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CherryPy PyLucene integration


There are some problems in calling some PyLucene API from CherryPy code. I got following Java exception when I tried calling PyLucene.IndexWriter from CherryPy.

writer = PyLucene.IndexWriter( "c:/index", PyLucene.StandardAnalyzer(), True)
JavaError: java.lang.NullPointerException

The same API works fine if called from python console.

>>> PyLucene.IndexWriter( "c:/index", PyLucene.StandardAnalyzer(), True)
<IndexWriter: org.apache.lucene.index.IndexWriter@17f3fa0>


The reason for conflict lies in the threading mechanism used by CherryPy.

CherryPy page handlers never run in the main thread, a new thread is created for handling new request. These new threads are local threads created from threading.Thread.

Basically, for a python only main thread can call into PyLucene without any problems. For other threads to work with PyLucene, the boehm-gc component of the java runtime ( i.e. the garbage collector) should be informed about their creation. If these threads are created as an instance of PyLucene.PythonThread, it will make sure that the thread is created via libgcj and libgcj garbage collector is aware of it.


The idea is to use PyLucene.PythonThread instead of normal threading.Thread in CherryPy source code.

I did following modifications in CherryPy source code with CherryPy 2.2.1 and PyLucene 2.0.0 on Windows 2000 to work together.

The cherrypy code should be available in following directory inside python installation directory. python_installation_dir\Lib\site-packages\cherrypy

Files which have threading.Thread are:


You need to add statement import PyLucene and replace threading.Thread with PyLucene.PythonThread in above two files.

Also disable CherryPy's autoreload (by adding autoreload.on=False to configuration file) because autoreload uses low level threads.

These changes worked fine in my case.

More Information

For more details, see

For porting this solution to Fedora Core 5 Linux, visit

Above information may not be correct, as its just taken from my experience, Let me know if there is any mistake.

Pravin Shinde [getpravin at]

A solution to avoid changing the PyLucene source code (inspired by the dummy_threading module mentioned to me by my colleague Richard Philips).
Import the following code on top of your application, before you import cherrypy. All subsequent import threading commands will import this module and use the PyLucene.PythonThread class. Be sure to replace the anet.explorator.exploratorthreading path by the name and path you give to the module.
It is necessary to fill the locals() table with the _names of the threading module since CherryPy addresses some _classes directly (_Timer for example)

from threading import *
from threading import __all__

import threading
all = dir(threading)
for name in all:
   if name[0] == '_' and name[1] != '_':
       locals()[name] = eval('threading.%s' % name)

import sys
del sys.modules['threading']

   sys.modules['threading'] =
   sys.modules['threading'] = sys.modules['exploratorthreading']

import PyLucene
class Thread(PyLucene.PythonThread):
   def __init__(self,  *args, **kwds):
       PyLucene.PythonThread.__init__(self,*args, **kwds)

Marc Jeurissen
University of Antwerp


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