A stable and custom theme for Horizon

During the OpenStack Icehouse development cycle, we got in Horizon the ability to use additional python packages by simply dropping in a file in the openstack_dashboard/enabled dir.

In the rest of the article, I'll propose a method to customize the look and feel, without breaking during package updates. It will work, if you have a Horizon package in Icehouse release RC1 or later.

Fedora and RDO openstack-dashboard packages are installing the Dashboard into /usr/share/openstack-dashboard.

First of all, we'll add a config openstack_dashboard/enabled/_99_theme.py

# The name of the dashboard to be added to HORIZON['dashboards']. Required.
DASHBOARD = 'theme'
# If set to True, this dashboard will be set as the default dashboard.
# A dictionary of exception classes to be added to HORIZON['exceptions'].
# A list of applications to be added to INSTALLED_APPS.
ADD_INSTALLED_APPS = ['openstack_dashboard.dashboards.theme']

There are two notable settings: DASHBOARD = 'theme' - this is the name of the added dashboard. We'll come back to this later. The other one is ADD_INSTALLED_APPS = ['openstack_dashboard.dashboards.theme']. This is a python module, which can reside everywhere in the file system (as long as it's in the python search path). I chose to put it directly below openstack_dashboard/dashboards in a dir named theme

Actually, I put a very minimum set of files into the theme directory:

|-- dashboard.py
|-- __init__.py
|-- models.py
|-- static
|   `-- dashboard
|       |-- css
|       |   `-- font-awesome.min.css
|       |-- fonts
|       |   |-- FontAwesome.otf
|       |   |-- OpenSans-Regular-webfont.eot
|       |   |-- OpenSans-Regular-webfont.svg
|       |   |-- OpenSans-Regular-webfont.ttf
|       |   `-- OpenSans-Regular-webfont.woff
|       |-- img
|       |   |-- bg-login.jpg
|       |   |-- brand.svg
|       |   `-- logo.svg
|       `-- less
|           |-- rcue
|           |   |-- fonts.less
|           |   |-- icons.less
|           |   |-- login.less
|           |   |-- navbar.less
|           `-- theme.less
|-- templates
|   |-- auth
|   |   |-- _login.html
|   |   `-- login.html
|   |-- base.html
|   |-- _header.html
|   |-- horizon
|   |   |-- common
|   |   |   `-- _sidebar.html
|   |   |-- _nav_list.html
|   |   `-- _subnav_list.html
|   |-- splash.html
|   `-- _stylesheets.html
`-- theme_index
    |-- __init__.py
    |-- __init__.pyc
    |-- panel.py
    |-- panel.pyc
    |-- urls.py
    |-- urls.pyc
    |-- views.py
    `-- views.pyc

At first glance, that looks way more than it actually is. While most files are self-explanatory, I'll go into details with a few files.


The files __init__.py and models.py may be completely empty, or just contain a comment:

# intentionally left blank

The more interesting file is dashboard.py:

import horizon

class Theme(horizon.Dashboard):
    name = _("theme")
    slug = "theme"
    panels = ('theme_index', )
    default_panel = 'theme_index'
    nav = False


Important to note is the option nav = False, which prevents this dashboard to show up in the navigation bar; this is used e.g for contents to be linked manually, like "Settings" or not to be linked at all, like a theme.


As above in the theme dir, __init__.py and views.py may be completely empty. urls.py is nearly empty as well:

urlpatterns = ()


import horizon

from openstack_dashboard.dashboards.theme import dashboard

class ThemePanel(horizon.Panel):
    name = "Panel providing a theme"
    slug = 'theme_index'
    nav = True


This code snippet should be enough for Horizon to think, there is a real dashboard, which just should not be included in the automatically generated navigation.

Putting all together

Now we can put templates into the templates directory, and static files i to static. When Horizon delivers web pages, based on templates, it will search for the them in theme/templates first; if found there, they will be delivered, if not, Horizon will fall back to the default pages found in the other templates dirs in horizon source tree.

As a starter, just copy e.g base.html or _stylesheets.html from horizon/templates directory, to templates and modify them.

When adding static files, you need to issue

./manage.py collectstatic

from /usr/share/openstack-dashboard to collect them and to copy static files to /usr/share/openstack-dashboard/static.