Django / PythonPath

Posted by: scoopseven 14 years, 10 months ago

The post below was taken directly from I republished only because this solved a problem that was a real PITA for me and wasn't spelled out too clearly in the Django documentation. If you're having a problem with Django / Apache / mod_python / PythonPath / sys.path / Could not import module things, give it a try. The importance of PYTHONPATH According to the official documentation this is what you need on your Apache's site configuration to setup Django: <Location "/mysite/"> SetHandler python-program PythonHandler django.core.handlers.modpython SetEnv DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE mysite.settings PythonOption django.root /mysite PythonPath "['/path/to/project'] + sys.path" PythonDebug On </Location> Obviously PythonDebug On should not appear, or should be set to Off, on a production environment. The lines above assume that your Django project is called mysite and the site is on And even if the documentation mentions how to handle PYTHONPATH via mod_python I didn't have a clear picture of the whole thing after running my first failed tests. I decided to setup a site dedicated just to my Django project, you can use name based or IP based virtual hosts on Apache, and I want to access it from the root: Also, I store all my Python related stuff in /home/alexis/python-work hence the project will be at /home/alexis/python-work/project and its only application below it: /home/alexis/python-work/project/app. I know there are better ways to organize reusable applications on Django, as James Bennett suggests, but for my project a traditional project/app structure was enough. Anyway, the following ideas can be applied to any setup. Let's see all the lines I use on Apache to setup a Django site: <VirtualHost> ServerName ServerAdmin <Location "/"> SetHandler python-program PythonHandler django.core.handlers.modpython SetEnv DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE project.settings PythonDebug On PythonPath "['/home/alexis/python-work', '/home/alexis/python-work/project'] + sys.path" </Location> </VirtualHost> The IP on VirtualHost,, is the private one I'll be using for this site. I've also added in /etc/hosts to avoid changes on the DNS server, something you should do on production. project.settings refers to the file inside the /home/alexis/python-work/project directory. I've also removed PythonOption django.root /mysite because this site sits on root, Location "/", and there's no need to specify a subdirectory. And the most important part: PythonPath "['/home/alexis/python-work', '/home/alexis/python-work/project'] + sys.path" This is how you add paths to PYTHONPATH via mod_python. Notice we have two paths, one for the parent directory and another for the project, both are needed to get all your imports right. Django's documentation highlights this: Remember: the parent directories of anything you import directly must be on the Python path. After adding these changes you should restart Apache, or possibly just reload, and be able to access your Django site at

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