AWS Setup

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides the preferred hosting for the SEED Platform.

seed is a Django Project and Django’s documentation is an excellent place for general understanding of this project’s layout.


Ubuntu server 14.04 or newer.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install -y libpq-dev python-dev python-pip libatlas-base-dev \
gfortran build-essential g++ npm libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev git mercurial \
libssl-dev curl uwsgi-core uwsgi-plugin-python

PostgreSQL and Redis are not included in the above commands. For a quick installation on AWS it is okay to install PostgreSQL and Redis locally on the AWS instance. If a more permanent and scalable solution, it is recommended to use AWS’s hosted Redis (ElastiCache) and PostgreSQL service.


postgresql >=9.4 is required to support `JSON Type`_

# To install PostgreSQL and Redis locally
sudo apt-get install redis-server
sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Dependencies

The following AWS services are used for SEED:

  • RDS (PostgreSQL >=9.4)
  • ElastiCache (redis)
  • SES

Python Dependencies

Clone the SEED repository from github

$ git clone

enter the repo and install the python dependencies from requirements

$ cd seed
$ sudo pip install -r requirements/local.txt

JavaScript Dependencies

npm is required to install the JS dependencies. The bin/ script will download all JavaScript dependencies and build them. bower and gulp should be installed globally for convenience.

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential
$ sudo apt-get install curl
$ sudo npm install -g bower gulp
$ bin/

Database Configuration

Copy the file in the config/settings directory to config/settings/, and add a DATABASES configuration with your database username, password, host, and port. Your database configuration can point to an AWS RDS instance or a PostgreSQL 9.4 database instance you have manually installed within your infrastructure.

# Database
    'default': {
        'NAME': 'seed',
        'USER': '',
        'PASSWORD': '',
        'HOST': '',
        'PORT': '',

In the above database configuration, seed is the database name, this is arbitrary and any valid name can be used as long as the database exists.

create the database within the postgres psql shell:


or from the command line:

createdb seed

create the database tables and migrations:

python syncdb
python migrate

create a superuser to access the system

$ python create_default_user --organization=example --password=demo123


Every user must be tied to an organization, visit /app/#/profile/admin as the superuser to create parent organizations and add users to them.

Cache and Message Broker

The SEED project relies on redis for both cache and message brokering, and is available as an AWS ElastiCache service. should be updated with the CACHES and CELERY_BROKER_URL settings.

    'default': {
        'BACKEND': 'redis_cache.cache.RedisCache',
        'LOCATION': "",
        'OPTIONS': { 'DB': 1 },
        'TIMEOUT': 300
CELERY_BROKER_URL = 'redis://'

Running Celery the Background Task Worker

Celery is used for background tasks (saving data, matching, creating projects, etc) and must be connected to the message broker queue. From the project directory, celery can be started:

celery -A seed worker -l INFO -c 2 -B --events --maxtasksperchild 1000

Running the Development Web Server

The Django dev server (not for production use) can be a quick and easy way to get an instance up and running. The dev server runs by default on port 8000 and can be run on any port. See Django’s runserver documentation for more options.

$ ./ runserver

Running a Production Web Server

Our recommended web server is uwsgi sitting behind nginx. The bin/ script can been created to start uwsgi assuming your Ubuntu user is named ubuntu.

Also, static assets will need to be moved to S3 for production use. The bin/post_compile script contains a list of commands to move assets to S3.

$ bin/post_compile
$ bin/start_uwsgi

The following environment variables can be set within the ~/.bashrc file to override default Django settings.

export SENTRY_DSN=
export DEBUG=False
export ONLY_HTTPS=True