Django application with puppet- part one

Posted on Sun 03 July 2016

This post is a quick tutorial how to provision geodjango application using puppet. While writing this tutorial I have taken the approach that I start with running code and then refactor this to something better.

Firstly what is puppet? From their website :

Puppet provides a standard way of delivering and operating software, no matter where it runs. With the Puppet approach, you define what you want your apps and infrastructure to look like using a common easy-to-read language.

So it's a tool for automatic deployment. Other choices are: fabric or ansible. I've chosen this tool first because I use it in my work as a tool for automation as well as I was keen to look more how this all works.

Puppet is different from other mentioned tools in a way it does deployment: there are two entities: puppet master and a puppet agent. Master is responsible for keeping the configuration how puppet agent should look like. When puppet is run it pulls out information from puppet master and apply to puppet agent. In other words, puppet agent doesn't have information about its configuration directly- it pulls this from puppet master. Other tools have a different approach: to push configuration via SSH.

To play with puppet I decided to choose my project: geodjango + leaflet. As I said before to run puppet you have to have two machines: puppet master + puppet agent. Fortunately, there is a way to develop puppet modules (module is responsible for configuration of one thing: like module for PostgreSQL or APT) via vagrant.

This tool is so awesome that it allows you to have puppet master and agent on the same machine. How to do this? After installing Vagrant & VirtualBox place a file called Vagrantfile inside your project folder:

# -*- mode: ruby -*-
# vi: set ft=ruby :

Vagrant.configure(2) do |config| "private_network", ip: "" = "ubuntu/trusty64"

  config.vm.provision :shell do |shell|
    shell.inline = "mkdir -p /etc/puppet/modules;
                    puppet module install puppetlabs-stdlib;
                    puppet module install ripienaar-concat;
                    puppet module install puppetlabs-apt;
                    puppet module install puppetlabs/postgresql;
                    puppet module install puppetlabs/vcsrepo;
                    puppet module install puppetlabs-git;
                    puppet module install arioch-redis;
                    puppet module install ajcrowe-supervisord;
                    puppet module install jfryman-nginx"

  config.vm.provision "puppet" do |puppet|
        puppet.options = ["--templatedir","/vagrant/templates"]


In this file, I just set up ip address of machine: as well as what OS will be inside vagrant: ubuntu/trusty64. Right after that, I tell vagrant to execute shell commands for creating a directory structure for puppet modules as well as install those modules that I will need later. At the end, I tell vagrant to run puppet with template directory. If you wanted to run this few times you can add to every puppet module install flag --force at the end of command like puppet module install puppetlabs-stdlib --force;.

Now I can move on to puppet code itself. Puppet modules have to be under folder called manifests. The name of pp file is right now not important so I just left it as default value- default.pp. So what is in this file?

At the top I declared bunch of postgresql statements:

# required to postgresql resources to work
class { 'postgresql::server':  }
# required by geodjango
class {'postgresql::server::postgis': }
# create db
postgresql::server::db { 'geodjango':
  user     => $title,
  password => $title,

postgresql_psql { 'Add password to role':
  db      => 'geodjango',
  command => "ALTER ROLE geodjango WITH PASSWORD 'geodjango';",
  require => Postgresql::Server::Role['geodjango'],
# create geodjango role
postgresql::server::role {'geodjango':;}

postgresql::server::database_grant { 'grant ALL privilleges for user geodjango':
  privilege => 'ALL',
  db        => 'geodjango',
  role      => 'geodjango',

postgresql_psql { 'Enable postgis extension':
  db      => 'geodjango',
  command => 'CREATE EXTENSION postgis;',
  unless  => "SELECT extname FROM pg_extension WHERE extname ='postgis'",
  require => Postgresql::Server::Db['geodjango'],

As you can see the puppet syntax is straightforward. To read more about classes in puppet go there. I added one thing that can be not clear: require => Postgresql::Server::Role['geodjango']. It tells puppet that first postgresql::server::role resource needs to be applied. This is how to create dependencies.

So I've setup database needed for geodjango application, but there are more dependencies for geodjango- GIS libraries. How to install them via puppet:

package {
  'binutils':  ensure                 => present;
  'libproj-dev': ensure               => present;
  'gdal-bin': ensure                  => present;
  'postgresql-server-dev-9.3': ensure => present;
  'build-essential': ensure           => latest;
  'python3': ensure                   => latest;
  'python3.4-dev': ensure             => latest;
  'python3-setuptools': ensure        => latest;
  'python3-pip': ensure               => latest;
  'python3.4-venv': ensure            => latest;
  'python-pip': ensure                => present;

I've used redis for my application so I need it too. I've default config for redis and I don't need to specify additional arguments for this resource:

class { 'redis':;}

I don't like when application is run by root user that's why I created a special dedicated one only for my application. I also like to keep my code on machines under /opt/name_of_project path so I created this too:

user { 'geodjango':
  ensure     => present,
  managehome => true,

file { ['/opt/geodjango/','/opt/geodjango/geodjango']:
  ensure => 'directory',
  owner  => 'geodjango'

For running my application I need it source code which is under git. To download it to vagrant machine I use:

include git

vcsrepo { '/opt/geodjango/geodjango':
  ensure   => latest,
  provider => git,
  source   => '',
  user     => 'geodjango',
  force     => true,

In vcsrepo, I added parameter force to make sure that repo is updated with new commits if it already exists on my deployed machine.

That it for this blog post! Comments welcome! I've got running vagrant machine with application source code and basic bootstrap done. In the next post I will show how to combine them.

Cover image by ALoan released into public domain.

tags: django, puppet,

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