The ZODB browser allows you to inspect persistent objects stored in the ZODB,
view their attributes and historical changes made to them.
ZODB is based on Python pickles, which are not secure – they allow
arbitrary command execution. Do not use zodbbrowser on databases from
Install all the dependencies into the source tree with zc.buildout:
Run bin/zodbbrowser specifying either a filename or a ZEO address
bin/zodbbrowser --zeo localhost:9080
bin/zodbbrowser --zeo /path/to/zeosock
If you don’t have a spare Data.fs to test with, you can create a new empty
one with just the barest Zope 3 scaffolding in it:
bin/zodbbrowser empty.fs --rw
Open http://localhost:8070 in a web browser. Note that there are no
access controls; all other users on the local machine will be able to
access the database contents.
Or you could try to use easy_install or pip. It may work or it may
not, depending on the current state of all the dependencies (buildout.cfg
hardcodes dependency version to a known-working-together state, called the
“Zope 3.4 Known Good Set”, so buildout-based installs are safer)
Run bin/zodbbrowser --help to see a full and up-to-date list of
Usage: zodbbrowser [options] [FILENAME | --zeo ADDRESS]
Open a ZODB database and start a web-based browser app.
-h, --help show this help message and exit
--zeo=ADDRESS connect to ZEO server instead
--listen=ADDRESS specify port (or host:port) to listen on
--rw open the database read-write (allows creation of the
standard Zope local utilities if missing)
If you don’t want to see <persistent broken ...> everywhere, make sure
your application objects are importable from the Python path. The easiest way
of doing that is adding zodbbrowser to your application’s buildout (or
virtualenv, if you use virtualenvs). This way your application (or Zope’s)
nice __repr__ will also be used.
There’s a little ‘help’ link in the bottom-right corner of every page that
describes the user interface in greater detail.
Add zodbbrowser to the list of eggs (e.g. in buildout.cfg of your app) and
add this to your site.zcml:
<include package="zodbbrowser" />
Rerun bin/buildout, restart Zope and append @@zodbbrowser to the end of the
URL to start browsing, e.g. http://localhost:8080/@@zodbbrowser. Or, if you
still use ZMI (the Zope Management Interface), look for a new menu item
titled “ZODB Browser”.
There’s a package called z3c.zodbbrowser in the Zope svn repository that
implements the same idea (but without history browsing) as a GUI desktop
application written using wxPython. It doesn’t have a website and was never
released to the Python Package Index.
There’s also dm.historical which provides access to object history from
an interactive Python shell.
If you’re not interested in history or objects that cannot be reached
through URL traversal, you can use the built-in object inspector that
comes with Zope 3 / Grok.
- Dropped Python 2.6 support (because ZODB—more specifically BTrees—dropped
- Fixed rollback to work with transaction >= 2.0 (transaction notes must be
- Show request URLs in history record headers (GH #7).
- Automate ZCML loading for Plone (GH #9).
- Fix standalone zodbbrowser when used with Zope 2 packages (GH #10).
- Fix AttributeError: __repr__ when encountering instances of old-style
classes (GH #6).
- Updated bootstrap.py (GH #3).
- Fixed @@zodbbrowser_history not seeing new transactions because the
cache is forever (GH #4).
- Dropped Python 2.4 and 2.5 support.
- Migrated source from Launchpad to Github.
- Custom representation of OOBucket objects.
- Slightly better error pages when you specify an invalid/nonexistent OID.
- Handle OrderedContainers with non-persistent _order or _data
attributes (I’ve seen the first in the wild).
- Partial fix for LP#1185175: cannot browse objects of classes that use
- The previous release was completely broken (LP#1091716). Fix the issue,
and fix tox.ini to actually run functional tests in addition to unit tests.
- Custom representation of persistent objects with no __repr__ to avoid
showing misleading memory addresses (LP#1087138).
- Bugfix for POSKeyErrors when viewing BTrees of non-trivial sizes
(LP#953480). This fixes a regression introduced in version 0.10.0.
- Standalone app mode uses the Zope exception formatter for easier debugging.
- Bugfix for weird LocationError: ‘__class__’ for some containers
with custom traversal rules.
- Links to persistent objects in value representations now also use
- Browsing of transaction records (@@zodb_history). Initial implementation so
far, unbelievably slow when you have large databases (LP#907900).
- ZODB Browser now avoids writing to the database even in read-write mode.
Previously when your objects had write-on-read semantics, those writes might
have snuck in.
- More descriptive page titles (LP#931115).
- Show object size in the header (LP#497780).
- Expand truncated values by clicking on them (LP#931184).
- More user-friendly representation of multiline text values.
- Update maintainer email in setup.py.
- Better error message for “address already in use” errors.
- Make it possible to use zodbbrowser as a plugin for Zope 2.12. Previously
you could only use the standalone zodbbrowser app with Zope 2.12 databases.
- Be more robust against exceptions happening in repr(): show the value as
“<unrepresentable Foo>” instead of erroring out.
- Make ‘python -m zodbbrowser’ run the standalone app on Python 2.5 and 2.7.
Note that ‘python -m zodbbrowser.standalone’ already worked on Python 2.4
- Add an option to specify ZEO storage name (–storage NAME). Contributed by
Show tuple differences more clearly in the history. (Uses a really dumb
diff algorithm that just looks for a common prefix/suffix. Works really
well when you append to the end, or remove just a single item. I cannot
use difflib.SequenceMapper because there’s no guarantee tuple items are
Make it possible to locate an object by OID: press g, then type the oid
(hex and both decimal supported; even octal, should you wish to use it).
You can also find subobjects starting from a given OID by entering paths
Catch and display unpickling errors of the current state, not just
historical older states.
Handle missing interfaces that are directly provided by persistent objects.
This works for the standalone zodbbrowser application; the zope.interface
monkey-patch for this is too intrusive to install when using zodbbrowser
as a plugin.
Made pip install zodbbrowser work properly by adding explicit
dependencies that easy_install would’ve picked up from setuptools extras.
Note: if you get AttributeError: __file__, make sure
zope.app.applicationcontrol is at least version 3.5.9. Older versions will
not work with pip.
- Support all kinds of ZODB databases, not just those used by Zope 3/BlueBream
- Renders tuples and lists that contain large dicts better.
- Remove dependency on zope.dublincore/zope.app.dublincore (LP#622180).
- Fixed TypeError: int() can’t convert non-string with explicit base
that could occur if no persistent objects were accessible from the request,
and no explicit oid was passed.
- Handle proxies better: when type(obj) != obj.__class__, show both.
- Handle ContainedProxy objects with their special persistence scheme.
IMPORTANT BUGFIX: don’t leave old object states lying around in ZODB object
cache, which could lead to DATA LOSS (LP#487243 strikes again, this time
I’ve audited the code and am fairly confident this bug is now dead dead
Try to discard data modifications when the DB is opened read-only.
Avoid deprecated zope.testing.doctest.
Avoid zope.app.securitypolicy; use zope.securitypolicy.
- Stopped using setuptools extras; now easy_install zodbbrowser is sufficient
to run the standalone app.
- Compatibility with latest Zope packages, including ZODB 3.9.x.
- Ability to revert object state to an older version. Requires a read-write
database connection (i.e. run bin/zodbbrowser –rw). The button is hidden
and appears when you’re hovering over a transaction entry in the list.
- Collapse long item lists by default.
- IMPORTANT BUGFIX: don’t leave old object states lying around in ZODB object
cache, which could lead to DATA LOSS (LP#487243). This affected OOBTree
- Be a bit more tolerant to unpickling errors (show which revision could not
be loaded instead of breaking the whole page).
- Show full history of OOBTree objects and subobjects (LP#474334).
- Change background color of links on hover, to make it clear what
object you’ll see when you click, especially when the __repr__ shown
contains reprs of subobjects.
- Show size of containers next to the “Items” heading (LP#486910).
- Show size of containers next to their representation, e.g.
“<persistent.dict.PersistentDict object at 0xad0b3ec> (0 items)”.
- Pay attention when __name__ is declared as a class attribute (LP#484899).
- Show names of directly provided interfaces on objects (i.e. show a better
representation of pickled zope.interface.Provides objects).
- Pretty-printing of dictionaries (including nested ones).
- @@zodbbrowser oid and tid parameters now accept values in hex format (0x0123)
Patch by Adam Groszer.
- Fixed install error on Windows (path cannot end in /).