23 Jul

Deploying a Flask Project on WebFaction with Git [UPDATED]

I found it tedious having to redo the setup of my application on WebFaction whenever there is a new update of the application. I started looking for way to update the content of the application, without affecting the setup configurations of the application on WebFaction.
Step 1: Add your site to Your WebFaction Account
From your WebFaction console:
1.       Log into your WebFaction Console
2.       Go to your “Websites” tab, click the “Add New Website” button
3.      Enter the website name and domains as needed for your project
4.      Under the Contents section, choose Add an Application > Create a New Application
1.      Name to “myapp” 
2.      Set App Category to “mod_wsgi”
3.      App Type should be the most recent version of mod_wsgi that supports your Python version. Make sure that your Python version matches with your mod_wsgi choice ( “mod_wsgi 3.5/Python 2.7″ for this guide).
4.      Click the Save button to add that application
5.      Click the Save button to save your website
Now your WebFaction account should have a new domain, website, and mod_wsgi application.
Step 2: SSH into your new application
First, you’ll need to SSH into your webfaction account. Once you’re there, cd into your newly created application:
cd ~/webapps/myapp
In this directory, you’ll see two folders:
– apache2/      # This contains all of your Apache config and action files
– htdocs/       # This is the folder Apache to launch your project

Step 3: Upload your Flask project using Git

Upload the project/ folder to the application directory using Git. “myapp” directory is created

git clone https://username@bitbucket.org/uobis0/myapp.git

All following instructions will assume you’re still in this directory.

 virtualenv venv --python=python2.7
$ . venv/bin/activate
$ easy_install-2.7 flask    # Installs flask package for the app
$ pip install -r /myapp/app/requirements.txt  # Installs the packages for the app
$ deactivate

Now, my ~/webapps/myapp directory list looks like the following:

drwxr-xr-x 7 uobis uobis 4096 Nov 11 14:29 apache2/
drwxrwxr-x 5 uobis uobis 4096 Nov 11 14:40 venv/
drwxrwxr-x 6 uobis uobis 4096 Nov 14 16:46 myapp/
drwxr-xr-x 2 uobis uobis 4096 Nov 11 14:29 htdocs/
-rw-rw-r-- 1 uobis uobis 292 Nov 18 15:14 wsgi.py

Step 4: Edit apache2/conf/httpd.conf

Using your favorite command line editor, open up the apache2/conf/httpd.conf file:

vim ~/webapps/myapp/apache2/conf/httpd.conf

Load Alias module (optional)

You’ll see a section where Apache Modules are being loaded. I had to manually add the Alias module to the bottom of the list (shown below).

LoadModule wsgi_module       modules/mod_wsgi.so
LoadModule alias_module      modules/mod_alias.so    #Your version of mod_wsgi might not need to add this.

Modify Alias and <Directory>

Add the following parameters to your <Directory> section:

WSGIScriptAlias / /home/username/webapps/myapp/wsgi.py

<Directory /home/username/webapps/myapp/htdocs>
    AddHandler wsgi-script .py
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteBase /
    WSGIScriptReloading On

Now for the final edit of the config file.

Step 5: Make sure your main file is right 

Ensure that, if your structure is package, your project’s __init__.py file is launching your Flask application. This is what the file at ~/webapps/myapp/app/__init__.py should look like:

from flask import Flask

# Setting up the App
app = Flask(__name__)

# Importing the views for the rest of our site
from app import views

if __name__ == '__main__':

If you are using modules, the files should contain the app instantiation

app = Flask(__name__)

This will work nicely with our wsgi.py file, which we’ll set up next.

Step 6: Modify the htdocs/wsgi.py file

WebFaction should have created this file. In it are a few scripts, but you can completely remove those. Here is what the ~/webapps/myapp/wsgi.py file should contain:

import sys

# Active your Virtual Environment, which I'm assuming you've already setup
execfile(activate_this, dict(__file__=activate_this))

# Appending our Flask project files

# Launching our app
from main import app as application


Step 7: Restart Apache

The last step will be to restart apache, like so:



If you’re having trouble, take a look at your logs in the ~/logs/users/ directory.

Application Updates

The steps above makes updates very easy:
cd ~/webapps/myapp/myapp
git pull https://username@bitbucket.org/accout/myapp.git