Deployment in production

In this section we assume you have your webservice all configured and working fine in development mode. The next step is to move it into production mode, i.e. the final deployment on a webserver of your choice.

Warning

Running with the built-in development server is not recommended for production as it offers sub-optimal performance, scalability, and security.

It is assumed you used the clamnewproject tool, as explained in Getting Started, to get started with your project. It generated various example configurations for production environments you can use.

Amongst the generated scripts is a WSGI script (recognisable by the wsgi extension). WSGI is a calling convention for web servers to call Python applications and this script provides the initial entry-point, you most likely don’t need to edit it. Serving the python application is handled by uWSGI, which you can install (within your Python virtual environment) as follows:

$ pip install uwsgi

Your webservice project contains an ini file that provides the configuration for uwsgi to launch your webservice. You can read the uWSGI Documentation for a full understanding, but the generated template is commented and should generally be enough to get you going.

The uWSGI configuration is specific to the host you are running on so you will need to edit this ini file according to your server. It contains the port the uWSGI process should listen on (note that this is by definition a different port than the HTTP/HTTPS port you use to access your webserver!). The shell script startserver_production.sh in turn starts the uWSGI process with your webservice.

The next step is to forward requests from your webserver to this uWSGI process. Example configurations for nginx and Apache have been generated automatically, adapt these and include them in your webserver configuration. There are example configurations with a URLPREFIX, i.e. when you are not hosting the webservice at the webserver root, and without. Choose the one appropriate for your environment.

To use uWSGI with Apache, you need to install and enable the WSGI proxy module for Apache 2. On Debian/Ubuntu systems, this is installed as follows:

$ sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-proxy-uwsgi

Apache configurations typically go into /etc/apache2/sites-enabled, within a VirtualHost context.

For nginx, uWSGI support should already be compiled in. Configurations are commonly stored in /etc/nginx/conf.d/. We assume the reader has sufficient experience with the webserver of his/her choice, and refer to the respective webserver’s documentation for further details.

Warning

It is always recommended to add some form of authentication or more restrictive access. You can either let CLAM handle authentication (HTTP Basic or Digest Authentication or OAuth2), or you can let your webserver itself handle authentication and not use CLAM’s authentication mechanism.

You will also need to configure your firewall so the port of the uwsgi process (as configured in the ini file), is NOT open to the public, and only the HTTP/HTTPS port is.

Alternative deployment on Apache 2 with mod_wsgi

As an alternative to using Apache with uWSGI, you can use the older mod_wsgi module. For this you do not need the uwsgi configuration (the ini file), nor the startserver_production.sh script.

  1. Install mod_wsgi for Apache 2, if not already present on the system. In Debian and Ubuntu this is available as a package named libapache2-mod-wsgi for Python 2 and libapache2-mod-wsgi-py3 for Python 3. The latter is recommended for CLAM, but you can only have one installed at the same time.

  2. Configure Apache to let it know about WSGI and your service. I assume the reader is acquainted with basic Apache configuration and will only elaborate on the specifics for CLAM. Adapt and add the following to any of your sites in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled (or optionally directly in httpd.conf), within any VirtualHost context. Here it is assumed you configured your service configuration file with URLPREFIX set to “yourservice”.

    WSGIScriptAlias /yourwebservice \
     /path/to/yourwebservice/yourwebservice.wsgi/
    WSGIDaemonProcess yourwebservice user=username group=groupname \
        home=/path/to/yourwebservice threads=15 maximum-requests=10000
    WSGIProcessGroup yourservice
    WSGIPassAuthorization On
    Alias /yourwebservice/static \
      /usr/lib/python3.4/site-packages/clam-2.1-py3.4.egg/clam/static
    <Directory /path/to/clam/static/>
       Order deny,allow
       Allow from all
    </Directory>
    

    The WSGIScriptAlias and WSGIDaemonProcess directives go on one line, but were wrapped here for presentational purposes. Needless to say, all paths need to be adapted according to your setup and the configuration can be extended further as desired. Make sure to adapt the static alias to where CLAM is installed and where the directory is found, this depends on your installation and versions and is subject to change on an upgrade.

  3. It is always recommended to add some form of authentication or more restrictive access. You can either let CLAM handle authentication (HTTP Basic or Digest Authentication or OAuth2), in which case you need to set WSGIPassAuthorization On, as by default it is disabled, or you can let Apache itself handle authentication and not use CLAM’s authentication mechanism.

  4. Restart Apache.

Note that we run WSGI in Daemon mode using the WSGIDaemonProcess and WSGIProcessGroup directives, as opposed to embedded mode. This is the recommended way of using mod_wsgi, and is even mandatory when using HTTP Basic/Digest Authentication. Whenever any code changes are made, simply touch the WSGI file (updating its modification time), and the changes will be immediately available. Embedded mode would require an apache restart when modifications are made, and it may also lead to problems with the HTTP Digest Authentication as authentication keys (nonces) may not be retainable in memory due to constant reloads. Again I’d like to emphasise that for authentication the line WSGIPassAuthorization On is vital, as otherwise user credentials will never each CLAM.

For the specific options to the WSGIDaemonProcess directive you can check http://code.google.com/p/modwsgi/wiki/ConfigurationDirectives. Important settings are the user and group the daemon will run as, the home directory it will run in. The number of threads, processes, and maximum-requests can also be configured to optimise performance and system resources according to your needs.

Deploying CLAM with other webservers

The above configurations with Apache and Nginx are just the configurations we tested. Other webservers (such as for example lighttpd), should work too.

See also

For configuration of authentication, see User Authentication.