Getting Started

In this guide we build and deploy a simple Django website to demonstrate how quickly Django apps can be deployed on

Initial Set Up

Make sure that Python is already installed on your computer along with a way to create virtual environments. We use venv in this example but any of the other popular choices such as Poetry, Pipenv, or pyenv work too.

Within a new virtual environment, follow the official Django docs for Getting Started with Django to install the latest version of Django.

Create a new Django project called demo.

django-admin startproject demo .

Now create a new app called fly.

python startapp fly

Add the new fly app to the INSTALLED_APPS configuration in the demo/ file.

# demo/
    "fly",  # new

Django Fly App

Now let's configure a basic view that returns the text, "Hello, Fly!" by updating the fly/ file.

# fly/
from django.http import HttpResponse

def homePageView(request):
    return HttpResponse("Hello, Fly!")

Create a new file called fly/ for our app-level URL configuration.

# fly/
from django.urls import path

from .views import homePageView

urlpatterns = [
    path("", homePageView, name="home"),

And update the existing demo/ file as well for project-level URL configuration.

# demo/
from django.contrib import admin
from django.urls import path, include  # new

urlpatterns = [
    path("", include("fly.urls")),  # new

That's it! Run the migrate command to initialize our local database.

python migrate

Now runserver to start up Django's local web server.

python runserver

If you open in your web browser it now displays the text "Hello, Fly!"

Django Deployment Checklist

By default, Django is configured for local development. The How to Deploy Django and Django deployment checklist guide list the various steps required for a secure deployment. However, for demonstration purposes, we can take some shortcuts.

First, in the demo/ file update the ALLOWED_HOSTS configuration to accept all hosts.

# demo/
ALLOWED_HOSTS = ["*"]  # new

Second, install Gunicorn as our production server.

python -m pip install gunicorn

Third, create a requirements.txt file listing all the packages in the current Python virtual environment.

pip freeze > requirements.txt

That's it! We're ready to deploy on Fly.


Fly has its own command-line utility for managing apps, flyctl. If not already installed, follow the instructions on the installation guide and log in to Fly.

Provision Django

To configure and launch the app, run the fly launch command and follow the wizard. You can set a name for the app and choose a default region. You can also choose to launch and attach a Postgresql database and/or a Redis database though we are not using either in this example.

fly launch
Creating app in ~/django-hello-fly
Scanning source code
Detected a Django app
? Choose an app name (leave blank to generate one): django-hello-fly
automatically selected personal organization: Jane Smith
? Choose a region for deployment: Ashburn, Virginia (US) (iad)
Created app django-hello-fly in organization personal
Set secrets on django-hello-fly: SECRET_KEY
Wrote config file fly.toml
? Would you like to set up a Postgresql database now? No
? Would you like to set up an Upstash Redis database now? No
Your app is ready! Deploy with `flyctl deploy`

This creates two new files in the project that are automatically configured: a Dockerfile and fly.toml file to configure applications for deployment.

We do not have static files in this example so comment out that line near the bottom of the autogenerated Dockerfile. Most Django projects do though which is why it is included by default.

# RUN python collectstatic --noinput

Deploy Your Application

To deploy the application use the following command:

fly deploy

This will take a few seconds as it uploads your application, verifies the app configuration, builds the image, and then monitors to ensure it starts successfully. Once complete visit your app with the following command:

fly open

You are up and running! Wasn't that easy?


We started with an empty directory and in a matter of minutes had a running Django application deployed to the web. A few things to note:

  • Your application is running on a Virtual Machine that was created based on the Dockerfile image.
  • The fly.toml file controls your app configuration and can be modified as needed.
  • fly dashboard can be used to monitor and adjust your application. Pretty much anything you can do from the browser window you can also do from the command line using fly commands. Try fly help to see what you can do.

Now that you have seen how to deploy a simple Django application, it is time to move on to Existing Django Apps that feature static files and a PostgreSQL database.

Additional resources