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flask_reddit is an extendable + minimalist Reddit clone.

This was built so beginners who want a standard CRUD + reddit-like application can quickly get to work.

We utilize:

  • flask as the web framework.
  • nginx as the HTTP server
  • gunicon as the wsgi server.
  • MySQL for our database
  • flask-sqlalchemy as our ORM.
  • bootstrap-journal theme makes us beautiful.
  • virtualenv emcompasses everything.
  • supervisord makes sure our service never crashes.

And thats pretty much it!

All of the configutations are in this repository. Deployment instructions will be out soon.


  • threaded comments
  • up voting
  • subreddits
  • user karma
  • search
  • rate limiting
  • ajax form posting
  • user profiles

Build Instructions

  • Set up an instance of MySQL on your server. Note your username and password.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install mysql-server libmysqlclient-dev
  • Set up an instance of nginx on your server. I've provided the .conf scripts needed for our servers in the /server directory.

sudo apt-get install nginx

  • Configure your nginx settings located in flask_reddit/server/nginx.conf.

  • Add your settings into your global conf file located in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

  • Restart nginx to recognize your settings sudo service nginx restart

  • Set up supervisord to monitor your project to make sure it never crashes. Supervisor is also convenient for simply restarting/starting your project with ease.

sudo apt-get install supervisor

  • When Supervisor is installed you can give it programs to start and watch by creating config files in the /etc/supervisor/conf.d directory. I've provided the conf file which we use in the root directory of this repo as supervisor.conf. An example supervisor command would be running supervisorctl restart YOUR_APP_NAME to restart gunicorn and bring up new changes.

  • Install virtualenv and set up a project root where ever you want.

sudo apt-get install python-virtualenv;
cd /path/to/project;
virtualenv reddit-env;
cd reddit-env;
source bin/activate; # viola, you are now in an enclosed python workspace.
  • Download the repository and install all of the required python modules which this server uses.
git clone;
cd flask_reddit;
pip install -r requirements.txt
  • Due to sensitive configuration information, I have hidden my personal file in the gitignore. But, I have provided a clean and easy to use config template in this repo named

  • Fill out the flask_reddit/ file with your own information and then rename it to so flask recognizes it by using mv Please be sure to fill out the mysql db settings similarly to how you set it up!, username, pass, etc

  • Run the script to build the first user and subreddits.


  • flask_reddit has tasks which must occur on regular time intervals. To make this happen, we use the crontab, which is present on UNIX systems.

A crontab is a dash which allows you to specify what programs to run and how often. I've provided flask_reddit's example crontab in the root directory as jobs.cron.

To view your current crontab, run crontab -l. To edit your crontab, run crontab -e.

  • Paste the contents of jobs.cron into your crontab by running crontab -e and pasting! More directions are present in the jobs.cron file.

  • Run the gunicorn server. You won't have to do this ever again if supervisor is set up properly.

sudo sh

Note that we have now deployed two servers: nginx and gunicorn. nginx is our internet facing HTTP server on port 80 while gunicorn is our wsgi server which is serving up our flask python application locally. nginx reads client requests and decides which requests to foreward to our gunicorn server. For example, nginx serves static content like images very well but it forwards url routes to the homepage to gunicorn.

For a full list of details, view our configs at server/nginx.conf and server/

Note, for this build to work there are paths that you must change in the file, the server configs located in server directory and the file.

Refer to the flask project configuration options to understand what to put in your own file.

Do not hesiate to contact me for help or concerns.