Boston Python Workshop/Friday handout/Windows

From OpenHatch wiki

About Django on Windows

  • These instructions should work for all versions of Windows from XP on to Windows 7.
  • You may need to login as Administrator, or give the Administrator password when installing some programs, depending on your Windows version and user settings.

Open a Command Prompt

  • Open a command prompt window, and keep it open along with your browser. Much of installing Python and using Django is typing commands and hitting <enter>. Your experience using Python on Windows greatly depends on your making friends with the command prompt window.
  • This is also called the command prompt, command window, command-line window, MS-DOS or DOS window.

  • Try these recommendations:

  • Tip: clear screen
    If you ever want to clear the "output history" to get a clear screen, type:
  • Tip: command history
    The command prompt window stores a "command history." To view and re-run previous commands, use the <up arrow> and <down arrow> keys. You can also edit a previous command and run it--this is handy for long commands, or fixing mistakes.
  • Tip: copy and paste
    In the instructions below, where it says: "In the command prompt type:", you can, much more easily, copy the command from this page, and right click in the menu bar or command prompt window, then click on "Paste", then hit the <enter> key.

Install Python

  • Test your Python install in the command prompt:

You should see something like

Python 2.7.1 (r271:86832, ...) on win32
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
  • Type

and press Enter, and you are back to the command prompt.

Install Git for Windows

  • Go to the downloads page for GitBash
    • Download the top .exe file link with the Summary something like "Full installer for official Git 1.7.x.x"
  • Run the install.

Note: You can't just click through the installer. You have to answer some questions!

  • In the "Select Components" dialog, make sure the checkboxes "Associate ... configuration files ..." and "Use a TrueType font ..." are checked.
  • Important: In the "Adjusting your PATH environment" dialog, make sure "Run Git from the Windows Command Prompt" is selected.
  • In the "Configuring the line ending conversions" dialog, make sure "Checkout Windows-style, commit Unix-style line endings" is selected.
  • To run git, open Programs > Git > Git Bash
  • Then to test the Git install and see Git commands, type this into the Git Bash prompt:

Note: From here forward, when we need a command prompt, we'll use the Git Bash prompt, because it is more featureful.

Configure Git

  • Set up Git with your name and email to tag your code changes. In the command prompt type:
git config --global "Your ActualName"
  • Replace Your ActualName with your actual name.

git config --global
  • Replace with your email address.

Test it:

git config --global
git config --global

Tip: Colors

To have colored output, in the command prompt type each line followed by <enter>:

git config --global color.diff auto
git config --global color.status auto
git config --global color.branch auto

Install SQLite Manager

  • If you already have Firefox installed, verify that it is version 3.5.0 or greater. (Help -> About Mozilla Firefox. The version number is right under the "Firefox" title.)
  • If you don't have Firefox installed, or it's an older version, install Firefox.
  • Once it's installed, open Firefox and go to Tools -> Add-ons. At the top of the add-ons window, click "Get Add-ons."
  • There will be search box directly underneath "Get Add-ons" that says "Search All Add-ons." Enter "SQLite" (without the quotes) in the box and hit enter.
  • SQLite Manager should be the top result. Click "Add to Firefox..." (If SQLite Manager isn't in the results, check the spelling - SQLite only has one L. Also, check that you have at least Firefox 3.5.)
  • Wait for the countdown, then click "Install Now."
  • In the Add-ons windows, click "Restart Firefox."
  • Once Firefox restarts, the Add-ons window should say "1 new add-on has been installed." Go to the Tools menu and verify that there is an option for SQLite Manager.

Install KomodoEdit

You need a text editor to do Python. If you already have a preferred text editor, such as vi, emacs, jedit, etc., you can skip this step. It must be a plain text editor and not something with styling like Microsoft Word.

When in doubt, use KomodoEdit.

Create an ssh public key

You'll need one of these to work with Github.

  • Get into a GitBash window.
  • ssh-keygen -C Your Actual Email -t rsa (email should match git config setting)
  • Hit enter to accept default location for ssh key.
  • Hit enter to accept blank passphrase (if computer is shared with other people, as in a work laptop, you should create a passphrase). Hit enter again to accept blank passphrase (or enter passphrase again).
  • Your brand-new public key is now stored at .ssh/ inside your Windows profile.

Note: The ssh-keygen command will give you a bunch of output. You don't have to record that output anywhere.


  • Open a new GitBash window. Type each of these, and press enter at the end of the line.
curl -L  -o Django-1.2.5.tar.gz
tar zxvf Django-1.2.5.tar.gz
cd Django-1.2.5
/c/python27/python install
cd ..

Verify you can create a new Django app

  • Create a folder on the desktop called django_projects
  • Open a new GitBash window and type the following:
   cd Desktop/django_projects
   /c/python27/scripts/ startproject myproject
  • Both commands should provide no output.
  • Once that's finished, type the following in the Terminal window:
   cd myproject
   /c/python27/python runserver
  • The first command should produce no output. The second command will put out a bunch of output, then just sit there until you cancel it (2 steps from now).
  • In your browser, go to http://localhost:8000/
  • Back in the Terminal window where you ran runserver, type control-c to kill the server.


Ok, there is one more step. You won't be using the test project in the workshop; we just created it to make sure everything was working. You should delete it now to reduce confusion during the workshop. Don't worry about losing information; it just has the test project in it.

  • Exit the GitBash terminal
  • Drag the myproject folder (inside django_projects) to the Recycle Bin. Leave django_projects on the desktop.


You have everything you need to write a Django web application in Python.

...on your machine.

The next set of directions help you use and its free-of-cost hosting.

Install PuTTY

PuTTY is a program we'll use to log in to the server where your Django code runs.

  • Go to the PuTTY download page
  • Choose the putty-0.60-installer.exe file.
  • Run the installer, and now you will find PuTTY in
    • Start->Programs->PuTTY

Now go back to the web app install instructions