2. June 2013

Configure Nginx with uWSGI to serve Pootle

It’s quite easy to set up Pootle. Just follow the manual – Quickstart.

virtualenv /var/www/pootle/env/
 source /var/www/pootle/env/bin/activate
 (env) $ pip install pootle
 (env) $ pootle init
 (env) $ pootle syncdb --noinput
 (env) $ pootle initdb

You can start Pootle with default CherryPy server. In order to boost performance it is necessary to use more powerfull server.

Let’s take intermediate step and serve Pootle by uWSGI.

First of all you’ll need to create wsgi.py file, because this file is missing in default Pootle installation. File: /var/www/pootle/wsgi.py

import os

# this part is only required when running from checkout instead of an install
    import sys
    ROOT_DIR = os.path.abspath(os.path.dirname(__file__))
    sys.path.insert(0, ROOT_DIR) # Top level directory
    import syspath_override
except ImportError:
    # not running from checkout

# comment the above lines if running from install

os.environ['DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE'] = 'pootle.settings'

import django.core.handlers.wsgi

application = django.core.handlers.wsgi.WSGIHandler()

You can start uWSGI server by following command:

uwsgi --socket --chdir /var/www/pootle/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pootle --wsgi-file wsgi.py --master --virtualenv /var/www/pootle/ --http ":9090"

This will create uWSGI server and you can test it by connecting to http://localhost:9090

Let’s take further step and configure Nginx to server Pootle. We can modify previous command, because we do not need to server it as http at port 9090:

uwsgi --socket --chdir /var/www/pootle/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pootle --wsgi-file wsgi.py --master --virtualenv /var/www/pootle/

Create webroot directory where you will put static assets, just to avoid information leackage. Store there symlinks to assets and static files.

mkdir /var/www/pootle/webroot
ln -s /var/www/pootle/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pootle/assets /var/www/pootle/webroot/
ln -s /var/www/pootle/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pootle/static /var/www/pootle/webroot/

Store configuration to /etc/nginx/sites-available and create symlink to /etc/nginx/sites-enabled. Configuration of site:

upstream emperor {

server {
  listen 80;
  server_name pootle.sinusgear.com;
  root /var/www/pootle/webroot;

  access_log /var/log/nginx/pootle.sinusgear.com_access.log;
  error_log /var/log/nginx/pootle.sinusgear.com_error.log;

  location / {
    location ~* ^.+\.$ {
      root /var/www/pootle/webroot/static/styles;
      expires 30d;
    try_files $uri @django;

  location @django {
    root /var/www/pootle;
    include uwsgi_params;
    uwsgi_param UWSGI_FASTROUTER_KEY $host;
    uwsgi_pass emperor;

  location = /robots.txt {
    root /var/www/pootle/webroot/static/;
    access_log off;

  location ~* ^.+\.py$ {
    return 404;

Reload Nginx and Pootle should be much faster :)

I recommend book Mastering Nginx. You can learn there much more about Nginx configuration.