[python] How do you configure Django for simple development and deployment?


Answers

Personally, I use a single settings.py for the project, I just have it look up the hostname it's on (my development machines have hostnames that start with "gabriel" so I just have this:

import socket
if socket.gethostname().startswith('gabriel'):
    LIVEHOST = False
else: 
    LIVEHOST = True

then in other parts I have things like:

if LIVEHOST:
    DEBUG = False
    PREPEND_WWW = True
    MEDIA_URL = 'http://static1.grsites.com/'
else:
    DEBUG = True
    PREPEND_WWW = False
    MEDIA_URL = 'http://localhost:8000/static/'

and so on. A little bit less readable, but it works fine and saves having to juggle multiple settings files.

Question

I tend to use SQLite when doing Django development, but on a live server something more robust is often needed (MySQL/PostgreSQL, for example). Invariably, there are other changes to make to the Django settings as well: different logging locations / intensities, media paths, etc.

How do you manage all these changes to make deployment a simple, automated process?




In fact you should probably consider having the same (or almost the same) configs for your development and production environment. Otherwise, situations like "Hey, it works on my machine" will happen from time to time.

So in order to automate your deployment and eliminate those WOMM issues, just use Docker.




I have two files. settings_base.py which contains common/default settings, and which is checked into source control. Each deployment has a separate settings.py, which executes from settings_base import * at the beginning and then overrides as needed.




I think it depends on the size of the site as to whether you need to step up from using SQLite, I've successfully used SQLite on several smaller live sites and it runs great.




In addition to the multiple settings files mentioned by Jim, I also tend to place two settings into my settings.py file at the top BASE_DIR and BASE_URL set to the path of the code and the URL to the base of the site, all other settings are modified to append themselves to these.

BASE_DIR = "/home/sean/myapp/" e.g. MEDIA_ROOT = "%smedia/" % BASEDIR

So when moving the project I only have to edit these settings and not search the whole file.

I would also recommend looking at fabric and Capistrano (Ruby tool, but it can be used to deploy Django applications) which facilitate automation of remote deployment.




So many complicated answers!

Every settings.py file comes with :

BASE_DIR = os.path.dirname(os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__)))

I use that directory to set the DEBUG variable like this (reaplace with the directoy where your dev code is):

DEBUG=False
if(BASE_DIR=="/path/to/my/dev/dir"):
    DEBUG = True

Then, every time the settings.py file is moved, DEBUG will be False and it's your production environment.

Every time you need different settings than the ones in your dev environment just use:

if(DEBUG):
    #Debug setting
else:
    #Release setting



Somewhat related, for the issue of deploying Django itself with multiple databases, you may want to take a look at Djangostack. You can download a completely free installer that allows you to install Apache, Python, Django, etc. As part of the installation process we allow you to select which database you want to use (MySQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL). We use the installers extensively when automating deployments internally (they can be run in unattended mode).






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