Add Extensions

This is where it gets interesting! The CKAN software can be customised with ‘extensions’. These are a simple way to extend core CKAN functions.

Extensions allow you to customise CKAN for your own requirements, without interfering with the basic CKAN system.


This is an advanced topic. At the moment, you need to have prepared your system to work with extensions, as described in Prepare to Use Extensions. We are working to make the most popular extensions more easily available as Debian packages.

Finding Extensions

Many CKAN extensions are listed on the CKAN wiki’s List of Extensions. All CKAN extensions can be found at OKFN’s bitbucket page, prefaced with ckanext-.

Some popular extensions include:

  • ckanext-apps: Apps and ideas catalogue extension for CKAN.
  • ckanext-deliverance: Extends CKAN to use the Deliverance HTTP proxy, which can request and render web pages from * an external site (e.g. a CMS like Drupal or Wordpress).
  • ckanext-disqus: Allows users to comment on dataset pages with Disqus.
  • ckanext-follower: Allow users to follow datasets.
  • ckanext-googleanalytics: Integrates Google Analytics data into CKAN. Gives download stats on dataset pages, list * of most popular datasets, etc.
  • ckanext-qa: Provides link checker, 5 stars of openness and other Quality Assurance features.
  • ckanext-rdf: Consolidated handling of RDF export and import for CKAN.
  • ckanext-stats: Statistics (and visuals) about the datasets in a CKAN instance.
  • ckanext-wordpresser: CKAN plugin / WSGI middleware for combining CKAN with a Wordpress site.

Installing an Extension

You can install an extension on a CKAN instance as follows.

  1. First, ensure you are working within your virtualenv (see Prepare to Use Extensions if you are not sure what this means):

    . /home/ubuntu/pyenv/bin/activate
  2. Install the extension package code using pip.

For example, to install the Disqus extension, which allows users to comment on datasets:

pip install -E ~/var/srvc/ hg+

The -E parameter is for your CKAN Python environment (e.g. ~/var/srvc/

Prefix the source URL with the repo type (hg+ for Mercurial, git+ for Git).

The dependency you’ve installed will appear in the src/ directory under your Python environment.

3. Add the names of any plugin implementations the extension uses to the CKAN config file. You can find these in the plugin’s file under [ckan.plugins].

The config plugins variable is in the ‘[app:main]’ section under ‘ckan.plugins’. e.g.:

ckan.plugins = disqus

If your extension implements multiple different plugin interfaces, separate them with spaces:

ckan.plugins = disqus amqp myplugin
  1. If necessary, restart WSGI, which usually means restarting Apache:

    sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Your extension should now be installed.