Django, Apache and mod_wsgi on Debian 5 (Lenny)
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Django is a web development framework for the Python programing language. It enables rapid development, while favoring pragmatic and clean design. Django was initially developed for use in a newspaper’s website division, and as a result the Django framework is very well suited to developing content-centric applications.
This guide provides an introduction to getting started with the Django framework, using the
mod_wsgi method of deploying python applications. Please complete the
getting started guide prior to beginning this guide on an up to date system. Furthermore, you will want a running
Apache web server and a functional
MySQL database system installed.
Set the Hostname
Before you begin installing and configuring the components described in this guide, please make sure you’ve followed our instructions for setting your hostname. Issue the following commands to make sure it is set properly:
hostname hostname -f
The first command should show your short hostname, and the second should show your fully qualified domain name (FQDN).
Issue the following commands to ensure that your system’s package repositories and installed programs are up to date and all required software is installed:
apt-get update apt-get upgrade apt-get install python-setuptools libapache2-mod-wsgi
Additionally you will need to install a database system and a python driver for this database system. If you want to run the MySQL database engine issue the following command:
apt-get install mysql-server python-mysqldb
If you want to run the PostgreSQL database server issue the following command:
apt-get install postgresql python-psycopg2
If you want to use the SQLite embedded database, issue the following command:
apt-get install sqlite3 python-sqlite
Your application may require additional dependencies. You may install these either using the Debian package tools or by using the
easy_install command included in
There are two methods for installing Django. You may either choose to install the Django packages from the Debian repositories, or you can install using the python
easy_install method. If you choose to install using the Debian packages you will work with the 1.0.2 version of the framework, but you will have the benefit of ongoing security and bug fixes from the Debian maintainers. To install Django from the Debian repositories issue the following command:
apt-get install python-django
If you want to install Django using the
easy_install tool, issue the following command:
At the time of writing, this will install version 1.2.5 of the Django framework. Consider the package information for Django for more information.
Configure Django Applications for WSGI
In order for
mod_wsgi to be able to provide access to your Django application, you will need to create a
django.wsgi file inside of your application directory. For the purposes of this example, we assume that your application will be located outside of your
DocumentRoot in the directory
/srv/www/example.com/application. Modify this example and all following examples to conform to the actual files and locations used in your deployment.
- File: /srv/www/example.com/application/django.wsgi
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import os import sys sys.path.append('/srv/www/example.com/application') os.environ['PYTHON_EGG_CACHE'] = '/srv/www/example.com/.python-egg' os.environ['DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE'] = 'settings' import django.core.handlers.wsgi application = django.core.handlers.wsgi.WSGIHandler()
You must append the path of your application to the system path as above. Additionally, declaration of the
PYTHON_EGG_CACHE variable is optional but may be required for some applications when WSGI scripts are executed with the permissions of the web server. Finally, the
DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE must refer to the Django
settings.py file for your project. You will need to restart Apache after modifying the
Consider the following example virtual host configuration:
- File: Apache Virtual Host Configuration
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<VirtualHost example.com:80> ServerName example.com ServerAlias www.example.com ServerAdmin [email protected] DocumentRoot /srv/www/example.com/public_html WSGIScriptAlias / /srv/www/example.com/application/django.wsgi <Directory /srv/www/example.com/application> Order allow,deny Allow from all </Directory> Alias /robots.txt /srv/www/example.com/public_html/robots.txt Alias /favicon.ico /srv/www/example.com/public_html/favicon.ico Alias /images /srv/www/example.com/public_html/images Alias /static /srv/www/example.com/public_html/static ErrorLog /srv/www/example.com/logs/error.log CustomLog /srv/www/example.com/logs/access.log combined </VirtualHost>
In this example, the
WSGIScriptAlias directive tells Apache that for this virtual host, all requests below
/ should be handled by the WSGI script specified. In the directory block that follows, we allow Apache to serve these requests. Finally, the series of four
Alias directives allow Apache to serve the
favicon.ico files as well as all resources beneath the
/static locations, directly from the
DocumentRoot without engaging the WSGI application. You can add as many Alias directives as you need to.
When you have successfully configured your Apache virtual host, issue the following command to restart the web server:
You will need to restart the web server every time the
django.wsgi file changes. However, all other modifications to your application do not require a web server restart. Congratulations! You have now successfully deployed a Django application using
You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.
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