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A Django website for GITenberg

The goal of gitensite is to:

  • provide information about the GITenberg project

  • document the major areas of work of GITenberg

  • connect visitor with areas to contribute

  • list information about GITenberg books

  • distribute completed ebooks

Set up

This is a django/python project, so you are going to want to use some standard python dev tools.


Copy example.env to .env and store your local db secret and other values there.

Virtual environments in python are a way of separating and reproducing the python package requirements.

From the root of the project

pipenv install -r requirements.txt

For every new terminal, or when returning to work on the project, you will need to run

source venv/bin/activate


We use Postgres.

To start a local db run:

./ migrate
./ createsuperuser

If you have modified the database, generate new database migrations:

./ makemigrations

And run them with:

./ migrate

Getting db data

To fill out data in your local db, you’ll first need to download and unpack the Project Gutenberg RDF metadata. you can run the provided load_repos management command: from

Then run ./ load_repos <rdf_library_path>

Where <rdf_library_path> is the address where you unzipped the rdf metadata


There are currently three apps in the project:

  • content for containing templates and views for website pages

  • bookrepo [deprecated] for interacting with github and storing info about books

  • bookinfo for metadata for the repos

Elastic Beanstalk

this website is deployed on Elastic Beanstalk. Install the awsebcli tool in it’s own py 3.7+ environment- it doesn’t play well with other packages, even boto from aws!

cd to the project directory and you should be able to deploy updates using

eb deploy [giten-site-new]

Remember to commit changes before deploying.


To install with Vagrant, follow these steps:

  1. First install (on the local machine):

    • VirtualBox

    • Vagrant

    • Ansible

  2. Then from the project directory run this command:

    vagrant up
  3. Then wait about 2 hours while it does its thing (loading the DB takes a very long time)

  4. To log in:

    vagrant ssh
  5. Once logged in

    cd giten_site

    The virtualenv and environment variables should be automatically loaded upon login.

  6. Start the server

    python runserver

    Use port 5001 since the Vagrantfile will automatically forward this port to the local port 5001. To use a different port, change the Vagrantfile on the host machine and run vagrant halt and vagrant up. Using the IP will permit django to serve this on any IP. When running in vagrant the webserver doesn’t recognize localhost addresses as being from localhost since it is port-forwarded into the virtual machine.

  7. Go to http://localhost:5001

  8. Done.


django repo for running the GITenberg website


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