When searching for an engine for this brand new blog site I’ve come across ByteFlow. It immediately appealed to me, because:
- it’s written in Python, language that I like a lot and use a lot.
- it’s based on Django, framework that I used on one of my past projects.
- seems to have a rich feature set and is being actively developed
On the other hand it’s relatively new and (therefore?) doesn’t come with an overwhelmingly extensive documentation. For start, installation wasn’t a piece of cake. First I tried to run ByteFlow with lighttpd, following a howto on Benjamin Smith’s blog, but ended up with a little problem I didn’t manage to solve. Not knowing much about lighttpd I eventually switched to Apache that I’m pretty familiar with.
The ByteFlow people recommend Apache with mod_wsgi as the best way to run their engine, however information on how to do that are pretty sparse. If you also wonder how read on, I’ll document my setup here. Perhaps you’ll find some useful hints in here.
My server runs CentOS 5, which is 99% the same as RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 without the massive price tag attached. I tend to use vendor-provided packages instead of compiling stuff manually where possible. It makes ongoing maintenance much easier. Therefore I’m bound to use
mysql 5.0.45 and
subversion 1.4.2 as that’s what comes with CentOS 5. Additionally I added EPEL repository to my
yum repo list and installed
mod_wsgi 2.1 and
mercurial 0.9.3. That’s about it for base packages.
ByteFlow however requires some additional Python modules, see its install page for more details. Fortunately EPEL has most of them available:
One little issue I had with MySQLdb — the version found in CentOS is
MySQL-python 1.2.1 while Django apparently requires version 1.2.1_p2 or higher. As I said I like to have things packaged so I built an updated RPM myself (download MySQL-python-1.2.1_p2-0_mludvig.i386.rpm).
One last prerequisite is BeautifulSoup module, a HTML parser for Python. It doesn’t come in a package but since it’s just one single stand alone file I didn’t care and simply copied it to the
byteflow directory as we’re gonna see later.
Getting Django and ByteFlow
All the resources and files specific to this blog’s vhost will be placed in a dedicated directory. For instance create
/www/hintshop, to make our examples shorter.
Both Django and ByteFlow are so new that they are not available as RPM packages for CentOS. Yet. Our best choice is therefore to grab them from their respective source repositories. Go to
/www/hintshop and become
root or any other user that has write access in there. The run these two commands:
/www/hintshop# svn co http://code.djangoproject.com/svn/django/branches/releases/1.0.X django [...] A django/examples/urls.py A django/setup.cfg U django Checked out revision 9675. /www/hintshop# hg clone http://hg.piranha.org.ua/byteflow destination directory: byteflow [...] updating working directory 557 files updated, 0 files merged, 0 files removed, 0 files unresolved
That should have created two directories:
byteflow respectively. We’ll need two more though:
/www/hintshop# mkdir -p etc www/media www/download /www/hintshop# ls -l total 20 drwxr-xr-x 11 root root 4096 Dec 22 19:54 byteflow drwxr-xr-x 9 root root 4096 Dec 19 02:17 django drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Dec 22 20:09 etc drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 Dec 22 20:09 www
The last step here is to download
First of all create a database and a dedicated user account in MySQL:
~$ mysql -uroot -p mysql> create database hintshop; mysql> grant all on hintshop.* to 'hintshop'@'localhost' identified by 'BlahBlah';
settings_local.py and adjust the settings to your needs. Also have a look in
settings.py and eventually override some additional settings in
settings_local.py. I for instance added these two lines:
TIME_ZONE = 'Pacific/Auckland' BLOG_URLCONF_ROOT = ''
Don’t forget to comment out
DEBUG=True and the following
./manage.py syncdb to initialise the database.
Apache + mod_wsgi configuration
Here the fun stuff begins. For security reasons I like to have different websites run under separate user accounts. So I created a new user
hintshop dedicated for running this blog.
Next create a wsgi wrapper script and save it as
#!/usr/bin/python import os, sys sys.path.append('/www/hintshop/django') sys.path.append('/www/hintshop/byteflow') os.environ['DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE'] = 'settings' import django.core.handlers.wsgi application = django.core.handlers.wsgi.WSGIHandler()
And finally create a new Apache Virtual Host for the blog. In my case it’s file
<VirtualHost *:80> ServerName hintshop.ludvig.co.nz Alias /media/ /www/hintshop/www/media/ Alias /download/ /www/hintshop/www/download/ Alias /static/ /www/hintshop/byteflow/static/ Alias /admin-media/ /www/hintshop/django/django/contrib/admin/media/ WSGIDaemonProcess site-hintshop user=hintshop group=hintshop threads=5 WSGIProcessGroup site-hintshop WSGIScriptAlias / /www/hintshop/etc/byteflow-wsgi.py ErrorLog logs/hintshop-error_log CustomLog logs/hintshop-access_log combined </VirtualHost>
Now restart Apache with
service httpd restart and provided you've got a domain name properly set up you're ready to blog
Let me know if you find any error or omission in this howto. Thanks!