Setting up a Django project cheatsheet

I wrote this as an abbreviated guide to Jeff Knupps’ “Starting a Django 1.6 Project the Right Way”. I left a few things out like deploying with Fabric and unit testing because I haven’t learned how to integrate those into my Django development yet (baby steps, baby steps).

Setup a virtual environment

$ mkvirtualenv project_name

Be sure to active the virtual environment. virtualenvwrapper does it for you when you create a new environment.

Install Django

$ pip install django

Remember you’re installing django into the virtual environment not to your system. It gets installed each time you start a new environment.

Setup project

$ startproject project_name
$ cd project_name
$ git init
$ touch .gitignore
$ open .gitignore

Add the following to the .gitignore file:


Save and close

$ git add .
$ git commit -m "first commit"

Add South

$ pip install south
$ open project_name/

Jeff Knupp recommends creating the following containers for your apps: DEFAULT_APPS, THIRD_PARTY_APPS, LOCAL_APPS. Because these are tuples, you need trailing commas. Then concatenate them with:


Add south to LOCAL_APPS.

./ syncdb
pip freeze > requirements.txt
git add requirements project_name/
git commit -m "added South"

Create an app

$ ./ startapp app_name
$ ./ schemamigration myapp --initial
$ ./ migrate myapp


From here you start building out your models, urls, views, etc. In other words, the hard part really starts. As I mentioned above, the original article goes into setting up a development clone, testing, and deploying. Hopefully once I feel more comfortable with the process above, I can revist these topics. It’s worth mentioning too that the first time I followed these instructions, I had to repeat them 5 or 6 times before I really understood what I was trying to accomplish and what was happening.