Running Django on App Engine Standard Environment

It's easy to start developing Django apps running on Google App Engine standard environment, and because App Engine scales dynamically according to traffic, you can be confident that they will scale to serve all of your users, whether there are a few or millions of them.

This tutorial assumes you are familiar with Django web development. It walks you through deploying the official Django tutorial app, Writing your first Django App. It's a good idea to work through that tutorial before this one, especially if you are new to Django development. The app's models represent polls that contain questions, and you can interact with the models using the Django admin console.

This tutorial requires Python 3.7.

Before you begin

Check off each step as you complete it.

  1. check_box_outline_blank check_box Create a project in the Google Cloud Platform Console.
    If you haven't already created a project, create one now. Projects enable you to manage all Google Cloud Platform resources for your app, including deployment, access control, billing, and services.
    1. Open the GCP Console.
    2. In the drop-down menu at the top, select Create a project.
    3. Click Show advanced options. Under App Engine location, select a United States location.
    4. Give your project a name.
    5. Make a note of the project ID, which might be different from the project name. The project ID is used in commands and in configurations.
  2. check_box_outline_blank check_box Enable billing for your project, and sign up for a free trial.

    If you haven't already enabled billing for your project, enable billing now, and sign up for a free trial. Enabling billing allows the app to consume billable resources such as running instances and storing data. During your free trial period, you won't be billed for any services.

  3. check_box_outline_blank check_box Install the Cloud SDK.

    If you haven't already installed the Cloud SDK, install and initialize the Cloud SDK now. The Cloud SDK contains tools and libraries that enable you to create and manage resources on GCP.

  4. check_box_outline_blank check_box Enable APIs for your project.

    This takes you to the GCP Console and automatically enables the APIs used by this tutorial. The APIs used are: Google Cloud SQL API.

Download and run the app

After you've completed the prerequisites, you can download and deploy the Django sample app. The following sections guide you through configuring, running, and deploying the sample.

Clone the Django app

The code for the Django sample app is in the Google Cloud Platform python-docs-samples repository on GitHub.

Clone the repository to your local machine:

git clone

Go to the directory that contains the sample code:


cd python-docs-samples/appengine/standard_python37/django


cd python-docs-samples\appengine\standard_python37\django

Alternatively, you can download the sample as a zip and extract it.

Setting up your local environment

When deployed, your app uses the Cloud SQL Proxy that is built in to the App Engine environment to communicate with your Cloud SQL instance. However, to test your app locally, you must install and use a local copy of the Cloud SQL Proxy in your development environment.

Learn more about the Cloud SQL Proxy.

To perform basic admin tasks on your Cloud SQL instance, you can use the MySQL client.

Install the Cloud SQL Proxy

Download and install the Cloud SQL Proxy. The Cloud SQL Proxy is used to connect to your Cloud SQL instance when running locally.

Linux 64-bit

  1. Download the proxy:
    wget -O cloud_sql_proxy
  2. Make the proxy executable:
    chmod +x cloud_sql_proxy

Linux 32-bit

  1. Download the proxy:
    wget -O cloud_sql_proxy
  2. Make the proxy executable:
    chmod +x cloud_sql_proxy

macOS 64-bit

  1. Download the proxy:
    curl -o cloud_sql_proxy
  2. Make the proxy executable:
    chmod +x cloud_sql_proxy

macOS 32-bit

  1. Download the proxy:
    curl -o cloud_sql_proxy
  2. Make the proxy executable:
    chmod +x cloud_sql_proxy

Windows 64-bit

Right-click and select "Save link as..." to download the proxy, renaming it to cloud_sql_proxy.exe.

Windows 32-bit

Right-click and select "Save link as..." to download the proxy, renaming it to cloud_sql_proxy.exe.
If your operating system is not included here, you can also compile the proxy from source.

Create a Cloud SQL instance

  1. Create a Cloud SQL for MySQL Second Generation instance. Name the instance polls-instance or similar. It can take a few minutes for the instance to be ready. After the instance is ready, it should be visible in the instances list.
  2. Now use the Cloud SDK to run the following command where [YOUR_INSTANCE_NAME] represents the name of your Cloud SQL instance. Make a note of the value shown for connectionName for the next step.
    gcloud sql instances describe [YOUR_INSTANCE_NAME]

    The connectionName value is in the format [PROJECT_NAME]:[REGION_NAME]:[INSTANCE_NAME].

Initialize your Cloud SQL instance

  1. Start the Cloud SQL Proxy using the connectionName from the previous step.


    ./cloud_sql_proxy -instances="[YOUR_INSTANCE_CONNECTION_NAME]"=tcp:3306


    cloud_sql_proxy.exe -instances="[YOUR_INSTANCE_CONNECTION_NAME]"=tcp:3306

    Replace [YOUR_INSTANCE_CONNECTION_NAME] with the value of connectionName that you recorded in the previous step.

    This step establishes a connection from your local computer to your Cloud SQL instance for local testing purposes. Keep the Cloud SQL Proxy running the entire time you test your app locally.

  2. Next you create a new Cloud SQL user and database.


    1. Create a new database using the GCP Console for your Cloud SQL instance polls-instance. For example, you can use the name polls.
    2. Create a new user using the GCP Console for your Cloud SQL instance polls-instance.


    1. In a separate command-line tab, use the MySQL client or similar program to connect to your instance. When prompted, use the root password you configured.
      mysql --host --user root --password
    2. Create the required databases, users, and access permissions in your Cloud SQL database using the commands below. Replace [MYSQL_USER] and [MYSQL_PASSWORD] with your desired username and password.
      CREATE DATABASE polls;

Configure the database settings

  1. Open mysite/ for editing.

  2. In two places, replace [YOUR-USERNAME] and [YOUR-PASSWORD] with the database username and password you created previously in the step "Create a Cloud SQL instance". This helps set up the connection to the database for both App Engine deployment and local testing.

  3. Run the following command. Copy the outputted connectionName value for the next step.

    gcloud sql instances describe [YOUR_INSTANCE_NAME]
  4. Replace [YOUR-CONNECTION-NAME] with connectionName from the previous step.

  5. Replace [YOUR-DATABASE] with the name you choose during the "Initialize your Cloud SQL instance" step.

  6. Close and save

Run the app on your local computer

  1. To run the Django app on your local computer, you'll need to set up a Python development environment, including Python, pip, and virtualenv. For instructions, refer to Setting Up a Python Development Environment for Google Cloud Platform.

  2. Create an isolated Python environment, and install dependencies:


    virtualenv env
    source env/bin/activate
    pip install -r requirements.txt


    virtualenv env
    pip install -r requirements.txt

  3. Run the Django migrations to set up your models:

    python makemigrations
    python makemigrations polls
    python migrate
  4. Start a local web server:

    python runserver
  5. In your web browser, enter this address:


You should see a simple webpage with the following text: "Hello, world. You're at the polls index." The sample app pages are delivered by the Django web server running on your computer. When you're ready to move forward, press Ctrl+C to stop the local web server.

Use the Django admin console

  1. Create a superuser:

    python createsuperuser
  2. Start a local web server:

    python runserver
  3. Enter this address in your web browser. To log on to the admin site, use the username and password you created when you ran createsuperuser.


Deploy the app to the App Engine standard environment

  1. Gather all the static content into one folder. This command moves all of the app's static files into the folder specified by STATIC_ROOT in

    python collectstatic
  2. Upload the app by running the following command from within the python-docs-samples/appengine/standard/django directory of the application where the app.yaml file is located:

    gcloud app deploy

    Wait for the message that notifies you that the update has completed.

See the app run in the cloud

In your web browser, enter this address:


This time, your request is served by a web server running in the App Engine standard environment.

This command deploys the application as described in app.yaml and sets the newly deployed version as the default version, causing it to serve all new traffic.

If you update your app, you can deploy the updated version by entering the same command you used to deploy the app the first time. The new deployment creates a new version of your app and promotes it to the default version. The older versions of your app remain. Be aware that all of these app versions are billable resources. For information about deleting the non-default versions of your app, see Cleaning up.


When you are ready to serve your content in production, make the following configuration change:

  1. In mysite/, change the DEBUG variable to False.

Understanding the code

The Django sample app was created using standard Django tooling. These commands create the project and the polls app:

django-admin startproject mysite
python startapp polls

The file contains the configuration for your your SQL database. The code in uses the GAE_APPLICATION environment variable to determine whether the app is running on App Engine or running on your local computer. When the app runs on App Engine, it connects to the MySQL host using the /cloudsql Unix socket. When the app runs on your local computer, it connects to the MySQL host by using TCP, which requires a username and password.

if os.getenv('GAE_APPLICATION', None):
    # Running on production App Engine, so connect to Google Cloud SQL using
    # the unix socket at /cloudsql/<your-cloudsql-connection string>
        'default': {
            'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.mysql',
            'HOST': '/cloudsql/[YOUR-CONNECTION-NAME]',
            'USER': '[YOUR-USERNAME]',
            'PASSWORD': '[YOUR-PASSWORD]',
            'NAME': '[YOUR-DATABASE]',
    # Running locally so connect to either a local MySQL instance or connect to
    # Cloud SQL via the proxy. To start the proxy via command line:
    #     $ cloud_sql_proxy -instances=[INSTANCE_CONNECTION_NAME]=tcp:3306
    # See
        'default': {
            'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.mysql',
            'HOST': '',
            'PORT': '3306',
            'NAME': '[YOUR-DATABASE]',
            'USER': '[YOUR-USERNAME]',
            'PASSWORD': '[YOUR-PASSWORD]',

The app.yaml file contains configuration information for deployment to App Engine. This app.yaml file specifies that App Engine will serve static files from the static/ directory.

runtime: python37

# This configures Google App Engine to serve the files in the app's static
# directory.
- url: /static
  static_dir: static/

# This handler routes all requests not caught above to your main app. It is
# required when static routes are defined, but can be omitted (along with
# the entire handlers section) when there are no static files defined.
- url: /.*
  script: auto
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