The sample project layout from the book, "Two Scoops of Django: Best Practices for Django 1.5"
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A project template for Django 1.5.

To use this project follow these steps:

  1. Create your working environment
  2. Install Django
  3. Create the new project using the django-two-scoops template
  4. Install additional dependencies
  5. Use the Django admin to create the project

note: these instructions show creation of a project called "icecream". You should replace this name with the actual name of your project.

Working Environment

You have several options in setting up your working environment. We recommend using virtualenv to seperate the dependencies of your project from your system's python environment. If on Linux or Mac OS X, you can also use virtualenvwrapper to help manage multiple virtualenvs across different projects.

Virtualenv Only

First, make sure you are using virtualenv ( Once that's installed, create your virtualenv:

$ virtualenv --distribute icecream

You will also need to ensure that the virtualenv has the project directory added to the path. Adding the project directory will allow to be able to change settings using the --settings flag.

Virtualenv with virtualenvwrapper

In Linux and Mac OSX, you can install virtualenvwrapper (, which will take care of managing your virtual environments and adding the project path to the site-directory for you:

$ mkdir icecream
$ mkvirtualenv -a icecream icecream-dev
$ cd icecream && add2virtualenv `pwd`


In Windows, or if you're not comfortable using the command line, you will need to add a .pth file to the site-packages of your virtualenv. If you have been following the book's example for the virtualenv directory (pg. 12), then you will need to add a python pathfile named _virtualenv_path_extensions.pth to the site-packages. If you have been following the book, then your virtualenv folder will be something like:


In the pathfile, you will want to include the following code (from virtualenvwrapper):

import sys; sys.__plen = len(sys.path) /home/<youruser>/icecream/icecream/ import sys; new=sys.path[sys.__plen:]; del sys.path[sys.__plen:]; p=getattr(sys,'__egginsert',0); sys.path[p:p]=new; sys.__egginsert = p+len(new)

Installing Django

To install Django in the new virtual environment, run the following command:

$ pip install django

Creating your project

To create a new Django project called 'icecream' using django-twoscoops-project, run the following command:

$ startproject --template= --extension=py,rst,html icecream

Installation of Dependencies

Depending on where you are installing dependencies:

In development:

$ pip install -r requirements/local.txt

For production:

$ pip install -r requirements.txt

note: We install production requirements this way because many Platforms as a Services expect a requirements.txt file in the root of projects.


  • Many thanks to Randall Degges for the inspiration to write the book and django-skel.
  • All of the contributors to this project.