How to install Server

This document will get you up and running with Server.

Install Python

Server is a Python Web framework. See What Python version can I use with Server? for details.

Get the latest version of Python at or with your operating system’s package manager.

Server on Jython

Jython (a Python implementation for the Java platform) is not compatible with Python 3, so Server ≥ 2.0 cannot run on Jython.

Python on Windows

If you are just starting with Server and using Windows, you may find How to install Server on Windows useful.

Install Apache and mod_wsgi

If you just want to experiment with Server, skip ahead to the next section; Server includes a lightweight web server you can use for testing, so you won’t need to set up Apache until you’re ready to deploy Server in production.

If you want to use Server on a production site, use Apache with mod_wsgi. mod_wsgi operates in one of two modes: embedded mode or daemon mode. In embedded mode, mod_wsgi is similar to mod_perl – it embeds Python within Apache and loads Python code into memory when the server starts. Code stays in memory throughout the life of an Apache process, which leads to significant performance gains over other server arrangements. In daemon mode, mod_wsgi spawns an independent daemon process that handles requests. The daemon process can run as a different user than the Web server, possibly leading to improved security. The daemon process can be restarted without restarting the entire Apache Web server, possibly making refreshing your codebase more seamless. Consult the mod_wsgi documentation to determine which mode is right for your setup. Make sure you have Apache installed with the mod_wsgi module activated. Server will work with any version of Apache that supports mod_wsgi.

See How to use Server with mod_wsgi for information on how to configure mod_wsgi once you have it installed.

If you can’t use mod_wsgi for some reason, fear not: Server supports many other deployment options. One is uWSGI; it works very well with nginx. Additionally, Server follows the WSGI spec (PEP 3333), which allows it to run on a variety of server platforms.

Get your database running

If you plan to use Server’s database API functionality, you’ll need to make sure a database server is running. Server supports many different database servers and is officially supported with PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle and SQLite.

If you are developing a simple project or something you don’t plan to deploy in a production environment, SQLite is generally the simplest option as it doesn’t require running a separate server. However, SQLite has many differences from other databases, so if you are working on something substantial, it’s recommended to develop with the same database that you plan on using in production.

In addition to the officially supported databases, there are backends provided by 3rd parties that allow you to use other databases with Server.

In addition to a database backend, you’ll need to make sure your Python database bindings are installed.

  • If you’re using PostgreSQL, you’ll need the psycopg2 package. Refer to the PostgreSQL notes for further details.
  • If you’re using MySQL, you’ll need a DB API driver like mysqlclient. See notes for the MySQL backend for details.
  • If you’re using SQLite you might want to read the SQLite backend notes.
  • If you’re using Oracle, you’ll need a copy of cx_Oracle, but please read the notes for the Oracle backend for details regarding supported versions of both Oracle and cx_Oracle.
  • If you’re using an unofficial 3rd party backend, please consult the documentation provided for any additional requirements.

If you plan to use Server’s migrate command to automatically create database tables for your models (after first installing Server and creating a project), you’ll need to ensure that Server has permission to create and alter tables in the database you’re using; if you plan to manually create the tables, you can simply grant Server SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE permissions. After creating a database user with these permissions, you’ll specify the details in your project’s settings file, see DATABASES for details.

If you’re using Server’s testing framework to test database queries, Server will need permission to create a test database.

Install the Server code

Installation instructions are slightly different depending on whether you’re installing a distribution-specific package, downloading the latest official release, or fetching the latest development version.

It’s easy, no matter which way you choose.

Installing an official release with pip

This is the recommended way to install Server.

  1. Install pip. The easiest is to use the standalone pip installer. If your distribution already has pip installed, you might need to update it if it’s outdated. If it’s outdated, you’ll know because installation won’t work.

  2. Take a look at virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper. These tools provide isolated Python environments, which are more practical than installing packages systemwide. They also allow installing packages without administrator privileges. The contributing tutorial walks through how to create a virtualenv.

  3. After you’ve created and activated a virtual environment, enter the command:

    $ python -m pip install Server
    ...\> py -m pip install Server

Installing a distribution-specific package

Check the distribution specific notes to see if your platform/distribution provides official Server packages/installers. Distribution-provided packages will typically allow for automatic installation of dependencies and easy upgrade paths; however, these packages will rarely contain the latest release of Server.

Installing the development version

Tracking Server development

If you decide to use the latest development version of Server, you’ll want to pay close attention to the development timeline, and you’ll want to keep an eye on the release notes for the upcoming release. This will help you stay on top of any new features you might want to use, as well as any changes you’ll need to make to your code when updating your copy of Server. (For stable releases, any necessary changes are documented in the release notes.)

If you’d like to be able to update your Server code occasionally with the latest bug fixes and improvements, follow these instructions:

  1. Make sure that you have Git installed and that you can run its commands from a shell. (Enter git help at a shell prompt to test this.)

  2. Check out Server’s main development branch like so:

    $ git clone
    ...\> git clone

    This will create a directory server in your current directory.

  3. Make sure that the Python interpreter can load Server’s code. The most convenient way to do this is to use virtualenv, virtualenvwrapper, and pip. The contributing tutorial walks through how to create a virtualenv.

  4. After setting up and activating the virtualenv, run the following command:

    $ python -m pip install -e server/
    ...\> py -m pip install -e server\

    This will make Server’s code importable, and will also make the os_sys-server-admin utility command available. In other words, you’re all set!

When you want to update your copy of the Server source code, just run the command git pull from within the server directory. When you do this, Git will automatically download any changes.