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Setup Django on Mac

February 2015

I took some notes as I set-up Django and Python on a new Macbook running MacOS Yosemite (10.10). By following these steps, you’ll have the best tools available - as far as I know - to code some Django apps.
I’ve written this in 2015, for the 2020 versions, follow this link.

For most required applications you can use PIP, MacPorts, Python sources, etc. As a result, you might end-up with a massive mess ! To avoid any issue, I’m using PIP & VirtualEnv so I can easily manage multiple Django projects. To do so, the easiest is to get started with Brew.

The libraries to install

A typical Django project requires:

To cover these requirements and more, we are going to install:

  1. F.lux (for your eyes & brain !)
  2. Brew (MacOs package manager)
  3. Git - via Brew (revision control)
  4. Python with PIP - via Brew (PIP is the python package manager)
  5. virtualenvwrapper - to make it easy to setup & use multiple projects
  6. LESS & SASS (CSS stuffs)
  7. PostgreSQL
  8. Pycharm - an awesome Python IDE

Even though you don’t necessarily need all of these applications / libraries right now, you’ll need them at some point.

F.lux - fixes blue light. This has nothing to do with Django but I consider this application to be a must have. It’s a really quick download & install.

“f.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.”

Download F.lux

2.Brew - package manager

Open up your terminal (in the Finder it is under: Applications/Utilities/Terminal) and type:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Then in ~/.profile add the path that will be used by applications installed via brew:

export PATH=/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/sbin:$PATH

3.Git - revision control

In your terminal:

brew install git

4.Python with PIP

In your terminal (this will take a couple of minutes):

brew install python

You can now try to type pip in your terminal, it should work.


In your terminal (this will take a couple of minutes):

pip install virtualenvwrapper
mkdir -p ~/Envs
vi ~/.profile

In ~/.profile add:

export WORKON_HOME=~/Envs
source /usr/local/bin/

For more information, see VirtualenvWrapper official documentation .


In your terminal:

brew install npm
npm install less -global
sudo gem install sass


For Postgres, I find it easier to use PostgresApp. First download it and then add it to your path so Django can find it.

Download PostgresApp

In ~/profile add:

export PATH=$PATH:/Applications/

Your ~/.profile should look like this:

export PATH=/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/sbin:$PATH
export WORKON_HOME=~/Envs
source /usr/local/bin/
export PATH=$PATH:/Applications/`


PyCharm is a fantastic IDE. You can try the professional edition for a month for free.

Download PyCharm

Et voilà !

You can finally create a virtual environment and install Django. You can also use Git, Postgres, SASS & LESS.

mkvirtualenv myapp
pip install Django