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Google App Engine, Python and Ubuntu

In my search of free Python hosting I found the Google App Engine. This service is free of charge as long you don’t exceed a quota. The Ubuntu Translation Tool is pretty lightweight, so it uses a just a fraction of the limit. I had a little problem with installing the development server. I’ll tell  about my journey and give a solution for the problem I encountered.

First some info from  Google about the App Engine and it’s environment:

With App Engine‘s Python runtime environment, you can implement your app using the Python programming language, and run it on an optimized Python interpreter. App Engine includes rich APIs and tools for Python web application development, including a feature rich data modeling API, an easy-to-use web application framework, and tools for managing and accessing your app’s data. You can also take advantage of a wide variety of mature libraries and frameworks for Python web application development, such as Django.

Naturally, it would be too good to be true when everything would work just out of the box. When I tried to run the Development Server it shows some errors and failed. When I tried to deploy my code to the productions server it worked! So far so good. But with the drawback that I need to deploy every time I want to see the impact of my change of code.

At the moment I develop on Ubuntu lucid which is shipped with Python 2.6 and the App Engine runs on Python 2.5. I installed (unpacked) the app engine in ~/opt. When I tried to start the development server  the error was something like:

ERROR] Could not find version file at

Luckily, the folowing command solved my problem:

sudo cp VERSION /usr/lib/pymodules/python2.6/

Now I can test my code on my workstation before deploying it :)


There’s an overview of the quota’s on wikipedia. And detailed information can be found here:

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One Response

  1. hoang says

    Thank you. This helped me.

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