Many deployment guides suggest you store configuration information that's likely to vary between platforms in Environment variables. See The 12-factor app for example. While this advice isn't perfectly adapted to a Platform-as-a-Service environment like PythonAnywhere, it can be made to work. Here's how.
We'll use the example of setting the Django
SECRET_KEY setting, since it's a
In brief, you need to set the environment variable in two different places:
- In a postactivate script for it to work in Bash consoles
- In your WSGI file for it to work in the web app itself.
To avoid duplication, we recommend using a .env file and a tool called python-dotenv to load it.
Start by saving your environment variables into a .env file in your project folder¶
You can run something like this in a Bash console, or edit the .env file directly using our "Files" tab:
cd ~/my-project-dir echo "export SECRET_KEY=sekritvalue" >> .env echo "export OTHER_SECRET=somethingelse" >> .env # etc
Install python-dotenv into your virtualenv¶
workon my-virtualenv-name pip install python-dotenv # or, if you're not using a virtualenv: pip3.6 install --user python-dotenv # and, optionally, add it to your requirements.txt, if you're using one: echo python-dotenv >> requirements.txt
Make sure that you have at least version 0.8 of the
python-dotenv package, as
older versions can't handle the
export at the start of lines in the
For your web app itself: loading your .env file in your WSGI file ¶
This will ensure the environment variables is available to the worker processes that are actually serving your web application, live on the Internet.
Click over to the Web tab for your web app,
and click on the link to your WSGI file. In here, you can set your environment variable
using Python code; this needs to go before the code that actually loads
your website (that is, before the call to
import os from dotenv import load_dotenv project_folder = os.path.expanduser('~/my-project-dir') # adjust as appropriate load_dotenv(os.path.join(project_folder, '.env'))
Save this change, and your code will now have access to the variable from
so with the Django
SECRET_KEY setting, you can just add this to your
import os SECRET_KEY = os.getenv("SECRET_KEY")
Hit save, reload your web app, and it should now have access to the variable.
For Bash consoles: load your .env file in your virtualenv postactivate script¶
For when you're running database migrations, or doing any other command-line interactions with your web app
Here's how to load up the environnment variables from your .env file in a Bash console:
set -a; source ~/my-project-dir/.env; set +a
Assuming you're using a Virtualenv for your web app, and also assuming you're using virtualenvwrapper/workon, a convenient place to set an environment variable to be available in your Bash console sessions is in a special script called "postactivate" that gets run automatically whenever you activate your virtualenv.
- A typical location might be /home/yourusername/.virtualenvs/my-project-virtualenv/bin/postactivate
Here's how you might add the
source command above to your postactivate script:
echo 'set -a; source ~/my-project-dir/.env; set +a' >> ~/.virtualenvs/my-project-virtualenv/bin/postactivate
Test this out by activating your virtualenv, with, eg,
my-project-virtualenv and then trying to run eg
Your environment variables should now load automatically, both in your webapp, and in your virtualenv.