Django is a web development framework designed specifically for Python. Like Ruby on Rails does for Ruby, Django aims to provide a Model-View-Controller framework for web application development as well as a large set of prebuilt libraries to simplify the development of common web app features. Django's modularity also allows easy scalability and enables the reuse of various code blocks, under the policy of "Don't Repeat Yourself".
Using the WSGI loader for a shared hosting environment is ideal because it conserves memory and enhances security.
We offer the complete, unadulterated Django package.
Our Python installation includes the MySQL extension for interfacing with the MySQL database engine.
Our Python installation includes the PostgreSQL extension for interfacing with the PostgreSQL database engine.
Our Python installation includes the SQLite extension for interfacing with the SQLite database engine.
If you need any additional libraries installed be sure to ask at https://www.helionet.org.
We don't offer shell (command line) access to our users. Many Django tutorials and installation instructions assume that users have command line access, which may make working with Python & Django more difficult. Most people tend to develop on their home computer and then upload to their web server, which almost negates the need for this feature. Furthermore, most configuration done through the command line can be done through other methods, such as FTP and manual file editing.
There are two ways to configure Django to work with the mod_wsgi loader in Apache. You can either create a separate daemon for each Django process (daemon mode), or embed Django into the Apache daemon (embedded mode). While daemon mode tends to be the standard among Django admins because of the increased control it offers, we use embedded mode because it can be setup on a per-user basis without very much root-level configuration. Embedded mode is slightly harder to get working (see directions below), and might break compatibility with some Django tutorials. In most cases it should not be a problem.
The official Django 1.11 documentation is available here. The following guide is based on this post. It's suggested to follow the introduction tutorial to start off with Django: another suggestion is to try and test the package locally before uploading it online, since shell access (sometimes useful for debugging) is not provided on HelioHost.
Django 1.10 and later (available on Tommy and Johnny) comes with a new structure to manage its web-apps, so we're going to look in details how to set it up on a shared hosting like HelioHost. This small tutorial has been thought for Linux users, but Windows users should work it out easily.
Let's start by creating an empty "dumb" application to play with: refer to the official documentation for instructions on how to setup Django on a personal computer (we suggest using virtualenv, to differentiate each Django installation for each project).
Conventions: All the following commands don't need root access to be executed, but the shell commands are preceded by a
$ (dollar sign) to differentiate them from the output.
The python executable name used on the local computer is python3 (as on a Fedora OS), but this could change according with the distribution used (e.g. Ubuntu could name it
python3.6): change it accordingly to your executable name.
On your local computer, open a terminal, create a new project and perform the minimal configuration:
$ django-admin startproject hello$ cd hello/ && python3 manage.py migrate
This should return a directory structure like this:
$ tree ../hello/../hello/├── db.sqlite3├── hello/│ ├── __init__.py│ ├── __pycache__/│ │ ├── ...│ ├── settings.py│ ├── urls.py│ └── wsgi.py└── manage.py2 directories, 10 files
Run the included testing server:
$ python3 manage.py runserver 0.0.0.0:8000Performing system checks...System check identified no issues (0 silenced).March 20, 2017 - 16:42:48Django version 1.10.6, using settings 'hello.settings'Starting development server at http://0.0.0.0:8000/Quit the server with CONTROL-C....
Now you can point your browser to the address stated (http://127.0.0.1:8000), and you should see the Django
hello world debug message.
Let's set the project up to work on HelioHost; we need to rename and link back the
$ cd hello/$ mv wsgi.py dispatch.wsgi
(Windows users should skip the following step and manually copy
wsgi.py each time they overwrite
$ ln -s dispatch.wsgi wsgi.py
In this way, you can go on doing any edit you need on
wsgi.py, since it's just a symbolic link to
dispatch.wsgi, which is a configuration file needed to make your Django web app work on HelioHost.
Then create a
.htaccess file in
/home/username/public_html/hello/ containing the instructions for the Apache web server to redirect HTTP requests to your Django app.
The content should be:
RewriteEngine OnRewriteBase /RewriteRule ^(media/.*)$ - [L]RewriteRule ^(admin_media/.*)$ - [L]RewriteRule ^(hello/dispatch\.wsgi/.*)$ - [L]RewriteRule ^(.*)$ hello/hello/dispatch.wsgi/$1 [QSA,PT,L]
This instructs Apache to redirect all the requests (except those requesting something from
admin_media/) to the dispatcher file.
We are not done yet: we need to tell the dispatcher file
dispatch.wsgi how to load your Django settings; change it from:
import osfrom django.core.wsgi import get_wsgi_applicationos.environ.setdefault("DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE", "hello.settings")application = get_wsgi_application()
To something like:
import os, sys# edit your username belowsys.path.append("/home/username_on_heliohost/public_html/hello")from django.core.wsgi import get_wsgi_applicationos.environ['DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE'] = 'hello.settings'application = get_wsgi_application()
username_on_heliohost to the HelioHost username used on the web server.
In order to allow the web server to serve your Django app, you need to add the web server address in the app settings. Change
hello/settings.py and change:
ALLOWED_HOSTS = 
ALLOWED_HOSTS = ["*"]
So your website (say
djangoprogrammer.heliohost.org, every custom domain you set up like
djangoprogrammer.com and every subdomain such as
www) can be served by your application.
Now upload the content of the
hello/ folder to your
public_html/ folder, using whichever method you prefer, so the final content on the HelioHost web server should be something like:
$ tree home/home/└── username_on_heliohost/└── public_html/├── db.sqlite3├── manage.py└── hello/├── .htaccess├── dispatch.wsgi├── __init__.py├── __pycache__/│ ├── ...├── settings.py├── urls.py└── wsgi.py -> dispatch.wsgi
4 directories, 10 files
If you want ready made template, on you computer having python 3:
First install cookiecutter:
$ pip install cookiecutter
If you are using git:
$ cookiecutter https://github.com/rahul-gj/cookiecutter-helio.git
If you are not using git then download
cookiecutter-helio-master.zip file from https://github.com/rahul-gj/cookiecutter-helio:
$ cookiecutter path/to/cookiecutter-helio-master.zip
The shell will then asks few questions. Answer them:
$ project_name [mysite]: hello--> Choose any name$ helio_user [user_name]: yourusername --> Type your username on heliohost.org
The hello will be created on your working directory. Copy the content of that folder (
hello folder and
manage.py file) to your
Eventually you can point your browser to your website address(es) and you should see your Django application being online!
The original discussion from which the tutorial for Django 1.10 came out - http://www.helionet.org/index/topic/27585-django-on-tommy/.
GitHub repository for cookiecutter recipe for HelioHost at https://github.com/rahul-gj/cookiecutter-helio.