I’ve been wanting to try web.py for a while. It seems like it’s easier to learn than Django for making python web applications. I made the hello world app quickly and simply, and decided I’d use it for a project I’m working on.
That’s when it turned south. I have to use php for another project I’m doing, and I use cgi-irc (in perl through CGI) on that server, so I didn’t want to re-setup all that stuff on lighttpd (the recommended method for running web.py). I tried running it through apache with cgi. After a few hours of that not working I switched to trying fastcgi on apache, also to no avail. I got fastcgi to the point where I was having an error that was common enough to be in an FAQ: I was getting 500 responses from apache because fastcgi/web.py wasn’t starting fast enough for the flup WSGI library to realize it, so it would start them over and over until it eventually gave up. I decided I just wanted to see the thing work at this point, so I installed lighttpd and went through the setup for that. When that method didn’t work I was fed up with their install instructions. I decided to try a method that John Quigley recommended. He said I should just run it with the internal http server that I’ve already used successfully and proxy the requests through apache to web.py. This might not achieve the goal of making the server large scale production ready, but I don’t really have to worry about that so much at this point. It does achieve my more important goal of making my php, cgi, and web.py applications all available through a single url and port, so I gave it a shot.
I looked up apache proxying and found it was done through mod_proxy, and each protocol you want to proxy has it’s own module as well. So I installed mod_proxy and mod_proxy_http and added the following line to my apache2.conf file:
ProxyPass /lifelog http://192.168.1.20:8888
192.168.1.20 being the IP address of the server in question. It would be better to get it resolving localhost so this line can be used on other servers, but I didn’t want to bother with it yet. I also had to change the proxy permission rules in proxy.conf to this:
Allow from all
This allows any user online to use my ProxyPass rule. Note that I left “ProxyRequests” set to “Off”. If I turned that on, I would be an open proxy that spammers and hackers could use to hide their identity during their nefarious behavior.
Now all that’s left is to start up my web.py server on port 8888 as specified in apache2.conf and whenever I go to /lifelog/* through apache, it’ll send the request to web.py.