Installing Askbot on AWS

AWS is a moving target. Some docs are over 4 years old. Below are my notes. Before you read further, I would like to point out that I abandoned this approach because I found Elastic Beanstalk to be too frustrating.

AskBot is an open source, Django based question and answer platform, similar to Stackoverflow. Here are some useful links:

What sets my install apart from those is I want to use Django 1.5 and I want to use Postgresql.

If you scan through the AWS guide, you will see that it requires Ruby in addition to Python. That seems messed up. The purpose of this is to run the eb command line tool. If you look at the page for the eb tool, as of 2014-04-21 Ruby is no longer required.

Install Elastic Beanstalk CLI (eb command)

Download the source from here. Easy enough. But the install instructions in README.txt tell you to add “eb” to your path. Problem is there are several eb files. What worked for me is to add the dir that contains the eb file you want. I use Python 2.7, so my path command was:

export PATH=$PATH:/home/AWS-ElasticBeanstalk-CLI-2.6.2/eb/linux/python2.7

CD into repo root. Run:

eb init

Most of the answers to the questions you will get are pretty straight forward. One that might throw you is environment tier. Choose


Then run

eb start

Chris Gagne said that, among other things, eb start would create the folder .ebextensions in the repo root. This did not happen for me, so I created it manually. I added the file askbot.conf using the content here as a template.

I continued to follow Chris Gagne’s blog through using aws.git to post the code. The odd thing was my apps were not showing up on the AWS console. Turns out I had the console pointing at the wrong region of the world.

Several Hours Later

I am giving up on EB. I am going to try the approach given by Ashok Fernandez.


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