I've been thoroughly enjoying my exodus from PHP to Python. My first self-assignment was to develop a Flask project, which came easily enough. The more difficult step was deploying it to WebFaction. The below guide are the steps I took to go from 0 - site, hopefully they'll come in useful.
This guide assumes a few things:
You have a WebFaction account (you can get one here)
Your Flask project is using a Virtual Environment (it should be)
You've already set up your Virtual Environment on your Webfaction server
You have SSH access to your WebFaction server (if not, get that going here)
Okay, let's get going.
Step 1: Add your site to Your WebFaction Account
I'm going to assume you're familiar with your WebFaction console, so this should be pretty simple:
Log into your WF Console
Go to your "Websites" tab, click the "Add New Website" button
Enter the website name and domains as needed for your project
Under the Contents section, choose Add an Application > Create a New Application
Set App Category to "mod_wsgi"
App Type should be the most recent version of mod_wsgi that supports your Python version. Make sure that your Python version matches with your mod_wsgi choice (I used "mod_wsgi 3.4/Python 2.7" for this guide).
Click the Save button to add that application
Click the Save button to save your website
Now your WebFaction account should have a new domain, website, and mod_wsgi application.
Step 2: SSH into your new application
First, you'll need to SSH into your webfaction account. Once you're there,
cd into your newly created application:
In this directory, you'll see two folders:
- apache2/ # This contains all of your Apache config and action files - htdocs/ # This is the folder Apache looks into (by default) to launch your project
All following instructions will assume you're still in this directory.
Step 3: Edit apache2/conf/httpd.conf
Using your favorite command line editor, open up the apache2/conf/httpd.conf file:
Load Alias module
You'll see a section where Apache Modules are being loaded. I had to manually add the Alias module to the bottom of the list (shown below).
LoadModule dir_module modules/mod_dir.so LoadModule env_module modules/mod_env.so LoadModule log_config_module modules/mod_log_config.so LoadModule mime_module modules/mod_mime.so LoadModule rewrite_module modules/mod_rewrite.so LoadModule setenvif_module modules/mod_setenvif.so LoadModule wsgi_module modules/mod_wsgi.so LoadModule alias_module modules/mod_alias.so # <-- What I added
Your version of mod_wsgi might not need to add this, but mine did.
Add the following parameters to your <Directory> section:
<Directory /home/your_username/webapps/application_name/htdocs> AddHandler wsgi-script .py RewriteEngine On # <-- What I added RewriteBase / # <-- What I added WSGIScriptReloading On # <-- What I added </Directory>
Now for the final edit of the config file.
Finally, at the end of the file, add the following lines:
# This will ensure that www.yourdomain.com/static points to your flask static directory Alias /static/ /home/your_username/webapps/application_name/app/main/static/ # This points to the file that launches our site, which we'll get to next Alias / /home/your_username/webapps/application_name/htdocs/index.py/
Now to upload our files.
Step 4: Upload your Flask project
My prefered Flask structure matches the following format:
- My_Flask_Project - fabfile.py - project/ - config.py - libs/ - main/ - static/ - templates/ - __init__.py - views.py - models.my
I upload my project/ folder to my application directory, and rename it to "app" - I don't really know why I feel the need to rename it, in retrospect:
scp -r ~/flask_files/project webfaction:~/webapps/application_name/app
Now, my ~/webapps/application_name directory list looks like the following:
- apache2/ - app/ - config.py - libs/ - main/ - static/ - templates/ - __init__.py - views.py - models.my - htdocs/
Next, we'll get our project's init file in order.
Step 5: Make sure your init.py file is right
Ensure that, whatever your structure, your project's
__init__.py file is launching your Flask application. In the struct I provided above, this is what my file at
app/main/__init__.py looks like:
from flask import Flask # Setting up the App app = Flask(__name__) app.config.from_object('config') # Importing the views for the rest of our site from main import views if __name__ == '__main__': app.run()
This will work nicely with our htdocs/index.py file, which we'll set up next.
Step 6: Modify the htdocs/index.py file
WebFaction should have created this file. In it are a few scripts, but you can completely remove those. Here is what the
htdocs/index.py file should contain:
import sys # Active your Virtual Environment, which I'm assuming you've already setup activate_this='/home/username/.virtualenvs/venv_name/bin/activate_this.py' execfile(activate_this, dict(__file__=activate_this)) # Appending our Flask project files sys.path.append('/home/username/webapps/application_name/app') # Launching our app from main import app as application
Step 7: Restart Apache
The last step will be to restart apache, like so:
apache2/bin/restart Note: you call this script directly and do not need to source it
If you're having trouble, take a look at your logs in the
~/logs/users/ directory. Often my issues come from my Virtual Envs being misaligned.
Hope this guide helps. Please let me know if I missed an important step, or I'm way off on the process