Example Apps

Our example Django app can be found here.

The following is a step-by-step walkthrough of how the app was configured and why. The sample app is copied from the Django 2.1 tutorial, Dockerised, configured and a convox.yml added. See the README.md in the repo for the changes made.

Running Locally

A few steps to get started:

  1. Make sure you have Docker installed on your local machine.
  2. Signup for a Convox account It’s free!
  3. Install the Convox CLI.
  4. Install the Convox local Rack

Once you are all setup you can switch to your local rack with convox switch local and start your local application with convox start (make sure you are in the root directory).

Now that your app is up and running you will need to run the migrations with a one-off command:

convox run web python manage.py migrate

And create a super user for the Django Admin

convox run web python manage.py createsuperuser

You should now be able to access your application by going to https://web.django.convox. If you renamed anything you may need to modify your local URL. The format is https://[service name].[app name].convox

Custom Application Components


Starting from the python:3 image, the Dockerfile executes the remaining build steps that your Django app needs. There are basically 2 steps in this process, and they are executed in a particular order to take advantage of Docker’s build caching behavior.

  1. Requirements.txt is copied and pip install is run. This happens first because it is slow and something that’s done infrequently. After running once, this step will be cached unless the cache is busted by later edits to requirements.txt.

  2. The application source is copied over. These files will change frequently, so this step of the build will very rarely be cached.


The convox.yml file explains how to run the application. This file has two sections.

  1. Resources: These are network-attached dependencies of your application. In this case we have a single resource which is a postgres database. When running locally Convox will automatically startup up a container running Postgres and will inject a DATABASE_URL environment variable into your application container that points to the Postgres database. When your application is deployed to production Convox will startup an RDS postgres database for your application to use.

  2. Services: This is where we define our application(s). In this case we have a single application called web which is built from our dockerfile, executes the Gunicorn web server, and uses the postgres resource for a database. You will also notice we have an environment section where we are setting a default secret key for development. In a production application you may have additional services defined for things like Celery task workers.

Deploying to production

In order to deploy to production we have to ensure we have completed the following steps:

  1. Signup for a Convox account
  2. Connect an AWS account
  3. Install an AWS Rack
  4. Make sure your CLI is logged in to your Convox account using convox login and your CLI Key

Once you are all set here you can see the name of your production rack

convox racks

And switch your CLI to your production rack

convox switch [rack name]

Now you can create an empty application in your production rack

convox apps create --wait

And you can deploy your application to production (the first time you do this it may take up to 15 minutes to create the necessary resources)

convox deploy --wait

Then you can run your migrations and create your super user same as you did against your local rack

convox run web python manage.py migrate
convox run web python manage.py createsuperuser

Finally you can retrieve the URL from your production application with

convox services