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Quickly build a development server for Django

If you are looking to get started with the Django development server on your laptop, you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we will discuss how to set up the Django development server on your laptop so that you can develop and run applications using Django. We will also cover what Django is and what the Django development server does. By the end of this post, you will be ready to start creating and running applications with Django on your laptop. So let’s get started!

What is Django?

Django is a high-level, open-source Python web framework that simplifies the development of web applications. It’s designed to be fast and secure, with a powerful set of features and a robust ecosystem of packages and libraries to help developers create their apps quickly.

Django helps developers build complex, database-driven websites and web applications, as well as providing an easy-to-use admin panel for managing content and user accounts.

Django’s design is based on the popular Model-View-Template (MVT) pattern, which separates the data, logic, and presentation layers of an application. This makes it easier for developers to focus on building their apps without having to worry about managing different parts of their application stack. Django also has a robust security model, providing support for authentication and authorization out of the box.

What is the Django Development Server?

The Django Development Server is a lightweight web server that enables developers to test and debug their applications. This server was created to allow developers to work on their applications without having to setup a production server. The Django Development Server is based on the popular web server software, WSGI.

It is designed to run with minimal effort, making it ideal for local development, testing, and debugging applications. The Django Development Server automatically reloads code when changes are made and offers powerful error reporting capabilities. Additionally, the server can also serve static files such as images, stylesheets, and JavaScript files.

Overall, the Django Development Server is a great tool for developers looking to quickly test and debug their application. With its simple setup process, the server makes it easy for developers to get up and running in no time.

Setting up the server

This guide will show you the steps you need to follow to create a local Django development environment – tested on Windows (using the WSL) and Ubuntu Linux. As always, proceed with caution when following technical guides.

First of all then, we need to update our libraries

sudo apt update

Next, we need to install Django, we can go ahead and check the version after install.

sudo apt install python3-django
django-admin --version

Now let’s create a directory for our application to reside in and navigate to that directory.

mkdir ~/django-test
cd ~/django-test

Now, we need to create our virtual environment. To install the Virtual Environment library, create the virtual environment & active it, we use:

sudo  apt install python3.10-venv
python3 -m venv my_env
source my_env/bin/activate

Next, let’s install Django inside our virtual environment:

pip install django

And now create our Django project. I’ve just called this one djangoproject for test purposes, but you can call it whatever you like.

django-admin startproject djangoproject

Next, let’s make our first migration and create a superuser. You’ll be prompted to provide details for the superuser. This user can login to the admin portal.

python migrate
python createsuperuser

Next we can create an app to live within our project. You can call this whatever you like, but I’ve just called it ‘app’.

python startapp app

Finally, you should now be able to run the Django development server & test your install has worked:

python runserver 8080

From here, you should be able to navigate to http://localhost:8080/ from your web browser & the app should appear.

Start development

Hopefully this will help you to quickly get an app running locally – you’re now free to get developing!

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