Python virtualenv quickstart with Django
Virtualenv allow you to package all python modules within one folder, keeping your code seperate from local environment. It is ideal if you are running multiple version of Python or other frameworks (like Django) on your machine.
This post is briefly about how to get up and running in a few minutes using virtualenv and Django.
Installing virtualenv is easy on a Linux or Mac system, but the instructions that follow are Linux (Ubuntu, actually) specific. First you’ll need setuptools:
sudo apt-get install python-setuptools
Then we can easy_install virtualenv:
sudo easy_install virtualenv
We need to use sudo here because it has to install to a global location. Don’t worry, this is the last time we’ll need to do something as root.
Create your virtualenv
cd to wherever it is you keep your projects (for me, in ~/src), and run:
virtualenv --no-site-packages ENV
In this instance I’ve chosen ENV as the name for my virtual environment. The —no-site-packages command tells virtualenv not to symlink the global site packages into my local environment, just take the Python standard library. This is important, because it helps us avoid the dependency difficulties mentioned above.
cd ENV source bin/activate
You will now be running under your virtual environment, for example on my machine:
Now you can any python command as you use to.
Now, the trick with virtualenv is that it creates its own Python and easy_install binaries, which means you can install/run things specifically in your environment. Let’s install Django:
And it’s done. easy. You might also want to install the MySQL bindings and IPython for ease of use:
Tip: you may need to setup your mysql path first > PATH=/usr/local/mysql/bin:$PATH
To start a new Django project, you’ll note that a django-admin.py file will have been installed for you in the environment:
django-admin.py startproject myapp
Obviously you can skip this step if you have an existing Django project.
Now the last step, which is probably obvious by now, is to run Django’s runserver with the virtual Python binary:
cd myapp python manage.py runserver
And you’re away!
Just make sure whenever you need to add another package that you install it in the virtualenv, and not in the global packages directory. If you want to deploy using virtualenv, here are some instructions for using mod_wsgi with virtualenvs.