RunCode Cloud Environment setup

If you already worked through the installation steps, you do not need to also complete the RunCode Cloud Environment setup. Please skip straight to Introduction to Python.

If you are using RunCode Cloud development environment, your installation experience will be a little different. You can ignore the rest of the installation instructions as you do not need to install anything locally, you just need to create three online accounts.

Create a GitHub account

Go to and sign up for a new, free user account.Skip this step if you already did this in the previous step so you could sign up for RunCode.

Create a RunCode account

Go to and sign up for a new, free user account. You need to have a account or which you can sign up with.

Create a PythonAnywhere account

PythonAnywhere is a service for running Python code on servers "in the cloud". We'll use it for hosting our site, live and on the Internet.

We will be hosting the blog we're building on PythonAnywhere. Sign up for a "Beginner" account on PythonAnywhere (the free tier is fine, you don't need a credit card).

The PythonAnywhere signup page showing button to create a free 'Beginner' account

When choosing your username here, bear in mind that your blog's URL will take the form, so choose either your own nickname or a name for what your blog is all about. Also, be sure to remember your password (add it to your password manager, if you use one).

Creating a PythonAnywhere API token

This is something you only need to do once. When you've signed up for PythonAnywhere, you'll be taken to your dashboard. Find the link near the top right to your "Account" page:

Account link on the top right on the page

then select the tab named "API token", and hit the button that says "Create new API token".

The API token tab on the Account page

Command Line

To open the Ubuntu terminal on RunCode, go to Workspaces β†’ New Workspace β†’ Blank. This will open a new Visual Studio Code workspace which has an Ubuntu terminal in the bottom pane.

Altenatively, you can go to Workspaces β†’ New Workspace β†’ Jupyter Lab. This will open a Python prompt which is depicted by >>>, you can type exit() to get back to the Ubuntu terminal.

Ubuntu is a version of Linux so for all command line instructions later in the tutorial you can follow Linux instructions.

Virtual Environment

Before we install Django we will get you to install an extremely useful tool to help keep your coding environment tidy on your computer. It's possible to skip this step, but it's highly recommended. Starting with the best possible setup will save you a lot of trouble in the future!

So, let's create a virtual environment (also called a virtualenv). Virtualenv will isolate your Python/Django setup on a per-project basis. This means that any changes you make to one website won't affect any others you're also developing. Neat, right?

All you need to do is find a directory in which you want to create the virtualenv; your home directory, for example. On Windows, it might look like C:\Users\Name\ (where Name is the name of your login).

For this tutorial we will be using a new directory djangogirls from your home directory:


$ mkdir djangogirls
$ cd djangogirls

We will make a virtualenv called myvenv.

To create a new virtualenv on RunCode, you first need to install the virtualenv module. To do so, first you need to update the packages in your environment

$ sudo apt-get update -y

then install virtualenv by running the command:

$ sudo apt-get install -y virtualenv

After this you can create the virtualenv run the command:

$ virtualenv -p python myvenv

and a new virtualenv with the name myvenv or whatever name you chose should be created in your djangogirls folder.

Working with a Virtual Environment

Start your virtual environment by running:

$ . myvenv/bin/activate

Installing packages with requirements

A requirements file keeps a list of dependencies to be installed using pip install:

First create a requirements.txt file inside of the djangogirls/ folder, using the code editor that you installed earlier. You do this by opening a new file in the code editor and then saving it as requirements.txt in the djangogirls/ folder. Your directory will look like this:

β”œβ”€β”€ myvenv
β”‚   └── ...

In your djangogirls/requirements.txt file you should add the following text:



Now, run pip install -r requirements.txt to install Django.


(myvenv) ~$ pip install -r requirements.txt
Collecting Django~=3.2.10 (from -r requirements.txt (line 1))
  Downloading Django-3.2.10-py3-none-any.whl (7.9MB)
Installing collected packages: Django
Successfully installed Django-3.2.10

That's it! You're now (finally) ready to create a Django application!

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