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Chassis is a "batteries included" boilerplate flask project to use as a quick starting point, especially for REST services.

To see how easy it is to get up and running with Flask and Chassis, check out my 10 minute live coding presentation at the Boston Python group, where I write a backend for a backbone.js TODO app:


  • Clean and simple app factory model
  • Self-bootstrapping virtualenv
  • Separate requirements for dev and production, one pinned and the other unpinned
  • Smart Makefile for common tasks
  • Error tracking with Sentry/raven
  • REST-y views with Flask-restful
  • Flask-Cache
  • Flask-DebugToolbar
  • Werkzeug Profiler Middleware
  • Flask-Script ./ with shell already set
  • Flask-SQLAlchemy
  • Tests with unittest, nose,
  • Factories with factory_boy and faker
  • Sphinx docs with flask-style theme
  • sphinxcontrib-httpdomain for REST docs


Run make dev to run the dev server. It'll install all the dependencies if it has to.

For production, you're looking for The app variable has what you want. Alternatively, the create_app factory could also be used.

Command What it does
`make dev` Run the flask test server in debug mode.
`make test` run nosetests with coverage
`make dummy` Generates some dummy data and dumps ids.
`make shell` run an ipython shell where you can play around with objects. The variables `app`, `db` and `models` come preloaded.
`make docs` Builds pretty docs and pops open a browser window
`make clean` Clean up all the generated gunk


The /conf/ directory contains configuration files. is included by default. You pass the CHASSIS_CONFIG="path/to/" environment variable to pick a settings file. It's this way to make sure no one accidentally loads the dev config in production.


  • Nothing here yet until release.