I'm setting up a custom tile server using OpenstreetMaps and Mapnik. I've been able to successfully setup the server and serve tiles using it. I'm using the OSM-Bright style right now.

I would like to use the MapBox Streets style or a custom style built on MapBox Studio with this server. I tried uploading the custom style to the server and pointed the XML directive in renderd.conf to the project.xml in my style. I cleared the cache and restarted renderd and apache but the new style does not render. There are no errors or warnings in the log.

Is there something I might be missing or a tutorial somewhere which I can follow to do this?

  • did you figure how to make this work? I'm looking for the exact same thing. Thanks!
    – jasondinh
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 18:38

2 Answers 2


MapBox Studio creates and edits CartoCSS style-sheets, and mapnik uses their own SLD xml styles. Here is a small info about CartoCSS https://github.com/mapbox/carto

Magic actually happened in this line:

carto project.mml > mapnik.xml

If you still can't get output form mapnik, run renderd with -f option, which will bring it in foreground and you will get some debug output.


There's possibly a couple of things going on here:

  1. If you're using the default style then you'll be loading the vector data from Mapbox. You'll probably want to be using a local datasource which is harder to setup (in comparison to Tilemill) but not impossible

  2. If you are using a local tile source, then you'll need to edit the mapnik XML first - mapbox studio separates the style from the layer definitions, so you'll need to merge them together into a single mapnik config file. The data layers are defined in the tm2source directory and you'll need to find the corresponding references in the style and replace the layer definitions. I do have an example of this but I'm not on my own machine at the moment.

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