Adventures in Machine Learning

Effortlessly Bootstrap Your Django Project with Docker and Cookiecutter-Django

Bootstrapping a Django Project with Cookiecutter-Django and Docker

If you’re a Python developer, you’ve probably heard of Django – one of the most popular web frameworks out there. Django can help you build web applications quickly and efficiently, but setting up an environment can be a little tricky.

Fortunately, cookiecutter-Django exists to save the day!

Cookiecutter-Django is a command-line utility that generates boilerplate code for your Django project. This means that you don’t have to spend a lot of time setting up the environment – you can focus on writing code instead! In addition, this utility is very customizable, allowing you to choose what features you want in your project.

Project Structure

Once you’ve installed cookiecutter-Django, you can create your project skeleton by running a single command. This will create a folder structure that is standard across all cookiecutter-Django projects.

In your project’s root directory, you’ll find four folders: config, requirements, static, and templates. The config folder contains all the configuration files for your project, whereas the requirements folder contains all the packages required by your project.

The static folder is where you’ll put all your static files (e.g., images, CSS), and the templates folder is where you’ll store your HTML templates. Additionally, you’ll see an app folder which contains everything related to your app.

Here you’ll find views, models, static files, and templates.

Docker Setup

Docker is a tool that allows you to package your application and all its dependencies into a container. This makes it easy to deploy your application to different environments without worrying about compatibility issues.

Docker Engine is the software that runs containers on your system. There are also a number of Docker components that work together to help you manage your containers.

These components include Docker Compose, Docker Swarm, and Docker Registry. By using Docker with cookiecutter-Django, you can create an environment that is consistent across all machines.

With Docker Compose, you can define your containers and all their dependencies in a YAML file. This means that you can easily deploy your application to a production environment by simply running one command.

Sanity Check

Once you’ve set up your project and Docker environment, you need to migrate your database schema and start your server. To apply migrations, run the following command:


docker-compose run web python migrate


After that, you can start your server by running:


docker-compose up


Deployment Setup with Docker Machine, Postgres, Nginx, and Gunicorn

Once you’ve built your Django application, you need to deploy it to a production environment. Doing so can be a little tricky, but Docker and its tools make the process much easier.

Why Nginx? Nginx is a high-performance HTTP server that can also function as a reverse proxy server.

This means that it can receive asynchronous web requests and forward them to the appropriate backend server. Additionally, Nginx can handle thousands of simultaneous connections without slowing down.

Why Gunicorn? Gunicorn is a Python WSGI HTTP server that is known for its reliability and performance.

Gunicorn can handle multiple worker processes and can bind to a socket rather than an IP address and port. This means that it can handle a large number of requests without slowing down.

Sanity Check (take 2)

Before you deploy your Django application to production, you need to test it to make sure everything is working correctly. To do this, you need to apply migrations and visit the server’s IP address.

To apply migrations, run the following command:


docker-compose -f production.yml run web python migrate –noinput


After that, you can start your server by running:


docker-compose -f production.yml up -d


Finally, visit your server’s IP address in your web browser. If everything is working properly, you should see your Django application.

In this article, we have explored the benefits of using Cookiecutter-Django and Docker to bootstrap a Django project. The project structure includes the config, requirements, static, templates, and app folders.

We also looked at Docker and its components, which make deploying an application to different environments more accessible. We then discussed the importance of Nginx and Gunicorn in the context of deployment, and how to perform a sanity check on a production environment.

Overall, using these technologies can help developers save time, streamline development workflows, and deploy applications more efficiently. By taking advantage of these tools, developers can focus on writing better code and creating better products.

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