Starting with Django


    This guide is going to help you start developing your Django applications at SourceLair and make the most out of SourceLair's capabilities.

    This guide assumes that you already have

    Installing dependencies

    You can install dependencies to your Django project in 2 ways:

    1. Terminal: Open your terminal, type and run pip install -r requirements.txt to install your dependencies from a requirements.txt file or pip install <package_name> to install a specific package - e.g. pip install djangorestframework.
    2. Command Palette: Open Command Palette, type pip and run the Pip: Install pip dependencies command that will install dependencies according to your requirements.txt.

    Setup your server

    SourceLair provides all Django projects with a dedicated, publicly accessible web server to run and view your Django web applications. Starting a new Django project works out of the box thus you don't have to spend time on it.

    Django server command

    By default, your Django server runs the ./ runserver command. In case you want to use any other custom command you can read how to do it at the Customize your SourceLair server help page.

    Cloning a Django app

    If you clone a Django app at SourceLair, don't forget to keep your file in your root directory. In case you have a different structure please read our help page in order to customise your Procfile accordingly.

    Preview your application

    SourceLair provides you with a public URL in order to help you test and showcase your work. There are 2 ways to see the public URL of your Django project:

    1. Click on the eye icon in the sidebar
    2. Open the Command Palette and use the Server: Open Public URL command.


    SourceLair provides you with intelligent as-you-type autocomplete for your Python files. Completion suggestions appear automatically whenever you are editing a python file. The suggestions include python built-ins, results from your project's static analysis as well as libraries you have installed. The continuous suggestions on keystroke are enabled by default.

    To disable the as-you-type autocomplete open up your Control Panel, navigate to your Editor Settings and uncheck the Show suggestions on keystroke option. To manually trigger autocompletion afterwards use Ctrl + Space when you need them.

    Error reporting

    Our editor will automatically check your Python file for syntax errors when you save it and display all errors and warnings in the left side of the editor, next to the line number. This way you can produce better and safer code, since you do not have to run your application before correcting your mistakes.

    If you find this feature too distracting for you, just navigate to your Editor Settings and switch the Python linting option off.


    The recommended way to deploy your Django application to production is using Heroku. SourceLair's integration with the Heroku toolbelt makes things pretty simple as you can deploy your app without even leaving SourceLair.

    Before you start setting up your deployment workflow, check out that you have:

    Django settings for static assets

    This step is required only if you want to deploy the default SourceLair Django project. In case you have handled your static assets you can go to the Install and setup Gunicorn for production part of this section.

    Add the following settings to your in order handle your static assets:

    PROJECT_ROOT = os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__))
    # Static files (CSS, JavaScript, Images)
    STATIC_ROOT = os.path.join(PROJECT_ROOT, 'staticfiles')
    STATIC_URL = '/static/'
    # Extra places for collectstatic to find static files.
        os.path.join(PROJECT_ROOT, 'static'),
    STATICFILES_STORAGE = 'whitenoise.django.GzipManifestStaticFilesStorage

    Then you need to create a staticfolder inside your project's directory (in the same level with your It is the target directory that collectstatic uses and you need to deploy your project. Git does not support empty file directories, so you will have to create a file inside that directory as well.


    Django does not support serving static files in production. That's why we are going to use the WhiteNoise project.

    First, install WhiteNoise with pip, and add it to your requirements.txt file, running in your terminal:

    $ pip install whitenoise
    $ pip freeze | grep whitenoise >> requirements.txt

    Next, install WhiteNoise into your Django application. This is done in

    from django.core.wsgi import get_wsgi_application
    from whitenoise.django import DjangoWhiteNoise
    application = get_wsgi_application()
    application = DjangoWhiteNoise(application)

    Install and setup Gunicorn for production

    While developing your application, you should run the Django application server with the runserver command - you can find this inside the file.

    When deploying your application for production load, you need an application server that can handle load better, like Gunicorn. That's why you need to create a Procfile file that will give the appropriate instructions to Heroku about your server commands in production. So run in your terminal:

    $ echo "web: gunicorn server:app --log-file -" > Procfile

    In case that Gunicorn isn't installed in your project, run in your terminal:

    $ pip install gunicorn
    $ pip freeze | grep gunicorn >> requirements.txt

    Set up Heroku

    SourceLair terminal is integrated with Heroku toolbelt thus you are able to use all Heroku commands via SourceLair. Initially, you need to login to Heroku filling in your Heroku credentials

    $ heroku login

    Then, you need to create a new Heroku application that you can push to.

    $ heroku create


    Don't forget to commit your last changes before deployment.

    Everything should be set up, so you need deploy your app from SourceLair to Heroku. To do so use the Command Palette command Heroku: Deploy.

    Now every time you want to push something new to production, all you have to do is commit your changes and deploy to Heroku.

    In case you use specific port in your Django app (e.g. 8000), don't forget to bind the server of your Django project to the $PORT environment variable, to make sure it works on Heroku.

    Tips to code faster

    SourceLair provides you with some great features in order to help you develop faster your Django app being focused on the creative part of programming.

    Go to definition

    When searching for the definition of a class or method, you can just press Alt + . or Alt+ Click on it in order to go to its definition. Please note that when requesting the definition of an external library, goto definition will work as goto assignment instead.


    Read the documentation of a model or a class, focusing your cursor on it and using the Ctrl + I shortcut.

    Command Palette

    Command Palette is a free text search tool which helps you use most of SourceLair's features really fast. You can open it by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + P.


    Quickopen is a fast and time saving way to navigate through your filesystem in order to find and open any file you want using your keyboard.

    There are 2 ways to open the Quickopen prompt:

    • using its shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + O
    • finding Quickopen: Open a file command from Command Palette (Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + P)

    Find in files

    Find in files is a simple and easy way to search for something in your entire project at once, with quick file navigation from the results. There are 2 ways to trigger this feature:

    finding the Project:Find in files command from Command Palette using its shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + F