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


30 Nov

Deploying Flask on lighttpd

Deploying Flask seems a lonely taks, becuase of dearth of articles or blogs that explain in. This is even worse when deploying on a shared server.
Most people seems to treat a python deployment as a django deployment. Since, there are cheap and available Flask hsting site, i went with Django host, but confirmed that we can host any other framework.

The good thing is that, there too many similarities, and most packages are already installed on the host.

1. Open putty and log into the hosts server (s17.wservices.ch)
2. Check that the following following packages are installed

python and python-devel: the Python interpreter and its development package
lighttpd: The Lighty web server and its development package
install postgresql postgresql-contrib: The PostgreSQL database server and its development package
git: source code version control system (we will use it to download and update the application)
gcc: the C/C++ compiler (needed to compile Python extensions)
sudo: a tool that helps users run commands as other users.

If not, install them.

sudo apt-get python python-devel lighttpd httpd-devel mysql-server mysql-devel git gcc

3. Configure passwordless login (if needed)
4. Create a directory for the application, and install the application from BitBucket
mkdir app
cd app
git clone git://bitbucket.org/peppe/peppe-ng.git

5. Check User permissions
chmod -R 777 *

6. Setup the database
Go to https://panel.djangoeurope.com/databases/
Login with a username and password, and then create a database and dump the content of the dev db
pg_dump peppedb > ppdbdump.sql

Transfer the file to live host
sftp outfile.sql peppe@s17.wservices.ch

Load the Db on the live host
psql peppedb < ppdbdump.sql

7. Setup the webserver
Paste at the end of this file ~/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf

$HTTP[“host”] =~ “(^|.)peppe.com.ng$” {
fastcgi.server = (
“/flask.fcgi” => (
“main” => (
“socket” => env.HOME + “/mysite_project/mysite.sock”,
“check-local” => “disable”,
alias.url = (
“/media” => env.HOME + “/mysite_project/media”,

url.rewrite-once = (
“^(/media.*)$” => “$1”,
“^/favicon.ico$” => “/media/favicon.ico”,
“^(/.*)$” => “/flask.fcgi$1”,

Replace mydomain.com with the name of your domain. Be sure to escape all dots of your website’s name (put a backslash before it: .). Replace your_django_project/media with the path of you media directory (relative to your home directory). Replace mysite_project/mysite.sock with the path to your fastcgi socket file

Now you can launch your lighttpd:

~/init/lighttpd start

Whenever you make changes to the configuration, you can reload the configuration or restart lighttpd:

~/init/lighttpd reload

~/init/lighttpd restart

9. Configure the db and start
10. Install application updates

02 May

django and virtualenv on Aptana Studio

Create a folder for storing Virtualenv environments

C:Usersamachefe>mkdir env
C:Usersamachefe>cd env

Create a virtual environment VCMS by running the virtualenv command.
Windows PowerShell
Copyright (C) 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
PS C:>
PS C:Usersamachefeenv>virtualenv vcms
New python executable in vcmsScriptspython.exe
Installing setuptools…………….done.
Installing pip……………….done.

In Microsoft Windows, before activating the virtual environment, ensure that the new environment is used by setting the Powershell execution policy
PS C:> Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
PS C:> exit

Activate the virtualenv environment just created

PS C:Usersamachefeenv>vcmsScriptsactivate
(vcms) C:Usersamachefeenv>
(vcms) C:Usersamachefeenv>pip list

(vcms) C:Usersamachefeenv>pip show
ERROR: Please provide a package name or names.
(vcms) C:Usersamachefeenv>pip install django
Downloading/unpacking django
  Downloading Django-1.5.1.tar.gz (8.0MB): 8.0MB downloaded
   Running setup.py egg_info for package django

    warning: no previously-included files matching ‘__pycache__’ found under directory ‘*’
    warning: no previously-included files matching ‘*.py[co]’ found under directory ‘*’
Installing collected packages: django
  Running setup.py install for django

    warning: no previously-included files matching ‘__pycache__’ found under directory ‘*’
    warning: no previously-included files matching ‘*.py[co]’ found under directory ‘*’
Successfully installed django
Cleaning up…
Storing complete log in C:Usersamachefepippip.log

(vcms) C:Usersamachefeenv>

(vcms) C:Usersamachefeenv>pip list
Django (1.5.1)
(vcms) C:Usersamachefeenv>

Deactivate after installing

(vcms) C:Usersamachefeenv>deactivate

Setting up Aptana Studio

One of the best (and free) IDEs for is Aptana Studio. Aptana Studio is a complete environment that includes extensive capabilities to build Ruby and Rails, PHP, and Python applications, along with complete HTML, CSS and JavaScript editing. Aptana is based on Eclipse, and has one of the best python plugin, PyDev.
It has gives you two options for download. You can either install Aptana on top of your pre-existing Eclipse installation (Eclipse Plug-in Version), or install a standalone version of Eclipse with Aptana pre-configured. I prefer the stand alone version

To create a new Django project in Aptana, go to File->New -> Other. Select the PyDev folder, and finally, the PyDev Django Project option, and click next. Give the project a name.

Under the Interpreter, click to configure a new interpreter.

Hit New… Add Name for the interpreter, and specify a path to your newly made virtualenv. Click Ok

manually select the C:Python27Lib folder. Click OK

Click OK, to close the Python interpreter selector and return to the New Project box.

Select the Interpreter you just created in the last step, and Click Next. Complete the Requirement to create a project.
To test the project, Click the Aptana Studio RUN bottom

Aptana Studio Run button

Check if the project was successful from the browser

NB: You can also add a new Python Interpreter from Preferences > PyDev > Interpreter – Python settings.

10 Apr

Installing Django Framework using pip

The recommended way to install Django is with pip. pip is a tool for installing and managing Python packages.
Before installing Django, you need to install pip!

1. Install python
First things first – get Python! You can get the Python 2.7.3 (the current Python 2.x version as of this writing) 32-bit installer from http://python.org/download/.
Python 2.7.3 (default, Apr 10 2012, 23:24:47) [MSC v.1500 64 bit (AMD64)] on win32
Type “help”, “copyright”, “credits” or “license” for more information.
Type quit() to close the python interpreter
>>> quit()

NB: Before punning the command, remember to add the python on the windows environment PATH

2. Install Distribute. Distribute is a pre-requisite for pip
Download the distribute_setup.py file to you computer. Click on the file to install Distribute, or run from the command prompt.
C:>python distribute_setup.py
Extracting in c:usersamache~1appdatalocaltemptmpbjtb6b
Now working in c:usersamache~1appdatalocaltemptmpbjtb6bdistribute-0.6.36
Installing Distribute
Before install bootstrap.
Scanning installed packages
Setuptools installation detected at c:python27libsite-packages
Non-egg installation
Moving elements out of the way…
Already patched.
Installed c:python27libsite-packagesdistribute-0.6.36-py2.7.egg
Processing dependencies for distribute==0.6.36
Finished processing dependencies for distribute==0.6.36
After install bootstrap.
C:Python27Libsite-packagessetuptools-0.6c11-py2.7.egg-info already exists

3. Install pip
Now, Download the pip install script from GitHub.
Install by clicking the script or running from python command prompt

C:>python get-pip.py
Downloading/unpacking pip
  Downloading pip-1.3.1.tar.gz (247Kb): 247Kb downloaded
  Running setup.py egg_info for package pip

    warning: no files found matching ‘*.html’ under directory ‘docs’
    warning: no previously-included files matching ‘*.txt’ found under directory
    no previously-included directories found matching ‘docs_build_sources’
Installing collected packages: pip
  Running setup.py install for pip

    warning: no files found matching ‘*.html’ under directory ‘docs’
    warning: no previously-included files matching ‘*.txt’ found under directory
    no previously-included directories found matching ‘docs_build_sources’
    Installing pip-script.py script to C:Python27Scripts
    Installing pip.exe script to C:Python27Scripts
    Installing pip-2.7-script.py script to C:Python27Scripts
    Installing pip-2.7.exe script to C:Python27Scripts
Successfully installed pip
Cleaning up…

Test the installation

  pip <command> [options]

4. Install virtualenv (Not Compulsory, but very advised)
C:>pip install virtualenv
Install virtualenvwrapper  (for microsoft Windows)
C:>pip install virtualenvwrapper-win

And you are good to go!!

Thanks to tyler butler for his informative procedure