Django Djourney – Windows Setup

by on February 19, 2012 in
Django Djourney – Windows Setup Difficulty Level: Beginner

Welcome to the adventure! In this level, you will…

  • Download and Install Python 2.*
  • Make “python” usable in your Command Prompt
  • Install setuptools and use easy_install
  • Install pip
  • Install VirtualEnv
  • Install VirtualEnvWrapper for Windows
  • Create a virtual environment
  • Install Django
  • Start a requirements.txt file

Update: You really, really, really, want to use the 32-bit versions of everything (Python, etc.) if you’re working on Windows. I tried the 64-bit path, but kept running into problems with Python libraries (PIL for instance) until I found this comment. Apparently Win64 is fubar out of the box so far as compiling these libraries goes.
By all means, try to use 64-bits (here are some pre-compiled libraries that might help you), but I heavily suggest you skip over the minuscule performance benefits you’ll get from Win64 and instead use Win32 and have a much, much, easier time getting the libraries you need without having to do a bunch of crazy workarounds.
Tell a friend.

Download Video

For all those people starting out on Linux, here’s my Ubuntu quickstart

sudo apt-get install python-setuptools          # get easy_install
sudo easy_install pip
sudo pip install virtualenv
sudo pip install virtualenvwrapper
source /usr/local/bin/      # make virtualenvwrapper usable
cd ~/Envs                                       # create a folder called "Envs" in your Home folder 
mkvirtualenv my_django_project
pip install -e svn+http://the_django_svn_link   # download and install the latest stable version from
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  • mcrk

    at ~7:00 – it’s not about trailing slash, You just have to restart command line.
    ~8:00 – You were very close: ctrl-z + enter :)

    Nice video btw, a lot more educational, then most of that kind on yt ;)

    • Cory

      Thank you so much! Please keep following this. I’m determined to learn and record my Django studies and would love to have some pro’s giving me better tips and tricks in the comments. :)

  • Declan

    love the ‘What the hell!’ lol
    I’ve got python and django installed, but will come back to learn a bit about virtualenv and pip.

    Good vid.

    • Cory

      My reactions are usually a lot worse than that. I’m sure as the series goes on and I become more comfortable with people knowing “the real me” I’ll start leaving in the weird Daffy Duck noises I make when something doesn’t work as expected. Should be a lot of fun. :)

  • David

    Cross post from reddit:
    As you have more experience with python in both Windows and Ubuntu, i would like to know, which one is better OS to work on? The font rendering engine is better in Windows and there are lots of other advantages too, but the downside being the packages for python are not readily available. I have a dual boot of Win 7 and ubuntu too; need a motivation to make the jump. There is also ActiveState Python with pypm which takes care of binary packages of python libs.

    • Cory

      Good question. As someone who struggled in Windows, got Cygwin, downloaded 500 different programs and such trying to make Windows like Linux, and had a love affair with Ubuntu, I can safely say the benefits you get from working on a Linux terminal are outweighed by having to switch back and forth to Windows every time you want to use a Windows only program. I’d use Photoshop as an example, but there is WineHQ, but you can imagine the number of Adobe Creative Suite products that aren’t covered.

      All in all, the amount of time saved by built-in commands is lost when you’re figuring out how to pass .ai modifications to a Virtual Box running Ubuntu seamlessly.

      If you’re a designer/developer hybrid: use Windows and learn how to add things to your system path (so you can use things like “python” in the Command Prompt).

      If you’re planning on strictly developing, you should live on Ubuntu.If you’re mostly a developer but want to have access to Windows to do stuff like run music players or silly crap like that, then you can use a VirtualBox ( ) and run Ubuntu WHILE using Windows (be sure to check out my snippet on how to make the VBox window full-resolution).
      If you’re lucky (rich) enough to have a Mac, then you have the best of both worlds – a nice terminal with built-in functionality Microsoft can’t figure out, AND designer tools that Linux can’t figure out.It really depends on how much of design vs. development you’re going to be doing. I see myself as a designer first, and a developer second so I’m going to stick with Windows until I run into some really… really… stupid problem I -can’t- overcome in Windows, then I’ll make a big post freaking out about it and switch to Ubuntu. :)

  • lauren mier

    Thank you – This was great. I learned a lot (virtualenv finally makes sense to me), and truly, it *is* refreshing to see things go wrong, and the instructor work their way through them. Helps others of us newbies avoid pitfalls, and not feel like we’re the only ones who occasionally find bending Windows to our wills…um.. challenging.

    • Cory

      No problem. I’m glad you like them. I know I couldn’t find anything that spoke to visual-learning newbies like myself, so I’m hoping this fills that niche.

      Btw, if you’re on Windows, use Python 2.7.x for Win32, not 64-bit. I’m going to put up a disclaimer about this, but apparently Win64 is complete crap when it comes to extra Python packages like the Python Imaging Library (what Django uses to upload images and crop them).

  • Kobi Ben Itamar

    Just started following this series. Very helpful tips( Even the ones about the cmd controls).
    I was wondering if there is any specific book you’d recommend for web development using django.

    • Cory

      To be honest, I’ve browsed over almost all of them, and for a newb, I think The Django Book (free online) is the best resource available. Beyond that, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Pro Django and’s documentation.

  • Pingback: Setting up VirtualEnvWrapper for django — Declan Costello()

  • Ken Barlow

    Great video! Love the openness and content it’s just want I needed to help push me through into improving my current knowledge of Django. Keep it up! So tired of all the other edited boring tutorials, this one is way easy to watch :)

  • Matt

    This was incredibly helpful! Stuck for way longer than I care to admit trying to make virtualenvwrapper-win work with python-64. Following everything in your footsteps turned out just fine. Thanks! Thanks!

  • sanjiv sahai

    Great – am able to install virtualenv and pip thanks going back to web development in python & django presentation …

  • Authentic Poseur

    As a complete cmd line/coding ignorant I am completely floored by the awesomeness of this video and have DL’d all your other DjDj. This helped me so much. You are a saint, I was stumbling horribly trying to use the other web tutorials, book and youtube videos and really close to saying F it. Also really funny.

  • Adam

    This video is hilarious. Watching somebody else get frustrated with their system was truly enlightening. You’re right, it definitely adds character! ;)

  • evanxg852000

    great work but the stream isn’t working. can’t download neither view the video