I couldn't find any documentation that covered all the pieces for configuring my latest Django site so I hope this helps someone else out.

I had used mod_wsgi under Apache for my other Django sites. But now I'm using different python versions for the sites (until if/when I update the older sites) and I wasn't getting the correct versions of some python libraries (even though virtualenv apeared to be putting the appropriate python packages at the start of the sys.path). So I decided to configure Apache to ProxyPass to Gunicorn so I could run my Django app in its virtualenv without it getting any other python modules.

Installing Gunicorn

I installed Gunicorn into the virtualenv for my application, which simplifies using gunicorn from the command line. Assuming /home/user/virtualenvs/myapp is the location of the virtualenv:

$ source /home/user/virtualenvs/myapp/bin/activate
$ pip install gunicorn

# or
$ easy_install gunicorn

This copies gunicorn_django to the /home/user/virtualenvs/myapp/bin directory. Test gunicorn with your app, assuming your Django app is located at /home/user/source/myapp, as follows:

$ source /home/user/virtualenvs/myapp/bin/activate
(myapp)$ cd /home/user/source/myapp
(myapp)$ gunicorn_django

Gunicorn starts myapp using the settings.py file in the current directory on Ctrl-C to stop the process.

Installing Runit on Ubuntu

There are two runit packages. You want the one that only runs services you add to it:

$ sudo apt-get install runit
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Suggested packages:
  runit-run socklog-run
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  runit0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0B/113kB of archives.After this operation, 537kB of additional disk space will be used.
Selecting previously deselected package runit.
(Reading database ... 209845 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking runit (from .../runit_2.0.0-1ubuntu2_i386.deb) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ...
Setting up runit (2.0.0-1ubuntu2) ...
runsvdir (start) waiting
runsvdir (start) startingrunsvdir (start) pre-start
runsvdir (start) spawned, process 9575
runsvdir (start) post-start, (main) process 9575
runsvdir (start) running, process 9575

You'll want to create a directory for the application and a run script in /etc/service:

$ sudo mkdir /etc/service/myapp
$ sudo vi /etc/service/myapp/run
# enter the run script I'll show below
$ sudo chmod +x /etc/service/myapp/run
# stop runit from trying to run gunicorn until we are ready
$ sudo sv stop myapp
ok: down: myapp: 0s, normally up

The example run script checked into Gunicorn had some syntax errors and wasn't quite what I wanted. Here's my version:


if [ -f $PID ]
    then rm $PID

cd $ROOT
exec $GUNICORN -c $ROOT/gunicorn.conf.py --pid=$PID

You can create a configuration file for gunicorn to use or just create an empty file for now:

$ touch /home/user/source/myapp/gunicorn.conf.py

If you have multiple appserver you'll need to run gunicorn on different ports, you can put the configuration in the gunicorn.conf.py file:

bind = ""

Putting it Together

Now you can test that the run script works when run as root:

$ sudo /etc/service/myapp/run

Gunicorn should start and start the appserver. If it fails you can debug the script via:

$ sudo bash -x /etc/service/myapp/run

Tell runit to start and keep gunicorn running:

$ sudo sv start myapp
ok: run: myapp: (pid 7540) 0s
$ sudo sv status myapp
run: myapp: (pid 7540) 1s