Installing Django (1.1) and MySQL on Snow Leopard

A few days ago I posted my misadventures in setting up a Plone 3 buildout on Snow Leopard. That (fingers crossed) was a lot more complicated than getting Django going. However, I’ll also be installing MySQL (my database of choice) as a backend database. I’ll be foregoing Apache and mod_wsgi, as this is just a development instance.

Most of this is based on the excellent instructions available at the Django site

Working With What We’ve Got

The Macintosh Operating System, being the forward thinking platform that it is, already has Python 2.5 and 2.6 installed. Python 2.6 is the default (it’s the interpreter that starts when you type ‘python’ into the Terminal), and we’ll be sticking with that. It also includes Subversion, which we’ll use to download and update the Django trunk.

Where To Put Django

As my coding style has developed, I’ve gravitated more toward keeping Python libraries that need close management in my ‘home’ folder (/Users/kevin/ on my machine) and using symbolic links to get it on my Python path. It appears to me that everything installed under ‘/Library/’ is laid out quite nicely without any of my assistance, thank you very much.

Besides not wanting to play around with the system folders, there are a couple advantages to installing like this. First, I’ll want to update my Django installation as new code comes out, and it’s simpler to find stuff in your home folder. Second, keeping packages like Django in your home folder makes browsing the source code (a must in Open Source) much simpler.

You’ll see me use easy_install to get stuff for Pythons 2.5 and 2.6, but as a general rule if I have to manually install it it’s going in my home folder. For an alternative approach (i.e. installing Django in the local site-packages directory) see this post.

Getting MySQL

To paraphrase Billy Bob Thornton from The Bad News Bears, developing in Django without a database is kind of like kissing your sister. Let’s install MySQL.

There are lots of ways to install MySQL, including compiling and installing from source. As this is a Django development machine, I feel comfortable simply using an installer package. To my surprise, MySQL as of today doesn’t have a specific 10.6 installer package on their downloads page. No matter, we’ll just grab the 64-bit version for Mac OS X 5.

  1. Go to http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/5.5.html#downloads (for MySQL 5.5, the most current recommended version)
  2. Find the “Mac OS X 10.5 (x86_64)” under “Mac OS (package format)” and click “Pick a mirror”
  3. MySQL/Sun Microsystems will want to know everything about you. Go ahead and register.
  4. Pick a site, download the package, and double click to open the package
  5. Click “mysql-5.5.0-m2-osx10.5-x86_64.pkg” to begin the install
  6. OPTIONAL: click “mySQLStartupItem.pkg” to have MySQL start when you start your system
  7. Head’s Up!

    I don’t want MySQL running all the time, so I’m not going to install the MySQL Startup Item. That means that I’ll have to START MYSQL FROM TERMINAL EVERY TIME I WANT TO USE IT. I’ll show you how to make this simple a bit further down.

  8. OPTIONAL: click “MySQL.prefPane” to install a Preference Pane in the System Preference for MySQL (I didn’t do this either)
  9. Using your favorite text editor, create a new document called “.bash_profile” in your home directory (yes, the dot is supposed to be there). We’re going to add the MySQL directory to the PATH, allowing you to run MySQL commands by typing one string into the terminal (not the entire path). Add the following line to “.bash_profile” and save it.
  10. export PATH="$PATH:/usr/local/mysql/bin"
  11. You’ll need a root password for MySQL. Type the following command into Terminal, replacing “superduper” with a password you’ll remember
  12. mysqladmin -u root password superduper

To start MySQL, type the following into your Terminal

sudo mysqld_safe

You’ll be prompted for your system password. Enter it and MySQL will start running. You’ll need to leave a Terminal tab open to leaveit running. To stop MySQL, type Control+Z from the Terminal tab it’s running from. Now for Django itself.

Installing MySQLdb

MySQLdb is the Python library that let’s us manipulate a MySQLdb with Python code.

  1. Download the MySQLdb tarball from SourceForge.net
  2. Move the tarball to your user directory and un-tar it
    cd
    mv Downloads/MySQL-python-1.2.3c1.tar.gz MySQL-python-1.2.3c1.tar.gz
    tar xzvf MySQL-python-1.2.3c1.tar.gz
  3. Change into the directory your just created and install the library
    cd MySQL-python-1.2.3c1
    python setup.py install

Installing Django 1.1

Most of the Django sites I’ve installed at at version 1.1, but not all. I’ll also probably want to run the development version at some point as well. I’m going to set up the directories around Django with that in mind.

  1. Open Terminal, and create the following directory structure (some of which will already exist): /Users/kevin/src/django/core/. Working in our home directory…
    mkdir src
    cd src
    mkdir django
    cd django
    mkdir core
    cd core
  2. Download the latest stable version of Django 1.1 (it’s a tar.gz file, AKA a ‘tarball’)
  3. Unpack the Django tarball into the directory you created in step 1. Working in the ‘core’ directory…
    tar xzvf /Users/kevin/Downloads/Django-1.1.1.tar.gz
  4. Change into the directory you created in step 3
    cd Django-1.1.1
  5. Here is where I start deviating a little from the norm. I want to keep this code in my home directory, so I’m going to create a symbolic link to my Python SITE-PACKAGES directory that points to this version of Django. First, find your Site-Packages directory by typing this into Terminal
    python -c "from distutils.sysconfig import get_python_lib; print get_python_lib()"

    In my case, this returned:

    /Library/Python/2.6/site-packages

    So, to make the symbolic link (from within the Django-1.1.1 directory), I type:

    ln -s $PWD/django /Library/Python/2.6/site-packages/django

    (change the path to match your own SITE-PACKAGES directory)

  6. I’m going to want django-admin.py in my path (and you will too). Create a symbolic link to /usr/local/bin:
    sudo ln -s /Users/kevin/src/django/core/Django-1.1.1/django/bin/django-admin.py /usr/local/bin
  7. Check that you’ve installed Django correctly by starting the Python Interpreter (type ‘python’ into the command line) and try importing Django
    >>> import django

    No errors = awesomeness

This method installing Django 1.1.1 as my default Django (the Django I get when I type ‘django’ into a Python Interpreter). If you wanted to simultaneously run a different version of Django, repeat this process with the tarball for that version (or checkout the trunk from Subversion). When you create the symbolic link, name it something other than ‘django’ (i.e. ‘django-1.1.1’ or ‘django-trunk’).

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