Theming guide

Changed in version 2.0: The CKAN frontend was completely rewritten for CKAN 2.0, so most of the tutorials below don’t apply to earlier versions of CKAN.

The following sections will teach you how to customize the content and appearance of CKAN pages by developing your own CKAN themes.

See also

Getting started
If you just want to do some simple customizations such as changing the title of your CKAN site, or making some small CSS customizations, Getting started documents some simple configuration settings you can use.


Before you can start developing a CKAN theme, you’ll need a working source install of CKAN on your system. If you don’t have a CKAN source install already, follow the instructions in Installing CKAN from source before continuing.


CKAN theme development is a technical topic, for web developers. The tutorials below assume basic knowledge of:

We also recommend familiarizing yourself with:


Starting from CKAN version 2.8 the Bootstrap version used in the default CKAN theme is Bootstrap 3. For backwards compatibility, Bootstrap 2 templates will be included in CKAN core for a few versions, but they will be eventually removed so you are encouraged to update your custom theme to use Bootstrap 3. You can select wich set of templates to use (Bootstrap 3 or 2) by using the ckan.base_public_folder and ckan.base_templates_folder configuration options.