Python, Django, MySQL & Win 7

When starting to learn Python and Django, my goal was to set up a robust development environment similar to what we use at National Priorities Project: isolated virtual environments, MySQL, and tools like pip and iPython. Stubbornly, I resolved to make it all work on Windows.

I achieved the goal, but not without a lot pain. If you’re a Windows user getting started with Python/Django, you might have an easier time installing a virtual Linux machine.

Here’s a re-cap of the Windows-specific instructions for installing Python, Django, MySQL, and a few necessary packages and tools.

Parting thoughts:
  • I abandoned the Cygwin approach after running into trouble with Cygwin’s Python install vs the Windows Python install.
  • People have good things to say about ActivePython as a tool to help Python developers to avoid headaches.

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4 Responses to Python, Django, MySQL & Win 7

  1. Mike February 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Thanks for this detailed manual. Can you recommend any dJango “hello world” tutorials to begin with?

  2. Becky February 21, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Thanks for the note, Mike. I actually found that the tutorials on Django’s documentation page were quite helpful. Part 1 is here:

    I also liked The Definitive Guide to Django: Web Development Done Right, which I borrowed from a co-worker. It was, however, written for an older version of Django (1.1):

  3. Matt March 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm #


    Thanks for the detailed dummies guide to setting up django with MySQL.

    I was struggling for a week to set up my system, until I came across your blog.

    You really helped my out.


  1. Revisiting Python on Windows | Computers are for People - July 8, 2014

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