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Deployment of pip-installable Django projects
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A standard stack for Django, using python packaging and Fabric for single-line deployments on Debian/Ubuntu machines.

A "bundle" is like an app on, or an instance on You can deploy as many bundles as you want on a single machine.

This isn't intended for large-scale deployment but rather small sites fitting on a single server (although you can scale vertically).

Almost everything here is implemented, a couple of things are still missing:

  • Bundle destruction


  • Python (duh)
  • PostgreSQL
  • Redis (RQ tasks, cache backend)
  • Gunicorn
  • Supervisor
  • Nginx
  • Sentry, using a remote sentry server
  • GIS-ready by default
  • HTTPS handling with A grade from
  • XSendfile support


  • Package your django project, you should be able to pip install it from a private location. Your package should contain base default settings that fab-bundle will extend, for instance in project/
  • Put your private requirements (if any) into a vendor/ directory, as python packages.
pip install ssh
pip install

Create a file in your project root:

from fab_bundle import env, task, bootstrap, deploy, destroy, ssh

def production():
    """Use the production server"""
    # SSH login info
    env.user = 'bruno'
    env.hosts = ['']
    env.key_filename = '/path/to/id_rsa'
    env.admin = ''

    # Nginx
    env.http_host = ''

    # Django
    env.base_settings = 'project.default_settings'
    env.secret_key = 'your private secret confidential key'

Bootstrap the server setup:

fab production bootstrap

Deploy your package:

fab production deploy

This runs sdist, uploads the package and its private requirements to the server and updates or creates the bundle's environment and layout.

For subsequent deploys you don't need to run bootstrap again, although doing so is harmless.

To deploy a specific version (for instance for rolling back), add your version number as an argument:

fab production deploy:1.1.2

Note that this will not re-upload the package if it's already been uploaded.

Should you ever need a plain shell, do:

fab production ssh


Python requirements

You need to add the following packages to your environment:

  • django-redis-cache
  • psycopg2
  • redis


Every day you get an email with the load average, out-of-date packages and disk space available on your machine. This email is sent to env.admin:

env.admin = ''


Fab-bundle checks for the presence of ssl_key and ssl_cert in env:

env.ssl_cert = '/path/to/ssl_cert.crt'
env.ssl_key = '/path/to/ssl_cert_key.key'

Just set them to local files on your machine and your site will be configured to be HTTPS-only, with:

  • HSTS support
  • Secure session and CSRF cookies
  • Permanent redirection from non-SSL to SSL requests
  • HTTPS on static and media serving

Bundle location

Bundles are put in $HOME/bundles by default. To change this, set bundle_root:

def production():
    # ...
    env.bundle_root = '/var/www/bundles'


You can use Sentry in remote mode, by adding this to the env object:

def production():
    # ...
    env.sentry_dsn = 'you sentry DSN'

Make sure your project itself is configured to use raven.

Sending Email

def production():
    # ... = {
        'from': 'Example <>',
        'host': '',
        'user': 'example',
        'password': 'yay',

You can also set the 'tls', 'port' and 'backend' keys.


Fab-bundle will try to install postgres 9.1. If it's not available on your system, you'll need to check which version you have, make sure you pick the one that works with postgis as well:

apt-cache search postgis

This outputs stuff like postgresql-8.4-postgis. Then set:

env.pg_version = '8.4'

You will get daily DB backups in $HOME/dbs, they're kept for 7 days and then rotated, so it's up to you to back them up offsite if you need to.


Only Nashvegas is currently supported.

def production():
    # ...
    env.migrations = 'nashvegas'

Note that you need to provide the path to your migrations in NASHVEGAS_MIGRATIONS_DIRECTORY, for instance in your base settings:



They're enabled by default. To disable them:

def production():
    # ...
    env.staticfiles = False

Cron tasks

To add scheduled tasks:

def production():
    # ...
    env.cron = (
        ('*/30 * * * *', './env/bin/ command_name --settings=settings'),

Commands are run from your bundle root. This folder contains:

  • the virtualenv in env/
  • the nginx, supervisor, etc config in conf/
  • the nginx, supervisor and gunicorn logs in log/
  • the static and media files in public/
  • the settings and wsgi files, and
  • the python packages in packages/

Private index server

If you have your own PyPI for deployments, you can point to it like this:

def production():
    # ...
    env.index_url = ''

Note that it will be passed to pip's --index-url argument, not --find-links or --extra-index-url so you need all your dependencies here.

RQ tasks

RQ support is opt-in:

def production():
    # ...
    env.rq = True

You still need to specify the python requirements yourself.

Custom settings

If you need custom settings that are only suited to your production environment, set them as a string in env.settings:

from textwrap import dedent

def production():
    # ...
    env.settings = dedent("""

Make sure there is no indentation, the code must be valid top-level python code. Custom settings are appended to the default ones.

Cache number

If you have several bundles on the same server and they use cache, you may want to specify the ID of the redis DB to use:

env.cache = 1


Nginx has the ability to serve private files and leave your upstream server decide whether the file should be served or not via a header. This is called XSendfile

To make this work with fab-bundle, set env.xsendfile to the list of locations you want to protect:

env.xsendfile = [

Note that your MEDIA_ROOT is served under the /media/ URL prefix.

Then in your view:

response = HttpResponse(mimetype='application/octet-stream')
response['X-Accel-Redirect'] = '/media/private/'
return response


Fab-bundle installs the libraries required by geodjango and creates all the databases from a spatial template. If you don't need this, you can disable GIS support by setting env.gis:

env.gis = False

Rolling back

Had a bad deploy? It happens. Rollback to a previous version, let's say 1.2:

fab production deploy:1.2

Backing up

Databases are dumped every day, you can sync them as well as your media files using a script such as:

#/ /bin/sh
RSYNC="rsync -avz -e ssh"
$RSYNC <host>:dbs .
$RSYNC <host>:bundles/<http-domain>/public/media .
mkdir -p log
$RSYNC <host>:bundles/<http-domain>/log/*.gz log

Cleaning up

Want to remove your app? This will remove everything related to your bundle:

fab production destroy
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