How To Install Django On Mandriva 2008.1 (Apache2/mod_python)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

This tutorial explains how to install Django on a Mandriva 2008.1 server. Django is a web framework that allows to develop Python web applications quickly with as much automation as possible. I will use it with Apache2 and mod_python in this guide.

This howto is meant as a practical guide; it does not cover the theoretical backgrounds. They are treated in a lot of other documents in the web.

This document comes without warranty of any kind! I want to say that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Install MySQL

Before we install any packages, we must enable the main, main_updates, contrib, and contrib_updates repositories. Go to - it should give you the commands you need to run to enable these repositories. In my case, I ran

urpmi.addmedia contrib with media_info/
urpmi.addmedia --update contrib_updates with media_info/
urpmi.addmedia main with media_info/
urpmi.addmedia --update main_updates with media_info/

Django can use multiple database backends, e.g. PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, etc. If you want to use MySQL, you can install it as follows:

urpmi MySQL MySQL-client

By default, networking is not enabled in Mandriva 2008.1's MySQL package. We can change this by commenting out the line skip-networking in /etc/my.cnf:

vi /etc/my.cnf
# Don't listen on a TCP/IP port at all. This can be a security enhancement,
# if all processes that need to connect to mysqld run on the same host.
# All interaction with mysqld must be made via Unix sockets or named pipes.
# Note that using this option without enabling named pipes on Windows
# (via the "enable-named-pipe" option) will render mysqld useless!

Afterwards, we create the system startup links for MySQL...

chkconfig mysqld on

... and start it:

/etc/init.d/mysqld start

Now check that networking is enabled. Run

netstat -tap | grep mysql

The output should look like this:

[root@server1 ~]# netstat -tap | grep mysql
tcp        0      0 *:mysql-im                  *:*                         LISTEN      3746/mysqlmanager
tcp        0      0 *:mysql                     *:*                         LISTEN      3754/mysqld
[root@server1 ~]#


mysqladmin -u root password yourrootsqlpassword
mysqladmin -h -u root password yourrootsqlpassword

to set a password for the user root (otherwise anybody can access your MySQL database!).


2 Install Apache And mod_python

If Apache2 and mod_python aren't already installed on your system, you can install them as follows:

urpmi apache-mod_python

(This will also install Apache2 if it isn't already installed.)


3 Install Django

In order to install Django and the Python MySQL bindings, we run:

urpmi python-django python-mysql


4 Configure Apache

Before we configure Apache, we must create a Django project (e.g. called mysite) (see For security reasons I create that project outside my document root (I'm using the default Mandriva document root /var/www/html here) (e.g. in /home/mycode):

mkdir /home/mycode
cd /home/mycode
/usr/bin/ startproject mysite

This will create the directory /home/mycode/mysite with some Python files in it.

Now with the project mysite created, we can configure Apache. I create a backup copy of the original /etc/httpd/modules.d/16_mod_python.conf file and create a new one as follows:

cp /etc/httpd/modules.d/16_mod_python.conf /etc/httpd/modules.d/16_mod_python.conf_orig
cat /dev/null > /etc/httpd/modules.d/16_mod_python.conf
vi /etc/httpd/modules.d/16_mod_python.conf
LoadModule python_module        extramodules/

<Location "/mysite">
    SetHandler python-program
    PythonHandler django.core.handlers.modpython
    SetEnv DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE mysite.settings
    PythonDebug On
    PythonPath "['/home/mycode'] + sys.path"

(This configuration is valid for the default Mandriva vhost in /var/www/html - if you have already defined other vhosts where you'd like to use Django, please place the <Location ...>...</Location> section in the appropriate vhost configuration, but leave the LoadModule line in /etc/httpd/modules.d/16_mod_python.conf.)

The path in the first line (<Location "/mysite">) refers to the URL - meaning this configuration will be used if you use /mysite in the URL (e.g. You can change this to your likings. Please adjust the other values (SetEnv DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE mysite.settings and PythonPath "['/home/mycode'] + sys.path") to the name of your project and the path where it is located.

Restart Apache afterwards:

/etc/init.d/httpd restart

Now you can access in a browser. If everything went well, you should see something like this:

This means Django has been successfully installed, and you can now use it to develop your Python web applications (please refer to to learn how to develop web applications with Django).


5 Connect To A MySQL Database From A Django Project

If you want to use a MySQL database in your Django project, you should first create that database (e.g. mysite) and a database user (e.g. mysiteadmin) for that database:

mysql -u root -p
GRANT ALL ON mysite.* TO 'mysiteadmin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'mysiteadmin_password';
GRANT ALL ON mysite.* TO 'mysiteadmin'@'localhost.localdomain' IDENTIFIED BY 'mysiteadmin_password';

Then open the file in the project folder (e.g. /home/mycode/mysite) and modify the database settings, e.g. as follows:

vi /home/mycode/mysite/
DATABASE_ENGINE = 'mysql'           # 'postgresql_psycopg2', 'postgresql', 'mysql', 'sqlite3' or 'ado_mssql'.
DATABASE_NAME = 'mysite'             # Or path to database file if using sqlite3.
DATABASE_USER = 'mysiteadmin'             # Not used with sqlite3.
DATABASE_PASSWORD = 'mysiteadmin_password'         # Not used with sqlite3.
DATABASE_HOST = ''             # Set to empty string for localhost. Not used with sqlite3.
DATABASE_PORT = ''             # Set to empty string for default. Not used with sqlite3.


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