Debian / Ubuntu Linux Apache mod_python Configuration

by on March 16, 2009 · 11 comments· LAST UPDATED March 16, 2009

in , ,

I've installed a Web server (Apache2) and like to use Python interpreter correctly. How do I configure mod_python under Debian or Ubuntu Linux running Apache server version 2.x?

You need to install the following software:

a] libapache2-mod-python : Mod_python is a module that embeds the Python language interpreter within the server, allowing Apache handlers to be written in Python. Mod_python brings together the versatility of Python and the power of the Apache Web server for a considerable boost in flexibility and performance over the traditional CGI approach.

b] Apache2 webserver.

Install mod_python

Open terminal and type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-python libapache2-mod-python-doc

Configure mod_python

You need to create directory to host your python scripts. Type the following command:
$ sudo mkdir /var/www/py
Give your account permission to access the scripts:
$ sudo chown yourname:www-data /var/www/py
Now, open /etc/apache2/sites-available/default, enter:
$ sudo -s
# vi /etc/apache2/sites-available/default

Add the following config code:

   <Directory /var/www/py>
        AddHandler mod_python .py
        PythonHandler hello
        PythonDebug On

Save and close the file. Restart Apache2 server:
# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
# tail -f /var/log/apache2/error.log

You should see mod_python/3.3.1 Python/2.5.2 loaded:

[Tue Mar 17 02:42:18 2009] [notice] FastCGI: process manager initialized (pid 15572)
[Tue Mar 17 02:42:18 2009] [notice] mod_python: Creating 8 session mutexes based on 150 max processes and 0 max threads.
[Tue Mar 17 02:42:18 2009] [notice] mod_python: using mutex_directory /tmp
[Tue Mar 17 02:42:18 2009] [notice] Apache/2.2.9 (Ubuntu) mod_fastcgi/2.4.6 PHP/5.2.6-2ubuntu4.1 with Suhosin-Patch mod_python/3.3.1 Python/2.5.2 mod_perl/2.0.4 Perl/v5.10.0 configured -- resuming normal operations

How do I test mod_python?

Simply create the script as follows:
$ vi /var/www/py/
The following simple mod_python program serves as a good test:

from mod_python import apache
def handler(req):
        req.content_type = 'text/html'
        req.write('<html><head><title>Testing mod_python</title></head><body>')
        req.write('Hello World!')
        return apache.OK

Save and close the file. Now fire a webbrowser and type the url:
You hould see "Hello World!" on screen.

Further readings:

This is just getting started tutorial and setting up the Python interpreter correctly. I recommend getting mod_python book or refer to Python Language Website.

Tweet itFacebook itG+ itDownload PDF versionFound an error/typo on this page?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ronny Pfannschmidt March 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm

the biggest misstake of all is to use mod_python for anything new – mod_wsgi is there, use it, its the standard


2 Bruno February 4, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Hello friend, congratulations for the article, was excellent, I was killing me to install mod_python and you explained in a clear and objective.



3 Larry Delaney February 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I followed your installation procedures carefully. However, when I ask for the from a browser I get the download menu asking me if I want to save or execute the file rather than getting a web page. How can I fix this? Any suggestions?

During installation the error.log was OK. The chown worked OK also.


4 Larry Delaney February 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Sorry, false alarm, I was able to figure this out myself. Just another stupid mistake. Thanks anyway.


5 vincent January 17, 2014 at 8:45 am

I have the same problem, my browser ask me if I want download or open the file. How could you fix the problem ?? Thanks


6 Marcelo Martinovic May 16, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Excelent, very easy !!!!! Thanks from Argentina !!!


7 Önder Kalacı May 21, 2011 at 6:33 am

It’s great, thank you very much


8 bellszhu August 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm

i have question!!
Syntax error on line 44 of /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default:
Invalid command ‘PythonHandler’, perhaps misspelled or defined by a module not included in the server configuration
Action ‘configtest’ failed.
The Apache error log may have more information.


9 pc-moon September 17, 2011 at 12:03 am

its great thank u so much

hope god bless u


10 serina November 4, 2011 at 2:45 am

greate,thanks so much


11 Maui1983 August 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm



Leave a Comment

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , ,

Previous Faq:

Next Faq: