Dockerizing Flask with Postgres, Gunicorn, and Traefik

Last updated June 18th, 2021

In this tutorial, we'll look at how to set up Flask with Postgres and Docker. For production environments, we'll add on Gunicorn, Traefik, and Let's Encrypt.

Contents

Project Setup

Start by creating a project directory:

$ mkdir flask-docker-traefik && cd flask-docker-traefik
$ python3.9 -m venv venv
$ source venv/bin/activate
(venv)$

Feel free to swap out virtualenv and Pip for Poetry or Pipenv. For more, review Modern Python Environments.

Then, create the following files and folders:

└── services
    └── web
        ├── manage.py
        ├── project
        │   └── __init__.py
        └── requirements.txt

Add Flask to requirements.txt:

Flask==2.0.1

Install the package from "services/web":

(venv)$ pip install -r requirements.txt

Next, let's create a simple Flask application in __init.py__:

from flask import Flask, jsonify

app = Flask(__name__)


@app.get("/")
def read_root():
    return jsonify(hello="world")

Then, to configure the Flask CLI tool to run and manage the app from the command line, add the following to services/web/manage.py:

from flask.cli import FlaskGroup

from project import app

cli = FlaskGroup(app)

if __name__ == "__main__":
    cli()

Here, we created a new FlaskGroup instance to extend the normal CLI with commands related to the Flask app.

Run the server from the "web" directory:

(venv)$ export FLASK_APP=project/__init__.py
(venv)$ python manage.py run

Navigate to 127.0.0.1:5000, you should see:

{
  "hello": "world"
}

Kill the server once done. Exit from the virtual environment, and remove it as well.

Docker

Install Docker, if you don't already have it, then add a Dockerfile to the "web" directory:

# pull the official docker image
FROM python:3.9.5-slim

# set work directory
WORKDIR /app

# set env variables
ENV PYTHONDONTWRITEBYTECODE 1
ENV PYTHONUNBUFFERED 1

# install dependencies
COPY requirements.txt .
RUN pip install -r requirements.txt

# copy project
COPY . .

So, we started with a slim-based Docker image for Python 3.9.5. We then set a working directory along with two environment variables:

  1. PYTHONDONTWRITEBYTECODE: Prevents Python from writing pyc files to disc (equivalent to python -B option)
  2. PYTHONUNBUFFERED: Prevents Python from buffering stdout and stderr (equivalent to python -u option)

Finally, we copied over the requirements.txt file, installed the dependencies, and copied over the Flask app itself.

Review Docker for Python Developers for more on structuring Dockerfiles as well as some best practices for configuring Docker for Python-based development.

Next, add a docker-compose.yml file to the project root:

version: '3.8'

services:
  web:
    build: ./services/web
    command: python manage.py run -h 0.0.0.0
    volumes:
      - ./services/web/:/app
    ports:
      - 5000:5000
    environment:
      - FLASK_APP=project/__init__.py
      - FLASK_ENV=development

Review the Compose file reference for info on how this file works.

Build the image:

$ docker-compose build

Once the image is built, run the container:

$ docker-compose up -d

Navigate to http://127.0.0.1:5000/ to again view the hello world sanity check.

Check for errors in the logs if this doesn't work via docker-compose logs -f.

Postgres

To configure Postgres, we need to add a new service to the docker-compose.yml file, set up Flask-SQLAlchemy, and install Psycopg2.

First, add a new service called db to docker-compose.yml:

version: '3.8'

services:
  web:
    build: ./services/web
    command: bash -c 'while !</dev/tcp/db/5432; do sleep 1; done; python manage.py run -h 0.0.0.0'
    volumes:
      - ./services/web/:/app
    ports:
      - 5000:5000
    environment:
      - FLASK_APP=project/__init__.py
      - FLASK_ENV=development
      - DATABASE_URL=postgresql://hello_flask:[email protected]:5432/hello_flask_dev
    depends_on:
      - db

  db:
    image: postgres:13-alpine
    volumes:
      - postgres_data:/var/lib/postgresql/data/
    environment:
      - POSTGRES_USER=hello_flask
      - POSTGRES_PASSWORD=hello_flask
      - POSTGRES_DB=hello_flask_dev

volumes:
  postgres_data:

To persist the data beyond the life of the container we configured a volume. This config will bind postgres_data to the "/var/lib/postgresql/data/" directory in the container.

We also added an environment key to define a name for the default database and set a username and password.

Review the "Environment Variables" section of the Postgres Docker Hub page for more info.

Take note of the new command in the web service:

bash -c 'while !</dev/tcp/db/5432; do sleep 1; done; python manage.py run -h 0.0.0.0'

while !</dev/tcp/db/5432; do sleep 1 will continue until Postgres is up. Once up, python manage.py run -h 0.0.0.0 runs.

Then, add a new file called config.py to the "project" directory, where we'll define environment-specific configuration variables:

import os


class Config(object):
    SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI = os.getenv("DATABASE_URL", "sqlite://")
    SQLALCHEMY_TRACK_MODIFICATIONS = False

Here, the database is configured based on the DATABASE_URL environment variable that we just defined. Take note of the default value.

Update __init__.py to pull in the config on init:

from flask import Flask, jsonify

app = Flask(__name__)
app.config.from_object("project.config.Config")


@app.get("/")
def read_root():
    return jsonify(hello="world")

Add Flask-SQLAlchemy and Psycopg2 to requirements.txt:

Flask==2.0.1
Flask-SQLAlchemy==2.5.1
psycopg2-binary==2.8.6

Update __init__.py again to create a new SQLAlchemy instance and define a database model:

from dataclasses import dataclass

from flask import Flask, jsonify
from flask_sqlalchemy import SQLAlchemy

app = Flask(__name__)
app.config.from_object("project.config.Config")
db = SQLAlchemy(app)


@dataclass
class User(db.Model):
    id: int = db.Column(db.Integer, primary_key=True)
    email: str = db.Column(db.String(120), unique=True, nullable=False)
    active: bool = db.Column(db.Boolean(), default=True, nullable=False)

    def __init__(self, email: str) -> None:
        self.email = email


@app.get("/")
def read_root():
    users = User.query.all()
    return jsonify(users)

Using the dataclass decorator on the database model helps us serialize the database objects.

Finally, update manage.py:

from flask.cli import FlaskGroup

from project import app, db

cli = FlaskGroup(app)


@cli.command("create_db")
def create_db():
    db.drop_all()
    db.create_all()
    db.session.commit()


if __name__ == "__main__":
    cli()

This registers a new command, create_db, to the CLI so that we can run it from the command line, which we'll use shortly to apply the model to the database.

Build the new image and spin up the two containers:

$ docker-compose up -d --build

Create the table:

$ docker-compose exec web python manage.py create_db

Get the following error?

sqlalchemy.exc.OperationalError: (psycopg2.OperationalError)
FATAL:  database "hello_flask_dev" does not exist

Run docker-compose down -v to remove the volumes along with the containers. Then, re-build the images, run the containers, and apply the migrations.

Ensure the users table was created:

$ docker-compose exec db psql --username=hello_flask --dbname=hello_flask_dev

psql (13.3)
Type "help" for help.

hello_flask_dev=# \l
                                        List of databases
      Name       |    Owner    | Encoding |  Collate   |   Ctype    |      Access privileges
-----------------+-------------+----------+------------+------------+-----------------------------
 hello_flask_dev | hello_flask | UTF8     | en_US.utf8 | en_US.utf8 |
 postgres        | hello_flask | UTF8     | en_US.utf8 | en_US.utf8 |
 template0       | hello_flask | UTF8     | en_US.utf8 | en_US.utf8 | =c/hello_flask             +
                 |             |          |            |            | hello_flask=CTc/hello_flask
 template1       | hello_flask | UTF8     | en_US.utf8 | en_US.utf8 | =c/hello_flask             +
                 |             |          |            |            | hello_flask=CTc/hello_flask
(4 rows)

hello_flask_dev=# \c hello_flask_dev
You are now connected to database "hello_flask_dev" as user "hello_flask".

hello_flask_dev=# \dt
          List of relations
 Schema | Name | Type  |    Owner
--------+------+-------+-------------
 public | user | table | hello_flask
(1 row)

hello_flask_dev=# \q

You can check that the volume was created as well by running:

$ docker volume inspect flask-docker-traefik_postgres_data

You should see something similar to:

[
    {
        "CreatedAt": "2021-06-05T14:12:52Z",
        "Driver": "local",
        "Labels": {
            "com.docker.compose.project": "flask-docker-traefik",
            "com.docker.compose.version": "1.29.1",
            "com.docker.compose.volume": "postgres_data"
        },
        "Mountpoint": "/var/lib/docker/volumes/flask-docker-traefik_postgres_data/_data",
        "Name": "flask-docker-traefik_postgres_data",
        "Options": null,
        "Scope": "local"
    }
]

Navigate to http://127.0.0.1:5000. The sanity check shows an empty list. That's because we haven't populated the users table. Let's add a CLI seed command for adding sample users to the users table in manage.py:

from flask.cli import FlaskGroup

from project import User, app, db

cli = FlaskGroup(app)


@cli.command("create_db")
def create_db():
    db.drop_all()
    db.create_all()
    db.session.commit()


@cli.command("seed_db") # new
def seed_db():
    db.session.add(User(email="[email protected]"))
    db.session.add(User(email="[email protected]"))
    db.session.commit()


if __name__ == "__main__":
    cli()

Try it out:

$ docker-compose exec web python manage.py seed_db

Navigate to http://127.0.0.1:5000 again. You should now see:

[
  {
    "active": true,
    "email": "[email protected]",
    "id": 1
  },
  {
    "active": true,
    "email": "[email protected]",
    "id": 2
  }
]

Gunicorn

Moving along, for production environments, let's add Gunicorn, a production-grade WSGI server, to the requirements file:

Flask==2.0.1
Flask-SQLAlchemy==2.5.1
gunicorn==20.1.0
psycopg2-binary==2.8.6

Since we still want to use Flask's built-in server in development, create a new compose file in the project root called docker-compose.prod.yml for production:

version: '3.8'

services:
  web:
    build: ./services/web
    command: bash -c 'while !</dev/tcp/db/5432; do sleep 1; done; gunicorn --bind 0.0.0.0:5000 manage:app'
    ports:
      - 5000:5000
    environment:
      - FLASK_APP=project/__init__.py
      - FLASK_ENV=production
      - DATABASE_URL=postgresql://hello_flask:[email protected]:5432/hello_flask_prod
    depends_on:
      - db
  db:
    image: postgres:13-alpine
    volumes:
      - postgres_data_prod:/var/lib/postgresql/data/
    environment:
      - POSTGRES_USER=hello_flask
      - POSTGRES_PASSWORD=hello_flask
      - POSTGRES_DB=hello_flask_prod

volumes:
  postgres_data_prod:

If you have multiple environments, you may want to look at using a docker-compose.override.yml configuration file. With this approach, you'd add your base config to a docker-compose.yml file and then use a docker-compose.override.yml file to override those config settings based on the environment.

Take note of the default command. We're running Gunicorn rather than the Flask development server. We also removed the volume from the web service since we don't need it in production.

Bring down the development containers (and the associated volumes with the -v flag):

$ docker-compose down -v

Then, build the production images and spin up the containers:

$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml up -d --build

Create the table and apply the seed:

$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml exec web python manage.py create_db
$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml exec web python manage.py seed_db

Verify that the hello_flask_prod database was created along with the users table. Test out http://127.0.0.1:5000/.

Again, if the container fails to start, check for errors in the logs via docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml logs -f.

Production Dockerfile

Create a new Dockerfile in the "web " directory called Dockerfile.prod for use with production builds:

###########
# BUILDER #
###########

# pull official base image
FROM python:3.9.5-slim as builder

# set work directory
WORKDIR /usr/src/app

# set environment variables
ENV PYTHONDONTWRITEBYTECODE 1
ENV PYTHONUNBUFFERED 1

# install system dependencies
RUN apt-get update && \
    apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends gcc

# lint
RUN pip install --upgrade pip
RUN pip install flake8==3.9.1
COPY . .
RUN flake8 --ignore=E501,F401 .

# install python dependencies
COPY ./requirements.txt .
RUN pip wheel --no-cache-dir --no-deps --wheel-dir /usr/src/app/wheels -r requirements.txt


#########
# FINAL #
#########

# pull official base image
FROM python:3.9.5-slim

# create directory for the app user
RUN mkdir -p /home/app

# create the app user
RUN addgroup --system app && adduser --system --group app

# create the appropriate directories
ENV HOME=/home/app
ENV APP_HOME=/home/app/web
RUN mkdir $APP_HOME
WORKDIR $APP_HOME

# install dependencies
RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends netcat
COPY --from=builder /usr/src/app/wheels /wheels
COPY --from=builder /usr/src/app/requirements.txt .
RUN pip install --upgrade pip
RUN pip install --no-cache /wheels/*

# copy project
COPY . $APP_HOME

# chown all the files to the app user
RUN chown -R app:app $APP_HOME

# change to the app user
USER app

Here, we used a Docker multi-stage build to reduce the final image size. Essentially, builder is a temporary image that's used for building the Python wheels. The wheels are then copied over to the final production image and the builder image is discarded.

You could take the multi-stage build approach a step further and use a single Dockerfile instead of creating two Dockerfiles. Think of the pros and cons of using this approach over two different files.

Did you notice that we created a non-root user? By default, Docker runs container processes as root inside of a container. This is a bad practice since attackers can gain root access to the Docker host if they manage to break out of the container. If you're root in the container, you'll be root on the host.

Update the web service within the docker-compose.prod.yml file to build with Dockerfile.prod:

web:
  build:
    context: ./services/web
    dockerfile: Dockerfile.prod
  command: bash -c 'while !</dev/tcp/db/5432; do sleep 1; done; gunicorn --bind 0.0.0.0:5000 manage:app'
  ports:
    - 5000:5000
  environment:
    - FLASK_APP=project/__init__.py
    - FLASK_ENV=production
    - DATABASE_URL=postgresql://hello_flask:[email protected]:5432/hello_flask_prod
  depends_on:
    - db

Try it out:

$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml down -v
$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml up -d --build
$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml exec web python manage.py create_db
$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml exec web python manage.py seed_db

Traefik

Next, let's add Traefik, a reverse proxy, into the mix.

New to Traefik? Check out the offical Getting Started guide.

Traefik vs Nginx: Traefik is a modern, HTTP reverse proxy and load balancer. It's often compared to Nginx, a web server and reverse proxy. Since Nginx is primarily a webserver, it can be used to serve up a webpage as well as serve as a reverse proxy and load balancer. In general, Traefik is simpler to get up and running while Nginx is more versatile.

Traefik:

  1. Reverse proxy and load balancer
  2. Automatically issues and renews SSL certificates, via Let's Encrypt, out-of-the-box
  3. Use Traefik for simple, Docker-based microservices

Nginx:

  1. Web server, reverse proxy, and load balancer
  2. Slightly faster than Traefik
  3. Use Nginx for complex services

Add a new folder called "traefik" to the "services" directory along with the following files:

traefik
├── Dockerfile.traefik
├── traefik.dev.toml
└── traefik.prod.toml

Your project structure should now look like this:

├── docker-compose.prod.yml
├── docker-compose.yml
└── services
    ├── traefik
    │   ├── Dockerfile.traefik
    │   ├── traefik.dev.toml
    │   └── traefik.prod.toml
    └── web
        ├── Dockerfile
        ├── Dockerfile.prod
        ├── manage.py
        ├── project
        │   ├── __init__.py
        │   └── config.py
        └── requirements.txt

Add the following to traefik.dev.toml:

# listen on port 80
[entryPoints]
  [entryPoints.web]
    address = ":80"

# Traefik dashboard over http
[api]
insecure = true

[log]
level = "DEBUG"

[accessLog]

# containers are not discovered automatically
[providers]
  [providers.docker]
    exposedByDefault = false

Here, since we don't want to expose the db service, we set exposedByDefault to false. To manually expose a service we can add the "traefik.enable=true" label to the Docker Compose file.

Next, update the docker-compose.yml file so that our web service is discovered by Traefik and add a new traefik service:

version: '3.8'

services:
  web:
    build: ./services/web
    command: bash -c 'while !</dev/tcp/db/5432; do sleep 1; done; python manage.py run -h 0.0.0.0'
    volumes:
      - ./services/web/:/app
    expose:  # new
      - 5000
    environment:
      - FLASK_APP=project/__init__.py
      - FLASK_ENV=development
      - DATABASE_URL=postgresql://hello_flask:[email protected]:5432/hello_flask_dev
    depends_on:
      - db
    labels:  # new
      - "traefik.enable=true"
      - "traefik.http.routers.flask.rule=Host(`flask.localhost`)"

  db:
    image: postgres:13-alpine
    volumes:
      - postgres_data:/var/lib/postgresql/data/
    environment:
      - POSTGRES_USER=hello_flask
      - POSTGRES_PASSWORD=hello_flask
      - POSTGRES_DB=hello_flask_dev

  traefik:  # new
    image: traefik:v2.2
    ports:
      - 80:80
      - 8081:8080
    volumes:
      - "./services/traefik/traefik.dev.toml:/etc/traefik/traefik.toml"
      - "/var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro"

volumes:
  postgres_data:

First, the web service is only exposed to other containers on port 5000. We also added the following labels to the web service:

  1. traefik.enable=true enables Traefik to discover the service
  2. traefik.http.routers.flask.rule=Host(`flask.localhost`) when the request has Host=flask.localhost, the request is redirected to this service

Take note of the volumes within the traefik service:

  1. ./services/traefik/traefik.dev.toml:/etc/traefik/traefik.toml maps the local config file to the config file in the container so that the settings are kept in sync
  2. /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro enables Traefik to discover other containers

To test, first bring down any existing containers:

$ docker-compose down -v
$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml down -v

Build the new development images and spin up the containers:

$ docker-compose up -d --build

Create the table and apply the seed:

$ docker-compose exec web python manage.py create_db
$ docker-compose exec web python manage.py seed_db

Navigate to http://flask.localhost. You should see:

[
  {
    "active": true,
    "email": "[email protected]",
    "id": 1
  },
  {
    "active": true,
    "email": "[email protected]",
    "id": 2
  }
]

You can test via cURL as well:

$ curl -H Host:flask.localhost http://0.0.0.0

Next, checkout the dashboard at http://flask.localhost:8081:

traefik dashboard

Bring the containers and volumes down once done:

$ docker-compose down -v

Let's Encrypt

We've successfully created a working example of Flask, Docker, and Traefik in development mode. For production, you'll want to configure Traefik to manage TLS certificates via Let's Encrypt. In short, Traefik will automatically contact the certificate authority to issue and renew certificates.

Since Let's Encrypt won't issue certificates for localhost, you'll need to spin up your production containers on a cloud compute instance (like a DigitalOcean droplet or an AWS EC2 instance). You'll also need a valid domain name. If you don't have one, you can create a free domain at Freenom.

We used a DigitalOcean droplet along with Docker machine to quickly provision a compute instance with Docker and deployed the production containers to test out the Traefik config. Check out the DigitalOcean example from the Docker docs for more on using Docker Machine to provision a droplet.

Assuming you configured a compute instance and set up a free domain, you're now ready to set up Traefik in production mode.

Start by adding a production version of the Traefik config to traefik.prod.toml:

[entryPoints]
  [entryPoints.web]
    address = ":80"
  [entryPoints.web.http]
    [entryPoints.web.http.redirections]
      [entryPoints.web.http.redirections.entryPoint]
        to = "websecure"
        scheme = "https"

  [entryPoints.websecure]
    address = ":443"

[accessLog]

[api]
dashboard = true

[providers]
  [providers.docker]
    exposedByDefault = false

[certificatesResolvers.letsencrypt.acme]
  email = "[email protected]"
  storage = "/certificates/acme.json"
  [certificatesResolvers.letsencrypt.acme.httpChallenge]
    entryPoint = "web"

Make sure to replace [email protected] with your actual email address.

What's happening here:

  1. entryPoints.web sets the entry point for our insecure HTTP application to port 80
  2. entryPoints.websecure sets the entry point for our secure HTTPS application to port 443
  3. entryPoints.web.http.redirections.entryPoint redirects all insecure requests to the secure port
  4. exposedByDefault = false unexposes all services
  5. dashboard = true enables the monitoring dashboard

Finally, take note of:

[certificatesResolvers.letsencrypt.acme]
  email = "[email protected]"
  storage = "/certificates/acme.json"
  [certificatesResolvers.letsencrypt.acme.httpChallenge]
    entryPoint = "web"

This is where the Let's Encrypt config lives. We defined where the certificates will be stored along with the verification type, which is an HTTP Challenge.

Next, assuming you updated your domain name's DNS records, create two new A records that both point at your compute instance's public IP:

  1. flask-traefik.your-domain.com - for the web service
  2. dashboard-flask-traefik.your-domain.com - for the Traefik dashboard

Make sure to replace your-domain.com with your actual domain.

Next, update docker-compose.prod.yml like so:

version: '3.8'

services:
  web:
    build:
      context: ./services/web
      dockerfile: Dockerfile.prod
    command: bash -c 'while !</dev/tcp/db/5432; do sleep 1; done; gunicorn --bind 0.0.0.0:5000 manage:app'
    expose:  # new
      - 5000
    environment:
      - FLASK_APP=project/__init__.py
      - FLASK_ENV=production
      - DATABASE_URL=postgresql://hello_flask:[email protected]:5432/hello_flask_prod
    depends_on:
      - db
    labels:  # new
      - "traefik.enable=true"
      - "traefik.http.routers.flask.rule=Host(`flask-traefik.your-domain.com`)"
      - "traefik.http.routers.flask.tls=true"
      - "traefik.http.routers.flask.tls.certresolver=letsencrypt"
  db:
    image: postgres:13-alpine
    volumes:
      - postgres_data_prod:/var/lib/postgresql/data/
    environment:
      - POSTGRES_USER=hello_flask
      - POSTGRES_PASSWORD=hello_flask
      - POSTGRES_DB=hello_flask_prod
  traefik:  # new
    build:
      context: ./services/traefik
      dockerfile: Dockerfile.traefik
    ports:
      - 80:80
      - 443:443
    volumes:
      - "/var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro"
      - "./traefik-public-certificates:/certificates"
    labels:
      - "traefik.enable=true"
      - "traefik.http.routers.dashboard.rule=Host(`dashboard-flask-traefik.your-domain.com`)"
      - "traefik.http.routers.dashboard.tls=true"
      - "traefik.http.routers.dashboard.tls.certresolver=letsencrypt"
      - "[email protected]"
      - "traefik.http.routers.dashboard.middlewares=auth"
      - "traefik.http.middlewares.auth.basicauth.users=testuser:$$apr1$$jIKW.bdS$$eKXe4Lxjgy/rH65wP1iQe1"

volumes:
  postgres_data_prod:
  traefik-public-certificates:

Again, make sure to replace your-domain.com with your actual domain.

What's new here?

In the web service, we added the following labels:

  1. traefik.http.routers.flask.rule=Host(`flask-traefik.your-domain.com`) changes the host to the actual domain
  2. traefik.http.routers.flask.tls=true enables HTTPS
  3. traefik.http.routers.flask.tls.certresolver=letsencrypt sets the certificate issuer as Let's Encrypt

Next, for the traefik service, we added the appropriate ports and a volume for the certificates directory. The volume ensures that the certificates persist even if the container is brought down.

As for the labels:

  1. traefik.http.routers.dashboard.rule=Host(`dashboard-flask-traefik.your-domain.com`) defines the dashboard host, so it can can be accessed at $Host/dashboard/
  2. traefik.http.routers.dashboard.tls=true enables HTTPS
  3. traefik.http.routers.dashboard.tls.certresolver=letsencrypt sets the certificate resolver to Let's Encrypt
  4. traefik.http.routers.dashboard.middlewares=auth enables HTTP BasicAuth middleware
  5. traefik.http.middlewares.auth.basicauth.users defines the username and hashed password for logging in

You can create a new password hash using the htpasswd utility:

# username: testuser
# password: password

$ echo $(htpasswd -nb testuser password) | sed -e s/\\$/\\$\\$/g
testuser:$$apr1$$jIKW.bdS$$eKXe4Lxjgy/rH65wP1iQe1

Feel free to use an env_file to store the username and password as environment variables

USERNAME=testuser
HASHED_PASSWORD=$$apr1$$jIKW.bdS$$eKXe4Lxjgy/rH65wP1iQe1

Update Dockerfile.traefik:

FROM traefik:v2.2

COPY ./traefik.prod.toml ./etc/traefik/traefik.toml

Next, spin up the new container:

$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml up -d --build

Create the table and apply the seed:

$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml exec web python manage.py create_db
$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.prod.yml exec web python manage.py seed_db

Ensure the two URLs work:

  1. https://flask-traefik.your-domain.com
  2. https://dashboard-flask-traefik.your-domain.com/dashboard/

Also, make sure that when you access the HTTP versions of the above URLs, you're redirected to the HTTPS versions.

Finally, Let's Encrypt certificates have a validity of 90 days. Treafik will automatically handle renewing the certificates for you behind the scenes, so that's one less thing you'll have to worry about!

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we walked through how to containerize a Flask application with Postgres for development. We also created a production-ready Docker Compose file, set up Traefik and Let's Encrypt to serve the application via HTTPS, and enabled a secure dashboard to monitor our services.

In terms of actual deployment to a production environment, you'll probably want to use a:

  1. Fully-managed database service -- like RDS or Cloud SQL -- rather than managing your own Postgres instance within a container.
  2. Non-root user for the services

You can find the code in the flask-docker-traefik repo.

Amal Shaji

Amal Shaji

Amal is a full-stack developer interested in deep learning for computer vision and autonomous vehicles. He enjoys working with Python, PyTorch, Go, FastAPI, and Docker. He writes to learn and is a professional introvert.

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