Developer - Database Tinkerer - IT Manager

How-To: Pyramid Starter on AWS

Posted: 2017-03-07

My previous post showed how to deploy a Pyramid Hello World App to AWS. Deploying the Pyramid Starter App is similar. It is diffferent by the fact that there is more than just a file and a requirements.txt file. However the concepts are the same. The key thing here is that these steps do not require any knowledge of EB CLI. The project can be zipped up and uploaded to the AWS instance.

Code Deployment

We'll use the same zip archive upload via console style that was used in the Hello World app post because it doesn't require knowledge of EB CLI or boto.


  • Create a local pyramid app
  • Add requirements.txt and
  • Deploy to AWS

Create a local pyramid app

Obviously, this is an open-ended process. For the purposes of this How-To I'll be using the pyramid starter project. Note that this uses the cookiecutter utility.

Start by creating a directory for your project with your desired name. I prefer creating sub-folders under that directory for various the different instances of the project, for example dev, prod, and test. I eventually use these for branches in a code versioning repository.

In the desired folder create the project by using the following cookiecutter command:


This will prompt you for a name twice. Use the name of your project. It will also ask for what type of templating engine you want to use. I prefer Mako, but I am finding Jinja2 isn't that terrible. Do your research and make a choice if you are unfamiliar with the choices.

At this point, you have the foundation of your project. Use the following to create a virtual environment in your project directory.

python -m venv env

Note: You can also set an enviroment variable to make things easier.

env/bin/pip install --upgrade pip setuptools
env/bin/pip install -e ".[testing]"

At this point the application should be usable. Check by using pserve to test.

env/bin/pserve development.ini

This should result with something like the following:

Starting server in PID 26608.
Serving on http://localhost:6543

And you should be able to get the boilerplate pyramid app when you visit http://localhost:6543.

Add requirements.txt and

Create a requirements.txt using pip

env/bin/pip freeze > requirements.txt

Remove the line that contains your application. AWS will not be able to find it, and this will cause it to error upon deployment. However, there is a way around this, see the section below named "Install Your App without remoting in".

Also, change the version of zope.deprecation to 4.1.2. zope.deprecation has issues because the python build for Amazon Linux is missing wheels for python -m venv to work correctly. As a result it has been found that the python used in Amazon Linux is not setting up the lib directories correctly in virtual environments, and this is causing issues with the zope.deprecation and zope.interface installs. One is being installed to a directory under lib64 and the other is being installed under lib.

You can read more about this here.

Next, add a file called that contains the following code:

from pyramid.paster import get_app, setup_logging
import os.path

ini_path = os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__), 'production.ini')
application = get_app(ini_path, 'main')

AWS will use this to invoke your app for incoming requests.

Deploy to AWS

I won't review how to create the Elastic Beanstalk instance here. Instead look at my Hello Pyramid article for the section on how to create an environment.

Once the application is on the AWS EC2 instance we'll need to install the application via pip. Remote into the instance then find your virtual envronment. Use its pip to install your application.

Run the following commands to install your app.

cd /opt/python/current/app/
/opt/python/run/venv/bin/pip install -e ".[testing]"

At this point your app will be working.

Install Your App without remoting in

To make it so that you don't have to remote into the EC2 instance you can add the following line to your requirements.txt


This tells pip to look in this directory for something to install and it is where AWS places your app during deployment.


Static Resources are not found

This was a curious problem. It seems that AWS has some automagic that will execute some logic if is requested. The way around this is to change the name of your static asset folder.

pkg-resources can't be installed

It turns out Ubuntu may cause pip to report that pkg-resources is installed. This is a bug. If you are working from Ubuntu and encounter this while creating your requirements.txt file you can safely remove it from your requirements.txt.

Complete Code

The code used in this How-To can be found at my github account. It even has it packaged up into a zip file that can be uploaded to a AWS instance.

Last Update: 2017-03-22


This site/blog/soapbox is where I intend to post stuff that I feel might help someone even if the only someone is me. For now I only plan to post how-tos and maybe an occasional response to some new tool or workflow.

The site is still being tweaked, so please be patient. As time goes on I will add new features.

In real life, I am a IT manager who started as a PeopleSoft consultant out of college, but then stumbled into Python via PHP (funny story). Since I learned quite a bit about databases in my Peoplesoft days I kept it up by making sure the databases behind the apps I maintained stayed healthy. I eventually landed at BenefitPlan Manager where I am trying to make things a little better each day.