Heres some step by step tutorials of deploying small example projects in popular python web frameworks.


Setting Up The Project

Start with an empty directory. Make a requirements.txt file and put the following in it:


Let’s build a virtual python for our development:

$ virtualenv vp
$ vp/bin/pip install -r requirements.txt

This should download and install django locally. Let’s activate our virtual python and start a django project:

$ source vp/bin/activate
$ django-admin.py startproject myproject

Let’s change into the project directory and fire up the development web server:

$ cd myproject/
$ python manage.py runserver

Point your browser at http://localhost:8000/ and see the django splash page.

Writing The Fabfile

Go back to the project base. That’s the directory with the virtual python ‘vp’ directory one above ‘myproject’:

$ cd ..

Make a fabfile.py here and put the following in it:

from parcel.deploy import uWSGI
from parcel.probes import *

from fabric.api import task

def deb():
    deploy = uWSGI("myproject", base="webapps")

Let’s take a look at what is in this file. First thing is that we are using the uWSGI Deployment object. This is a stripped down uwsgi deployment container.

The first argument to Deployment is the package name. This will be used to name the binary package when it’s built.

The variable base is a path on the remote host that the package will be installed into. If this is ommitted, the install path is the home directory of the building user. If it’s an absolute path (starting with /) then it’s installed in that path. If it’s a relative path like this setting, it is installed into that path relative to the build users home directory. So in our case it will be “~/webapps”. So, for instance, if we were to build the package as user apache (pass -u apache into our fab call), then the package on debian would be installed under /var/www/webapps.

The prepare_app call copies the code over to the build host and setsup the virtual env with the requirements.txt file. Then the add_supervisord_uwsgi_service sets the package to make a uwsgi daemon start under supervisord. This daemon will listen for web requests on port 10000 and the supervisor service is called ‘myproject’. The final line builds the deb.

Go ahead and build the package:

$ fab -H debian deb

You’ll notice as the files are copied they are listed in blue. In this list you will see that there are some files in your directory you don’t want in there. Firstly, you don’t want any local virtualenv being copied over, as the package builds its own on the destination target. You also don’t want your fabfile copied over. Once you build the deb, if you run the build again, the deb file you just created would be copied over! So lets ignore these by listing their globs in a file called .rsync-ignore. You also want to ignore this file.

Edit .rsync-ignore and put in it the following:


Now build the deb again and notice that these files are excluded from the copy:

$ fab -H debian deb

Once it’s built, you can have a look at directory structure:

$ fab -H debian deb_tree:myproject_0.0.0_all.deb

and more interestingly the package’s control files:

$ fab -H debian deb_control:myproject_0.0.0_all.deb

Now its time to test whether the package will install. Install the package on the build host as root:

$ fab -H debian -u root deb_install:myproject_0.0.0_all.deb

Please note that this install method uses dpkg and therefore requires run dependencies to be installed before calling deb_install.

Now point your browser at http://debian:10000/ (where debian is the hostname/ip where you installed the deb package) and you should see exactly what you saw from runserver locally.

Congratulations! You just packaged and deployed a Django application.

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