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Django Deployment - Digital Ocean

Django Deployment to Ubuntu 18.04

In this guide I will go through all the steps to create a VPS, secure it and deploy a Django application. This is a summarized document from this digital ocean doc

Any commands with "$" at the beginning run on your local machine and any "#" run when logged into the server

Create A Digital Ocean Droplet

Use this link and get $10 free. Just select the $5 plan unless this a production app.

Security & Access

Creating SSH keys (Optional)

You can choose to create SSH keys to login if you want. If not, you will get the password sent to your email to login via SSH

To generate a key on your local machine

$ ssh-keygen

Hit enter all the way through and it will create a public and private key at


You want to copy the public key (.pub file)

$ cat ~/.ssh/

Copy the entire output and add as an SSH key for Digital Ocean

Login To Your Server

If you setup SSH keys correctly the command below will let you right in. If you did not use SSH keys, it will ask for a password. This is the one that was mailed to you

$ ssh root@YOUR_SERVER_IP

Create a new user

It will ask for a password, use something secure. You can just hit enter through all the fields. I used the user "djangoadmin" but you can use anything

# adduser djangoadmin

Give root privileges

# usermod -aG sudo djangoadmin

SSH keys for the new user

Now we need to setup SSH keys for the new user. You will need to get them from your local machine

Exit the server

You need to copy the key from your local machine so either exit or open a new terminal

# exit

You can generate a different key if you want but we will use the same one so lets output it, select it and copy it

$ cat ~/.ssh/

Log back into the server

$ ssh root@YOUR_SERVER_IP

Add SSH key for new user

Navigate to the new users home folder and create a file at '.ssh/authorized_keys' and paste in the key

# cd /home/djangoadmin
# mkdir .ssh
# cd .ssh
# nano authorized_keys
Paste the key and hit "ctrl-x", hit "y" to save and "enter" to exit

Login as new user

You should now get let in as the new user

$ ssh djangoadmin@YOUR_SERVER_IP

Disable root login

# sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Change the following

PermitRootLogin no
PasswordAuthentication no

Reload sshd service

# sudo systemctl reload sshd

Simple Firewall Setup

See which apps are registered with the firewall

# sudo ufw app list

Allow OpenSSH

### sudo ufw allow OpenSSH

Enable firewall

# sudo ufw enable

To check status

# sudo ufw status

We are now done with access and security and will move on to installing software


Update packages

# sudo apt update
# sudo apt upgrade

Install Python 3, Postgres & NGINX

# sudo apt install python3-pip python3-dev libpq-dev postgresql postgresql-contrib nginx curl

Postgres Database & User Setup

# sudo -u postgres psql

You should now be logged into the pg shell

Create a database


Create user

CREATE USER dbadmin WITH PASSWORD 'abc123!';

Set default encoding, tansaction isolation scheme (Recommended from Django)

ALTER ROLE dbadmin SET client_encoding TO 'utf8';
ALTER ROLE dbadmin SET default_transaction_isolation TO 'read committed';
ALTER ROLE dbadmin SET timezone TO 'UTC';

Give User access to database


Quit out of Postgres


Vitrual Environment

You need to install the python3-venv package

# sudo apt install python3-venv

Create project directory

# mkdir pyapps
# cd pyapps

Create venv

# python3 -m venv ./venv

Activate the environment

# source venv/bin/activate

Git & Upload

Pip dependencies

From your local machine, create a requirements.txt with your app dependencies. Make sure you push this to your repo

$ pip freeze > requirements.txt

Create a new repo and push to it (you guys know how to do that)

Clone the project into the app folder on your server (Either HTTPS or setup SSH keys)

# git clone

Install pip modules from requirements

You could manually install each one as well

# pip install -r requirements.txt

Local Settings Setup

Add code to your file and push to server

    from .local_settings import *
except ImportError:

Create a file called on your server along side of and add the following

  • EMAIL_*

Run Migrations

# python makemigrations
# python migrate

Create super user

# python createsuperuser

Create static files

python collectstatic

Create exception for port 8000

# sudo ufw allow 8000

Run Server

# python runserver

Test the site at YOUR_SERVER_IP:8000

Add some data in the admin area

Gunicorn Setup

Install gunicorn

# pip install gunicorn

Add to requirements.txt

# pip freeze > requirements.txt

Test Gunicorn serve

# gunicorn --bind btre.wsgi

Your images, etc will be gone

Stop server & deactivate virtual env

# deactivate

Open gunicorn.socket file

# sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/gunicorn.socket

Copy this code, paste it in and save

Description=gunicorn socket



Open gunicorn.service file

# sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/gunicorn.service

Copy this code, paste it in and save

Description=gunicorn daemon

ExecStart=/home/djangoadmin/pyapps/venv/bin/gunicorn \
          --access-logfile - \
          --workers 3 \
          --bind unix:/run/gunicorn.sock \


Start and enable Gunicorn socket

# sudo systemctl start gunicorn.socket
# sudo systemctl enable gunicorn.socket

Check status of guinicorn

# sudo systemctl status gunicorn.socket

Check the existence of gunicorn.sock

# file /run/gunicorn.sock


Create project folder

# sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/btre_project

Copy this code and paste into the file

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name YOUR_IP_ADDRESS;

    location = /favicon.ico { access_log off; log_not_found off; }
    location /static/ {
        root /home/djangoadmin/pyapps/btre_project;
    location /media/ {
        root /home/djangoadmin/pyapps/btre_project;    

    location / {
        include proxy_params;
        proxy_pass http://unix:/run/gunicorn.sock;

Enable the file by linking to the sites-enabled dir

# sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/btre_project /etc/nginx/sites-enabled

Test NGINX config

# sudo nginx -t

Restart NGINX

# sudo systemctl restart nginx

Remove port 8000 from firewall and open up our firewall to allow normal traffic on port 80

# sudo ufw delete allow 8000
# sudo ufw allow 'Nginx Full'

You will probably need to up the max upload size to be able to create listings with images

Open up the nginx conf file

# sudo nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Add this to the http{} area

client_max_body_size 20M;

Reload NGINX

# sudo systemctl restart nginx

Media File Issue

You may have some issues with images not showing up. I would suggest, deleting all data and starting fresh as well as removeing the "photos" folder in the "media folder"

# sudo rm -rf media/photos

Domain Setup

Go to your domain registrar and create the following a record

www  CNAME

Go to on the server and change "ALLOWED_HOSTS" to include the domain


Edit /etc/nginx/sites-available/btre_project

server {
    listen: 80;

Reload NGINX & Gunicorn

# sudo systemctl restart nginx
# sudo systemctl restart gunicorn
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