Note If you're using a Chromebook, skip this chapter and make sure you follow the Chromebook Setup instructions.
Note If you already worked through the installation steps then you've already done this – you can go straight to the next chapter!
Part of this section is based on tutorials by Geek Girls Carrots (https://github.com/ggcarrots/django-carrots).
Part of this section is based on the django-marcador tutorial licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The django-marcador tutorial is copyrighted by Markus Zapke-Gründemann et al.
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
Name is the name of your login).
NOTE: On Windows, make sure that this directory does not contain accented or special characters; if your username contains accented characters, use a different directory, for example,
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. The general command will be in the format:
$ python3 -m venv myvenv
To create a new
virtualenv, you need to open the command prompt and run
python -m venv myvenv. It will look like this:
C:\Users\Name\djangogirls> python -m venv myvenv
myvenv is the name of your
virtualenv. You can use any other name, but stick to lowercase and use no spaces, accents or special characters. It is also a good idea to keep the name short – you'll be referencing it a lot!
We can create a
virtualenv on both Linux and OS X by running
python3 -m venv myvenv.
It will look like this:
$ python3 -m venv myvenv
myvenv is the name of your
virtualenv. You can use any other name, but stick to lowercase and use no spaces. It is also a good idea to keep the name short as you'll be referencing it a lot!
NOTE: On some versions of Debian/Ubuntu you may receive the following error:
The virtual environment was not created successfully because ensurepip is not available. On Debian/Ubuntu systems, you need to install the python3-venv package using the following command. apt install python3-venv You may need to use sudo with that command. After installing the python3-venv package, recreate your virtual environment.
In this case, follow the instructions above and install the
$ sudo apt install python3-venv
NOTE: On some versions of Debian/Ubuntu initiating the virtual environment like this currently gives the following error:
Error: Command '['/home/eddie/Slask/tmp/venv/bin/python3', '-Im', 'ensurepip', '--upgrade', '--default-pip']' returned non-zero exit status 1
To get around this, use the
$ sudo apt install python-virtualenv $ virtualenv --python=python3.8 myvenv
NOTE: If you get an error like
E: Unable to locate package python3-venv
then instead run:
sudo apt install python3.8-venv
Working with virtualenv
The command above will create a directory called
myvenv (or whatever name you chose) that contains our virtual environment (basically a bunch of directories and files).
Start your virtual environment by running:
NOTE: On Windows 10 you might get an error in the Windows PowerShell that says
execution of scripts is disabled on this system. In this case, open another Windows PowerShell with the "Run as Administrator" option. Then try typing the following command before starting your virtual environment:
C:\WINDOWS\system32> Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned Execution Policy Change The execution policy helps protect you from scripts that you do not trust. Changing the execution policy might expose you to the security risks described in the about_Execution_Policies help topic at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=135170. Do you want to change the execution policy? [Y] Yes [A] Yes to All [N] No [L] No to All [S] Suspend [?] Help (default is "N"): A
NOTE: For users of the popular editor VS Code, which comes with an integrated terminal based off windows PowerShell, if you wish to stick with the integrated terminal, you may run the following command to activate your virtual environment:
$ . myvenv\Scripts\activate.ps1
The advantage is that you don't have to switch between editor windows and command-line windows
You will know that you have
virtualenv started when you see that the prompt in your console is prefixed with
When working within a virtual environment,
python will automatically refer to the correct version so you can use
python instead of
OK, we have all important dependencies in place. We can finally install Django!
Now that you have your
virtualenv started, you can install Django.
Before we do that, we should make sure we have the latest version of
pip, the software that we use to install Django:
(myvenv) ~$ python -m pip install --upgrade pip
Installing packages with requirements
A requirements file keeps a list of dependencies to be installed using
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:
djangogirls ├── myvenv │ └── ... └───requirements.txt
djangogirls/requirements.txt file you should add the following text:
pip install -r requirements.txt to install Django.
(myvenv) ~$ pip install -r requirements.txt Collecting Django~=2.2.4 (from -r requirements.txt (line 1)) Downloading Django-2.2.4-py3-none-any.whl (7.1MB) Installing collected packages: Django Successfully installed Django-2.2.4
If you get an error when calling pip on Windows, please check if your project pathname contains spaces, accents or special characters (for example,
C:\Users\User Name\djangogirls). If it does, please consider using another place without spaces, accents or special characters (suggestion:
C:\djangogirls). Create a new virtualenv in the new directory, then delete the old one and try the above command again. (Moving the virtualenv directory won't work since virtualenv uses absolute paths.)
That's it! You're now (finally) ready to create a Django application!