How to use Django with Apache and mod_wsgi

Deploying Django with Apache and mod_wsgi is the recommended way to get Django into production.

mod_wsgi is an Apache module which can be used to host any Python application which supports the Python WSGI interface, including Django. Django will work with any version of Apache which supports mod_wsgi.

The official mod_wsgi documentation is fantastic; it’s your source for all the details about how to use mod_wsgi. You’ll probably want to start with the installation and configuration documentation.

Basic configuration

Once you’ve got mod_wsgi installed and activated, edit your httpd.conf file and add:

WSGIScriptAlias / /path/to/mysite/apache/django.wsgi

The first bit above is the url you want to be serving your application at (/ indicates the root url), and the second is the location of a "WSGI file" -- see below -- on your system, usually inside of your project. This tells Apache to serve any request below the given URL using the WSGI application defined by that file.

Next we'll need to actually create this WSGI application, so create the file mentioned in the second part of WSGIScriptAlias and add:

import os
import sys

os.environ['DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE'] = 'mysite.settings'

import django.core.handlers.wsgi
application = django.core.handlers.wsgi.WSGIHandler()

If your project is not on your PYTHONPATH by default you can add:

path = '/path/to/mysite'
if path not in sys.path:

just below the import sys line to place your project on the path. Remember to replace 'mysite.settings' with your correct settings file, and '/path/to/mysite' with your own project's location.

Serving files

Django doesn't serve files itself; it leaves that job to whichever Web server you choose.

We recommend using a separate Web server -- i.e., one that's not also running Django -- for serving media. Here are some good choices:

If, however, you have no option but to serve media files on the same Apache VirtualHost as Django, you can set up Apache to serve some URLs as static media, and others using the mod_wsgi interface to Django.

This example sets up Django at the site root, but explicitly serves robots.txt, favicon.ico, any CSS file, and anything in the /static/ and /media/ URL space as a static file. All other URLs will be served using mod_wsgi:

Alias /robots.txt /usr/local/wsgi/static/robots.txt
Alias /favicon.ico /usr/local/wsgi/static/favicon.ico

AliasMatch ^/([^/]*\.css) /usr/local/wsgi/static/styles/$1

Alias /media/ /usr/local/wsgi/media/
Alias /static/ /usr/local/wsgi/static/

<Directory /usr/local/wsgi/static>
Order deny,allow
Allow from all

<Directory /usr/local/wsgi/media>
Order deny,allow
Allow from all

WSGIScriptAlias / /usr/local/wsgi/scripts/django.wsgi

<Directory /usr/local/wsgi/scripts>
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

Serving the admin files

Note that the Django development server automagically serves the static files of the admin app, but this is not the case when you use any other server arrangement. You're responsible for setting up Apache, or whichever media server you're using, to serve the admin files.

The admin files live in (django/contrib/admin/media/admin) of the Django distribution.

We strongly recommend using django.contrib.staticfiles to handle the admin files (this means using the collectstatic management command to collect the static files in STATIC_ROOT, and then configuring your webserver to serve STATIC_ROOT at STATIC_URL), but here are two other approaches:

  1. Create a symbolic link to the admin static files from within your document root.
  2. Or, copy the admin static files so that they live within your Apache document root.


For more details, see the mod_wsgi documentation on Django integration, which explains the above in more detail, and walks through all the various options you've got when deploying under mod_wsgi.