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Python application: Deploy with DigitalOcean

Python application: Deploy with DigitalOcean


In this tutorial, we will go over how to deploy a Python application with a virtual environment. The sample application We will use a Python Flask application that displays “Hello World” on a web page.

Before You Begin

This tutorial assumes you have a basic knowledge of Python applications and have Python installed on your local machine. You will also need a GitHub/BitBucket account. If you do not have a GitHub or BitBucket account, create one now:

You will also need a server to deploy to. I will be using a DigitalOcean Cloud Server running Ubuntu 14.4.

Step 1. Create The Python Application

The first task is to create a Python application if you do not already have one. This tutorial will use a simple Flask application that displays “Hello World” on a web page. Below is the code for the sample application I will be using, in a file called

from flask import Flask
import sys
import optparse
import time

app = Flask(__name__)

start = int(round(time.time()))

def hello_world():

    return "Hello World from Pipelines!"

if __name__ == '__main__':
    parser = optparse.OptionParser(usage="python -p <port>")
    parser.add_option('-p', '--port', action='store', dest='port', help='The port to listen on.')
    (args, _) = parser.parse_args()
    if args.port == None:
        print "Missing required argument: -p/--port"
        sys.exit(1)'', port=int(args.port), debug=False)

If you are going to use the same sample application, you will also need a requirements.txt file to install the applications dependencies during builds and deployments. It will contain:


Once you have created these files you can test your application locally to ensure everything is working. To run this application, you have to specify a port when you enter your run command. I will be using port 8000:

$ python -p 8000

Simple Python Application

Create unittest (optional)

To test our application we will create a unittest to test what is being output on our webpage. We want to make sure that “Hello World from Pipelines!” is being displayed on our page.

To create a test suite, we use a file to define what we are testing. Below is the full we will be using for this tutorial:

import unittest
from simpleapp import hello_world

class HelloWorldTestCase(unittest.TestCase):
    """Tests for ``."""

    def test_is_output_hw(self):
        """Is the output of your Python Application what you expect?"""
        self.assertTrue(hello_world() == "Hello World from Pipelines!")

if __name__ == '__main__':

Push Code to Repository

Once you have your Python application successfully running on your local machine, the next step is to push your code into a GitHub or BitBucket Repository. If you have not created a repository, do so now. Once your repo has been created, push your code.

Step 2. Set Up Your Server

The next step in deploying our app is to make sure you have a server to run your application on. You can use any type of server - public cloud, private cloud or physical. Pipelines will let you deploy your code to Vagrant VMs or servers in a VPC. You can even deploy to the server under your desk. For this tutorial we are going to be deploying to a server hosted by Digital Ocean.

To get your server set up on Digital Ocean, you will need to navigate to to get set up. If you already have an account please Log In, if not Sign Up for an account now. Once you have created an account, or logged in, you will need to “Create Droplet”.

Please select the settings for your droplet that best fit your needs. I am using an Ubuntu image set up in New York. You can choose any options that you please as Pipelines is able to deploy to any server, anywhere!

Set Up Digital Ocean Server

Select your Image, Size, and Region. In the Additional Options section check the box next to User Data

Digital Ocean enable user data

This will open a text area for you to enter in your User Data. To automate the install of the Pipelines Agent, use the script below:



echo "DistelliAccessToken: $DISTELLI_ACCESS_TOKEN" > /etc/distelli.yml
echo "DistelliSecretKey: $DISTELLI_SECRET_KEY" >> /etc/distelli.yml
apt-get -y install wget
wget -qO- | sh
/usr/local/bin/distelli agent install -readyml /etc/distelli.yml
/usr/local/bin/distelli login -conf /etc/distelli.yml

You will need to insert your own Pipelines Access Token and Secret Key. These fields are tied to a Pipelines account. To retrieve your credentails, login to your Pipelines Account:

  1. Click the gear icon from the top right.
  2. Click the Agent link on the left.
  3. Under Agent Credentials click the Show button.

You will see your Access Token and Secret Key here. Please insert them into your User Data script, and insert the Pipelines environment you want to add your server to.

Step 3. Create Pipelines Application

To create your app, follow these steps:

On your Pipelines account home screen click the New App button

Create a new Application

Name your app and then select the Repository type where you are storing your applications files.

Name Your App

After we click the button to connect to our Repository, we then select the appropriate repo that contains your code.

Choose Your Repo

Select the appropriate branch for your deployment. I have only a master branch, but you can deploy any branch from your repo!

Choose Your Repo's Branch

Next, set your build steps. This is where we would include any tests we want to run when building our application or any other tasks you’d like to run during builds. If you have include the unittest with your application, enter the following into your Build section:


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python -y
sudo apt-get install python-pip -y
sudo apt-get install python-virtualenv -y
virtualenv pythonEnv
source pythonEnv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt

Below are the two lines to enter in your PkgInclude Section:

Python Virtual Environemt Distell PkgInclude



The final step is to select our Build Image. In this case, we select Pipelines Python (Docker) for our Python Application. Select the Auto Build checkbox and click Looks good. Start Build!.

Note: The Auto-Build feature builds your application everytime you commit code to your repository

Start Build

Now our application should start building. You can watch its progress by navigating to the builds tab on your Pipelines account and clicking on your build.

Step 4. Deploy Steps

Note: This tutorial assumes that the server is out of the box and needs to have your application dependencies installed & configured. Once your application dependencies are installed & configured you can remove those commands from your Manifest.

Once your build has completed navigate back to your application page and open your application.

Click the Manifest tab.

Manifest Tab for App

Expand the “Deployment Manifest” section by clicking on the plus sign. This is where we are going to tell Pipelines what commands to run during our Deployment.


Note: After your first deployment you can remove the PreInstall Section from your Manifest. Once you have the correct versions of Python, Pip, & VirtualEnv there is no need to reinstall them everytime.

Scroll down to your PreInstall section and enter in the following:

echo "Starting PreInstall"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python -y
sudo apt-get install python-pip -y
sudo apt-get install python-virtualenv -y

Python in Virtual Environment PreInstall Commands


Scroll down to your PostInstall section and enter in the following

echo "Starting PostInstall"
virtualenv pythonEnv
source pythonEnv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt

Python in Virtual Environment PostInstall Commands


Scroll down to your Exec section and enter in the following

echo "Executing"
exec python simpleapp/ -p 8000

Python in Virtual Environment Exec Commands

Re-Build Application

Because we have changed our deployment steps, we need to rebuild our application. To trigger a new build, click the wrench icon in the right hand corner. This triggers a build of your latest code, build steps, and deployment steps.

Trigger new build of Python Application

Step 5. Deploy Application

Install Pipelines Agent on Your Server

To be able to deploy your application to your server you will need to install the Pipelines Agent. You will need remote access to your server to complete the installation. Please consult the below information on how to install the Pipelines Agent on your server.

Note: This installation requires root (administrator) permissions.

Linux and macOS X

To install on Linux or macOS X you can use either curl or wget with one of the following syntaxes.

wget example

wget -qO- | sh

curl example

curl -sSL | sh


To install on Windows copy and paste the following powershell command into a command (cmd) window.

powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString(''))" & SET PATH=%PATH%;%ProgramFiles%/Distelli

Complete the Install

To complete the install of the agent, you must issue the /usr/local/bin/distelli agent install command.

/usr/local/bin/distelli agent install
ServerA:~$ <b>wget -qO- | sh</b>
This script requires superuser privileges to install packages
Please enter your password at the sudo prompt

[sudo] password for bmcgehee:
    Installing Pipelines CLI 3.51 for architecture 'Linux-x86_64'...
To install the agent, run:
    sudo /usr/local/bin/distelli agent install
ServerA:~$ <b>sudo /usr/local/bin/distelli agent install</b>
Distelli Email:
    1: User: jdoe
    2: Team: janedoe/TeamJane
Team [2]: <b>1</b>
Server Info:
Starting upstart daemon with name:  dtk-supervise-cc123456787ad94a8d34ac610381242f9ae28bb8

Verify the Install

To validate the agent is installed and working use the /usr/local/bin/distelli agent status command.

Note: This installation requires root (administrator) permissions.

/usr/local/bin/distelli agent status
Pipelines Agent (serverA) is Running with id 766b88c8-e925-11e4-ae8b-080027cc07f7

If you would like more information on installing the Pipelines agent, visit Installing the Pipelines Agent.

Deploy your Python Application

Now that we have successfully built our application and installed the agent, we are ready to deploy to our server. On the builds page select the “New Deployment” button in the right hand corner.

Python Build

Once you click the button, you should be directed to the deployment page. The first step is to select the “Deploy a Release” option.

Deploy Release

Select the application you want to deploy. Please select the application we created earlier in the tutorial. Our application is named “pythonVirt”.

Select Application for Deployment

Then select the release you want to deploy. For now, there should be only one release for deployment.

Choose Your Release

The last step in our deployment is to select the environment you want to deploy in. First create an environment by entering a name and clicking Add Environment.

Add Deployment Environment

Next, select the Environment you just created and click All Done.

Select Deployment Environment

Now Pipelines will ask you to add your server. Click Add Servers button to get started. Select the server you configured earlier in the tutorial and add it to your account. Once you have added your server, you can close the “Add Servers” panel and continue with your deployment. You will see a final option to set your delay between deployments on your servers and a Deploy! button.

Start Your Deployment

Click the “Deploy!” button to begin your deployment. You will redirected to a page where you can view the progress of your deployment. Clicking the “log” button on the left side enables you to view streaming logs for the deployment.

Deployment Successful

View Your Application

And that’s it! You should now be able to point your browser to “http://<-You Server’s IP Address->:8000” and see your Python Application!

Jekyll Website Successful Deployment

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