb:

module = kalite.project.wsgi

Remember that KA Lite runs in user space and creates data files in that user’s home directory. A normal Debian/Ubuntu system has a www-data user for Apache which is the default user for mod_wsgi and will create database files, static files etc. for kalite in /var/www/.kalite/. If you run it as another user, it may be located somewhere else.


Log in as the Django application server’s user, e.g. www-data and initialize the kalite static files and database before anything you can run kalite with uwsgi / mod_wsgi !

Example of setting up kalite for the www-data user:

sudo su -s /bin/bash www-data
kalite manage setup