Command-line interface (CLI)

The CLI command-line interface offers several functionalities related to Flectra. You can use it to run the server, launch Flectra as a Python console environment, scaffold an Flectra module, populate a database, or count the number of lines of code.


The command to use to call the CLI depends on how you installed Flectra. In the examples below, we assume that you are running Flectra from source with the flectra-bin file. If you installed Flectra from a distribution package or with Docker, you must adapt the command.

  1. Navigate to the root of the directory where you downloaded the source files of Flectra Community.

  2. Run all CLI commands with ./flectra-bin

Help & version

-h, --help

shows help text with all available options


shows Flectra version e.g. “Flectra Server 3.0”


You can enable auto-completion in your shell by running

echo "complete -W '`./flectra-bin --help | \
  sed -e 's/[^a-z_-]\(-\+[a-z0-9_-]\+\)/\n\1\n/' | \
  grep -- '^-' | sort | uniq | tr '\n' ' '`' flectra-bin" >> ~/.bash_completion

Running the server

-d <database>, --database <database>

database(s) used when installing or updating modules. Providing a comma-separated list restrict access to databases provided in list.

For advanced database options, take a look below.

-i <modules>, --init <modules>

comma-separated list of modules to install before running the server (requires -d).

-u <modules>, --update <modules>

comma-separated list of modules to update before running the server. Use all for all modules. (requires -d).

--addons-path <directories>

comma-separated list of directories in which modules are stored. These directories are scanned for modules.

--upgrade-path <upgrade_path>

specify an additional upgrade path.

--load <modules>

list of server-wide modules to load. Those modules are supposed to provide features not necessarily tied to a particular database. This is in contrast to modules that are always bound to a specific database when they are installed (i.e. the majority of Flectra addons). Default is base,web.

-c <config>, --config <config>

path to an alternate configuration file. If not defined, Flectra checks FLECTRA_RC environmental variable and default location $HOME/.flectrarc. See configuration file section below.

-D <data-dir-path>, --data-dir <data-dir-path>

directory path where to store Flectra data (eg. filestore, sessions). If not specified, Flectra will fallback to a predefined path. On Unix systems its one defined in $XDG_DATA_HOME environmental variable or ~/.local/share/Flectra or /var/lib/Flectra.

-s, --save

saves the server configuration to the current configuration file ($HOME/.flectrarc by default, and can be overridden using -c).


disables demo data loading for modules installed comma-separated, use all for all modules. Requires -d and -i.


path to a file where the server pid will be stored


stops the server after its initialization.

--geoip-db <path>

Absolute path to the GeoIP database file.

Testing Configuration


runs tests after module installation

--test-file <file>

runs a python test file

--test-tags [-][tag][/module][:class][.method]

Comma-separated list of specs to filter which tests to execute. Enable unit tests if set.

Example: --test-tags :TestClass.test_func,/test_module,external

  • The - specifies if we want to include or exclude tests matching this spec.

  • The tag will match tags added on a class with a tagged() decorator (all test classes have standard and at_install tags until explicitly removed, see the decorator documentation).

  • * will match all tags.

  • If tag is omitted on include mode, its value is standard.

  • If tag is omitted on exclude mode, its value is *.

  • The module, class, and method will respectively match the module name, test class name and test method name.

Filtering and executing the tests happens twice: right after each module installation/update and at the end of the modules loading. At each stage tests are filtered by --test-tags specs and additionally by dynamic specs at_install and post_install correspondingly.


Specify directory where to write screenshots when an HttpCase.browser_js test fails. It defaults to /tmp/flectra_tests/db_name/screenshots


Enable screencasts and specify directory where to write screencasts files. The ffmpeg utility needs to be installed to encode frames into a video file. Otherwise frames will be kept instead of the video file.


-r <user>, --db_user <user>

database username, used to connect to PostgreSQL.

-w <password>, --db_password <password>

database password, if using password authentication.

--db_host <hostname>

host for the database server

  • localhost on Windows

  • UNIX socket otherwise

--db_port <port>

port the database listens on, defaults to 5432

--db-filter <filter>

hides databases that do not match <filter>. The filter is a regular expression, with the additions that:

  • %h is replaced by the whole hostname the request is made on.

  • %d is replaced by the subdomain the request is made on, with the exception of www (so domain and both match the database flectra).

    These operations are case sensitive. Add option (?i) to match all databases (so domain using (?i)%d matches the database Flectra).

Since version 11, it’s also possible to restrict access to a given database listen by using the –database parameter and specifying a comma-separated list of databases

When combining the two parameters, db-filter supersedes the comma-separated database list for restricting database list, while the comma-separated list is used for performing requested operations like upgrade of modules.

$ flectra-bin --db-filter ^11.*$

Restrict access to databases whose name starts with 11

$ flectra-bin --database 11firstdatabase,11seconddatabase

Restrict access to only two databases, 11firstdatabase and 11seconddatabase

$ flectra-bin --database 11firstdatabase,11seconddatabase -u base

Restrict access to only two databases, 11firstdatabase and 11seconddatabase, and update base module on one database: 11firstdatabase. If database 11seconddatabase doesn’t exist, the database is created and base modules is installed

$ flectra-bin --db-filter ^11.*$ --database 11firstdatabase,11seconddatabase -u base

Restrict access to databases whose name starts with 11, and update base module on one database: 11firstdatabase. If database 11seconddatabase doesn’t exist, the database is created and base modules is installed

--db-template <template>

when creating new databases from the database-management screens, use the specified template database. Defaults to template0.

--pg_path </path/to/postgresql/binaries>

Path to the PostgreSQL binaries that are used by the database manager to dump and restore databases. You have to specify this option only if these binaries are located in a non-standard directory.


Suppresses the ability to list databases available on the system


Control the SSL security of the connection between Flectra and PostgreSQL. Value should be one of ‘disable’, ‘allow’, ‘prefer’, ‘require’, ‘verify-ca’ or ‘verify-full’ Default value is ‘prefer’


Use the unaccent function provided by the database when available.


--email-from <address>

Email address used as <FROM> when Flectra needs to send mails

--from-filter <address or domain>

Define which email address the SMTP configuration will apply to. The field can be a domain name or an entire email address, or it can remain empty. If the sender’s email address does not match this set filter, then the email will be encapsulated using a combination of the two system parameters: mail.default.from and mail.catchall.domain. For example, “Admin” <> => “Admin” <>.

--smtp <server>

Address of the SMTP server to connect to in order to send mails

--smtp-port <port>

If set, flectra should use SSL/STARTSSL SMTP connections

--smtp-user <name>

Username to connect to the SMTP server

--smtp-password <password>

Password to connect to the SMTP server

--smtp-ssl-certificate-filename <path/to/cert.pem>

An SSL certificate is to be used for authentication. If set, then smtp-ssl-private-key is required.

--smtp-ssl-private-key-filename <path/to/key.pem>

An SSL private key is used for authentication. If set, then smtp-ssl-certificate is required.


Use these options to translate Flectra to another language. See i18n section of the user manual. Option ‘-d’ is mandatory. Option ‘-l’ is mandatory in case of importation

--load-language <languages>

specifies the languages (separated by commas) for the translations you want to be loaded

-l, --language <language>

specify the language of the translation file. Use it with –i18n-export or –i18n-import

--i18n-export <filename>

export all sentences to be translated to a CSV file, a PO file or a TGZ archive and exit.

--i18n-import <filename>

import a CSV or a PO file with translations and exit. The ‘-l’ option is required.


overwrites existing translation terms on updating a module or importing a CSV or a PO file.


specify modules to export. Use in combination with –i18n-export

Advanced Options

Developer features

--dev <feature,feature,...,feature>

comma-separated list of features. For development purposes only. Do not use it in production. Possible features are:

  • all: all the features below are activated

  • xml: read QWeb template from xml file directly instead of database. Once a template has been modified in database, it will be not be read from the xml file until the next update/init. Particularly, templates are not translated on using this option.

  • reload: restart server when python file are updated (may not be detected depending on the text editor used)

  • qweb: break in the evaluation of QWeb template when a node contains t-debug='debugger'

  • (i)p(u)db: start the chosen python debugger in the code when an unexpected error is raised before logging and returning the error.

  • werkzeug: display the full traceback on the frontend page in case of exception



do not start the HTTP or long-polling workers (may still start cron workers)


has no effect if --test-enable is set, as tests require an accessible HTTP server

--http-interface <interface>

TCP/IP address on which the HTTP server listens, defaults to (all addresses)

-p <port>
--http-port <port>

Port on which the HTTP server listens, defaults to 8069.

--gevent-port <port>

TCP port for websocket connections in multiprocessing or gevent mode, defaults to 8072. Not used in default (threaded) mode.


enables the use of X-Forwarded-* headers through Werkzeug’s proxy support. Only enable this when running behind a trusted web proxy!


proxy mode must not be enabled outside of a reverse proxy scenario


delegates serving attachments files to the static web server and sets both X-Sendfile (apache) and X-Accel-* (nginx) http headers on stream responses. See Serving static files and attachments for web server configuration.


By default, Flectra displays all logging of level info except for workflow logging (warning only), and log output is sent to stdout. Various options are available to redirect logging to other destinations and to customize the amount of logging output.

--logfile <file>

sends logging output to the specified file instead of stdout. On Unix, the file can be managed by external log rotation programs and will automatically be reopened when replaced


logs to the system’s event logger: syslog on unices and the Event Log on Windows.

Neither is configurable

--log-db <dbname>

logs to the ir.logging model (ir_logging table) of the specified database. The database can be the name of a database in the “current” PostgreSQL, or a PostgreSQL URI for e.g. log aggregation.

--log-handler <handler-spec>

LOGGER:LEVEL, enables LOGGER at the provided LEVEL e.g. flectra.models:DEBUG will enable all logging messages at or above DEBUG level in the models.

  • The colon : is mandatory

  • The logger can be omitted to configure the root (default) handler

  • If the level is omitted, the logger is set to INFO

The option can be repeated to configure multiple loggers e.g.

$ flectra-bin --log-handler :DEBUG --log-handler werkzeug:CRITICAL --log-handler flectra.fields:WARNING

enables DEBUG logging of HTTP requests and responses, equivalent to --log-handler=flectra.http:DEBUG


enables DEBUG logging of SQL querying, equivalent to --log-handler=flectra.sql_db:DEBUG

--log-level <level>

Shortcut to more easily set predefined levels on specific loggers. “real” levels (critical, error, warn, debug) are set on the flectra and werkzeug loggers (except for debug which is only set on flectra).

Flectra also provides debugging pseudo-levels which apply to different sets of loggers:


sets the SQL logger to debug

equivalent to --log-sql


sets the flectra and HTTP request loggers to debug

equivalent to --log-level debug --log-request


sets the flectra and HTTP request and response loggers to debug

equivalent to --log-level debug --log-request --log-response


In case of conflict between --log-level and --log-handler, the latter is used


--workers <count>

if count is not 0 (the default), enables multiprocessing and sets up the specified number of HTTP workers (sub-processes processing HTTP and RPC requests).


multiprocessing mode is only available on Unix-based systems

A number of options allow limiting and recycling workers:

--limit-request <limit>

Number of requests a worker will process before being recycled and restarted.

Defaults to 8196.

--limit-memory-soft <limit>

Maximum allowed virtual memory per worker. If the limit is exceeded, the worker is killed and recycled at the end of the current request.

Defaults to 2048MiB.

--limit-memory-hard <limit>

Hard limit on virtual memory, any worker exceeding the limit will be immediately killed without waiting for the end of the current request processing.

Defaults to 2560MiB.

--limit-time-cpu <limit>

Prevents the worker from using more than <limit> CPU seconds for each request. If the limit is exceeded, the worker is killed.

Defaults to 60.

--limit-time-real <limit>

Prevents the worker from taking longer than <limit> seconds to process a request. If the limit is exceeded, the worker is killed.

Differs from --limit-time-cpu in that this is a “wall time” limit including e.g. SQL queries.

Defaults to 120.

--max-cron-threads <count>

number of workers dedicated to cron jobs. Defaults to 2. The workers are threads in multi-threading mode and processes in multi-processing mode.

For multi-processing mode, this is in addition to the HTTP worker processes.

Configuration file

Most of the command-line options can also be specified via a configuration file. Most of the time, they use similar names with the prefix - removed and other - are replaced by _ e.g. --db-template becomes db_template.

Some conversions don’t match the pattern:

The default configuration file is $HOME/.flectrarc which can be overridden using --config. Specifying --save will save the current configuration state back to that file. The configuration items relative to the command-line are to be specified in the section [options].

Here is a sample file:



Flectra command-line also allows to launch flectra as a python console environment. This enables direct interaction with the orm and its functionalities.

$ flectra-bin shell
--shell-interface (ipython|ptpython|bpython|python)

Specify a preferred REPL to use in shell mode.


Scaffolding is the automated creation of a skeleton structure to simplify bootstrapping (of new modules, in the case of Flectra). While not necessary it avoids the tedium of setting up basic structures and looking up what all starting requirements are.

Scaffolding is available via the flectra-bin scaffold subcommand.

$ flectra-bin scaffold my_module /addons/
name (required)

the name of the module to create, may munged in various manners to generate programmatic names (e.g. module directory name, model names, …)

destination (default=current directory)

directory in which to create the new module, defaults to the current directory

-t <template>

a template directory, files are passed through jinja2 then copied to the destination directory

This will create module my_module in directory /addons/.

Database Population

Flectra CLI supports database population features. If the feature is implemented on a given model, it allows automatic data generation of the model’s records to test your modules in databases containing non-trivial amounts of records.

$ flectra-bin populate

list of models for which the database should be filled

--size (small|medium|large)

population size, the actual records number depends on the model’s _populate_sizes attribute. The generated records content is specified by the _populate_factories() method of a given model (cf. the populate folder of modules for further details).


Flectra Cloc is a tool to count the number of relevant lines written in Python, Javascript, CSS, SCSS, or XML. This can be used as a rough metric for pricing maintenance of extra modules.

Command-line options

-d <database>, --database <database>
Process the code of all extra modules installed on the provided database, and of all server actions and computed fields manually created in the provided database.
The --addons-path option is required to specify the path(s) to the module folder(s).
If combined with --path, the count will be that of the sum of both options’ results (with possible overlaps). At least one of these two options is required to specify which code to process.
$ flectra-bin cloc --addons-path=addons -d my_database
-p <path>, --path <path>
Process the files in the provided path.
If combined with --database, the count will be that of the sum of both options’ results (with possible overlaps). At least one of these two options is required to specify which code to process.
$ flectra-bin cloc -p addons/account

Multiple paths can be provided by repeating the option.

$ flectra-bin cloc -p addons/account -p addons/sale
--addons-path <directories>
Comma-separated list of directories in which modules are stored. These directories are scanned for modules.
Required if the --database option is used.
-c <directories>

Specify a configuration file to use in place of the --addons-path option.

$ flectra-bin cloc -c config.conf -d my_database
-v, --verbose

Show the details of lines counted for each file.

Processed files

With the --database option

Flectra Cloc counts the lines in each file of extra installed modules in a given database. In addition, it counts the Python lines of server actions and custom computed fields that have been directly created in the database or imported. Finally, it counts the lines of code of Javascript, CSS, and SCSS files, and of QWeb views from imported modules.

Some files are excluded from the count by default:

  • The manifest ( or

  • The contents of the folder static/lib

  • The tests defined in the folder tests and static/tests

  • The migrations scripts defined in the folder migrations and upgrades

  • The XML files declared in the demo or demo_xml sections of the manifest

For special cases, a list of files that should be ignored by Flectra Cloc can be defined per module. This is specified by the cloc_exclude entry of the manifest:

"cloc_exclude": [
    "lib/", # exclude a single file
    "data/*.xml",    # exclude all XML files in a specific folder
    "example/**/*",  # exclude all files in a folder hierarchy recursively
    "**/*.scss",     # exclude all scss file from the module
The pattern **/* can be used to ignore an entire module. This can be useful to exclude a module from maintenance service costs.
For more information about the pattern syntax, see glob.

With the --path option

This method works the same as with the –database option if a manifest file is present in the given folder. Otherwise, it counts all files.

Identifying Extra Modules

To distinguish between standard and extra modules, Flectra Cloc uses the following heuristic: modules that are located (real file system path, after following symbolic links) in the same parent directory as the base, web or web_professional standard modules are considered standard. Other modules are treated as extra modules.

Error Handling

Some file cannot be counted by Flectra Cloc. Those file are reported at the end of the output.

Max file size exceeded

Flectra Cloc rejects any file larger than 25MB. Usually, source files are smaller than 1 MB. If a file is rejected, it may be:

  • A generated XML file that contains lots of data. It should be excluded in the manifest.

  • A JavaScript library that should be placed in the static/lib folder.

Syntax Error

Flectra Cloc cannot count the lines of code of a Python file with a syntax problem. If an extra module contains such files, they should be fixed to allow the module to load. If the module works despite the presence of those files, they are probably not loaded and should therefore be removed from the module, or at least excluded in the manifest via cloc_exclude.

TSConfig Generator

When working on javascript, there are ways to help your editor providing you with powerful auto-completion. One of those ways is the use of a tsconfig.json file. Originally meant for typescript, editors can use its information with plain javascript also. With this config file, you will now have full auto-completion across modules.

The command to generate this files takes as many unnamed arguments as you need. Those are relative paths to your addon directories. In the example below, we move up one folder to save the tsconfig file in the folder containing community and professional.

$ community/flectra-bin tsconfig --addons-path community/addons,community/flectra/addons,professional > tsconfig.json