This page is not up-to-date wrt. Lenya 2.0. – JörnNettingsmeier <<DateTime(2007-07-30T12:45:27Z)>>

Getting started with Lenya

So you have decided to use Lenya to edit and serve your website. Congratulations, and welcome to the club!

Many websites are already successfully edited and hosted on Lenya. And the good news is: You couldn't tell! One of the Unique Selling Prepositions (USPs) of Lenya is that Lenya sites don't look like Lenya sites. While other Content Management Systems (CMSs) lock you in to a standard look and feel, Lenya offers your website amazing flexibility.

What else does Lenya have to offer? See [LenyaReviewersGuide] for a brief overview.

Being honest with you

  • The Lenya community is working towards a smooth, seamless experience for everyone involved in your website: the administrator, the webmaster, and the content editors. This takes a lot of work! While Lenya does not yet have the ease-of-use that we would like, it presents a solid alternative to commercial CMSs. These commercial CMSs will often run into five- or six-digit figures.

Note: In case you have a budget and don't want to spend it on a commercial CMS, consider donating development resources to the Lenya project. (There are many ways to contribute to Lenya and help the community).

  • The graphical user interface (GUI) is not yet complete. Some tasks do not yet have a GUI front-end. This means that you will have to edit XML files.
  • It will help to have a good understanding of XML related concepts in publishing. You should understand the difference between HTML and XHTML. You should be able to read, understand and (perhaps) modify an XSLT stylesheet. A cursory knowledge of Cocoon would be helpful. (Do not worry if you do not understand Cocoon. Learning Lenya will help with your understanding.)

Having read all that, why should you still consider using Lenya? Read this, if you haven't already: LenyaReviewersGuide

Your best friends

  • This Wiki! Some of the documentation found here will probably gradually move to the Lenya Documentation tab at the official Lenya Website. But for now, this Wiki will most often contain newer and additional documentation. (There is a saying in German: "You can always spot the shoemaker's son because he's wearing the worst shoes.")
  • The lenya-user mailing list: Use Eyebrowse to search the user list. A lot of topics have been discussed already! There is also a developer mail archives.
  • The Cocoon website: Lenya is based on Cocoon and sometimes you will find the answers to your questions there. (Hint: The guys on the lenya-user mailing list are usually a bit reluctant to answer questions that would belong on the cocoon-user list. This is okay, they need their time to make Lenya better! Questions about Cocoon should really be asked on the Cocoon User list!)

Starting from scratch


  • Create a directory for your publication, e.g. /home/USER/my-pub/ or C:\my-pub
  • Create a publication.xml within your publication directory (a sample can be found within the default or blob publication)
  • Create a publication.xconf within .../my-pub/config/publication.xconf (a sample can be found within the default or blog publication)
  • Add your publication to the file of Lenya (pubs.root.dirs=...:/home/USER/my-pub)
  • Build Lenya: ./ or build
  • Start Lenya: ./ servlet or lenya
  • Browse to http://localhost:8888/my-pub/ et voila (smile)

Implementing an existing design in Lenya

Porting an existing Website to Lenya

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