DEV Community

Mpho Mphego
Mpho Mphego

Posted on • Originally published at on

How I Setup A Private Local PyPI Server Using Docker And Ansible. [Continues]


The Story

This post continues from How I Setup A Private PyPI Server Using Docker And Ansible

In this post, I will try to detail how to set up a private local PyPI server using Docker And Ansible.


Deploy/destroy devpi server running in Docker container using a single command.

The How

After my initial research, I wanted to ensure that the deployment is deterministic and the PyPI repository can be torn down and recreated ad-hoc by a single command. In our case, a simple make pypi deploys an instance of PyPI server through an Ansible playbook.

According to the docs:

Ansible Playbooks offer a repeatable, re-usable, simple configuration management and multi-machine deployment system, one that is well suited to deploying complex applications. If you need to execute a task with Ansible more than once, write a playbook and put it under source control. Then you can use the playbook to push out new configuration or confirm the configuration of remote systems.

A basic Ansible playbook:

  • Selects machines to execute against from inventory
  • Connects to those machines (or network devices, or other managed nodes), usually over SSH
  • Copies one or more modules to the remote machines and starts execution there

You can read more about Ansible here

The Walk-through

The setup is divided into two sections, Containerization and Automation.

This post-walk-through mainly focuses on automation. Go here for the containerisation.


I didn't want the post to be too long.

Post continues here


See The How for the justification of opting for Ansible for the automation.


If you already have Ansible installed and configured you can skip this step else you can search for your installation methods.

python3 -m pip install ansible paramiko
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Ensure dependency plugins have been installed as well.

ansible-galaxy collection install \
    ansible.posix \
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Directory Structure

In this section, I will go through each file in our pypi_server directory, which houses the configurations.

├── ansible.cfg
├── ansible-requirements-freeze.txt
├── host_inventory
├── Makefile
├── roles
│   └── pypi_server
│      ├── defaults
│      │    └── main.yml
│      ├── files
│      │    └──
│      ├── tasks
│      │    └── main.yml
│      └── templates
│           └── nginx-pypi.conf.j2
└── up_pypi.yml
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
Ansible Configuration

Certain settings in Ansible are adjustable via a configuration file (ansible.cfg). The stock configuration is sufficient for most users, but in our case, we wanted certain configurations. Below is a sample of our ansible.cfg

cat >> ansible.cfg << EOF


Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

If installing Ansible from a package manager such as apt, the latest ansible.cfg file should be present in /etc/ansible.

If you installed Ansible from pip or the source, you may want to create this file to override default settings in Ansible.

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
Selecting machine to run your commands from inventory

Ansible reads information about which machines you want to manage from your inventory. Although you can pass an IP address to an ad hoc command, you need inventory to take advantage of the full flexibility and repeatability of Ansible.

cat >> host_inventory << EOF
vagrant ansible_host= ansible_user=root ansible_become=yes

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

For this post, I will be using a Vagrant box.

According to the docs:

Vagrant is a tool for building and managing virtual machine environments in a single workflow. With an easy-to-use workflow and focus on automation, Vagrant lowers development environment setup time, increases production parity, and makes the "works on my machine" excuse a relic of the past.

Vagrant will isolate dependencies and their configuration within a single disposable, consistent environment, without sacrificing any of the tools you are used to working with (editors, browsers, debuggers, etc.).

Below is a Vagrantfile, used for local development which you may use, you would just need to run vagrant up and everything is installed and configured for you to work.

cat >> Vagrantfile << EOF
# -*- mode: ruby -*-
# vi: set ft=ruby :
# set up the default terminal

Vagrant.configure(2) do |config| = "opensuse/Leap-15.2.x86_64"

    config.ssh.username = 'root'
    config.ssh.password = 'vagrant'
    config.ssh.insert_key = 'true' "private_network", ip: "" "forwarded_port", guest: 3141, host: 3141 # devpi Access

    # consifure the parameters for VirtualBox provider
    config.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |vb|
        vb.memory = "1024"
        vb.cpus = 1
        vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--ioapic", "on"]
    config.vm.provision "shell", inline: <<-SHELL
      zypper --non-interactive install python3 python3-setuptools python3-pip
      zypper --non-interactive install docker
      systemctl enable docker
      usermod -G docker -a $USER
      systemctl restart docker
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Thereafter run the following command which allows you to install an SSH key on a remote server's authorized keys and it facilitates SSH key login, which removes the need for a password for each login, thus ensuring a password-less, automatic login process.

# password: vagrant
ssh-copy-id vagrant@
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Once the vagrant box is up, use the ping module to ping all the nodes in your inventory:

ansible all -m ping
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

You should see output for each host in your inventory, similar to the image below:

Ansible Roles

According to the docs:

Roles let you automatically load related vars, files, tasks, handlers, and other Ansible artefacts based on a known file structure. After you group your content into roles, you can easily reuse them and share them with other users.

An Ansible role has a defined directory structure with eight main standard directories. You must include at least one of these directories in each role. You can omit any directories the role does not use.

Using the ansible-galaxy CLI tool that comes bundled with Ansible, you can create a role with the init command. For example, the following will create a role directory structure called pypi_server in the current working directory:

ansible-galaxy init pypi_server
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

See Directory Structure above.

By default Ansible will look in each directory within a role for a main.ymlfile for relevant content:

  • defaults/main.yml: default variables for the role.
  • files/main.yml: files that the role deploys.
  • handlers/main.yml: handlers, which may be used within or outside this role.
  • meta/main.yml: metadata for the role, including role dependencies.
  • tasks/main.yml: the main list of tasks that the role executes.
  • templates/main.yml: templates that the role deploys.
  • vars/main.yml: other variables for the role.


We defined our playbook which deploys the PyPI server below.

cat >> up_pypi.yml <<EOF
- name: configure and deploy a PyPI server
  hosts: pypi_server
    - role: pypi_server
        fqdn: # Fully qualified domain name
        fqdn_port: 80
        host_ip: "{{ hostvars[groups['pypi_server'][0]].ansible_default_ipv4.address }}"
        nginx_reverse_proxy: reverse_proxy
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

I found these posts relevant to the way we set up our nginx_reverse_proxy:



This is a simple tester for PyPI upload procedures. I modified simple_test package that was downloaded from



These are default variables for the role and they have the lowest priority of any variables available and can be easily overridden by any other variable, including inventory variables. They are used as default variables in the tasks

cat >> defaults/main.yml << EOF
container_name : pypi_server
base_image : << Your Docker Registry>>/pypi_server:latest

devpi_client_ver: '5.2.2'

devpi_port: 3141
devpi_user: devpi
devpi_group: devpi

devpi_folder_home: ./.devpi
devpi_nginx: /var/data/nginx

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode


In this main.yml file we have a list of tasks that the role executes in sequence (and the whole play fails if any of these tasks fail):

  • Install apt and python packages.
    • Update apt cache and install python3-pip.
    • Install ansible-docker dependencies.
  • Start devpi and configure nginx routings.
    • Start devpi server on docker container.
    • Pause for 30 seconds to ensure server is up.
    • Confirm if docker container is up.
    • Create PyPI user and an index.
    • Template nginx reverse proxy config.
    • Check if nginx reverse proxy is up.
    • Reload nginx reverse proxy.
  • Check if PyPI server is running!
    • Install python dependencies locally in a virtual environment.
    • Check if devpi index is up and confirm nginx routing!
    • Login to devpi as PyPI user.
    • Find path to simple-test package.
    • Upload simple-test package to devpi.
    • Check if package was uploaded.
    • Install python package from PyPI server.
    • Garbage cleaning.

Note: These tasks are executed on the remote server, in this case, a vagrant box.

Below is the main.yml which details the configuration, deployment and testing of the PyPI server (in a vagrant box).

cat >> tasks/main.yml << EOF
- name: Install apt and python packages
  - name: update apt-cache and install python3-pip.
      name: python3-pip
      state: latest
      update_cache: yes

  - name: install ansible-docker dependencies.
      name: docker-py
      state: present

  become: yes
  tags: [devpi, packages]

- name: start devpi and configure Nginx routings
  - name: start devpi server on the docker container.
      name: "{{ container_name }}"
      image: "{{ base_image }}"
      - "{{ devpi_folder_home }}:/root/.devpi"
      - "{{ devpi_port }}:{{ devpi_port }}"
      restart_policy: on-failure
      restart_retries: 10
      state: started

  - name: pause for 30 seconds to ensure server is up.
      seconds: 30

  - name: "confirm if {{ container_name }} docker is up"
      name: "{{ container_name }}"
      image: "{{ base_image }}"
      state: present

  - name: create pypi user and an index.
    shell: "docker exec -ti {{ container_name }} /bin/bash -c '/data/'"
    register: command_output
    failed_when: "'Error' in command_output.stderr"

  - name: template nginx reverse proxy config
      src: "nginx-pypi.conf.j2"
      dest: "{{ devpi_nginx }}/{{ fqdn }}.conf"

  - name: "check if {{ nginx_reverse_proxy }} is up"
      name: "{{ nginx_reverse_proxy }}"
    register: result

  - name: "reload {{ nginx_reverse_proxy }}: nginx service"
    shell: "docker exec -ti {{ nginx_reverse_proxy }} bash -c 'service nginx reload'"
    when: result.exists

  - name: pause for 30 seconds to ensure nginx is reloaded.
      seconds: 30

  tags: [docker, nginx]

- name: check if pypi server is running!
  delegate_to: localhost
  connection: local
  - name: install python dependencies locally in a virtual environment
      name: devpi-client
      version: "{{ devpi_client_ver }}"
      virtualenv: /tmp/venv
      virtualenv_python: python3
      state: present

  - name: "check if devpi's index is up and confirm nginx routing!"
    shell: "/tmp/venv/bin/devpi use http://{{ fqdn }}/pypi/trusty"

  - name: login to devpi as pypi user
    shell: "/tmp/venv/bin/devpi login pypi --password="

  - name: find path to simple-test package
      paths: "."
      patterns: '*.zip'
      recurse: yes
    register: output

  - name: upload simple-test package to devpi
    shell: "/tmp/venv/bin/devpi upload {{ output.files[0]['path'] }}"

  - name: check if package was uploaded
    shell: "/tmp/venv/bin/devpi test simple-test"

  - name: install python package from pypi server
      name: pip
      virtualenv: /tmp/venv
      extra_args: >
        -i  http://{{ fqdn }}/pypi/trusty
        --trusted-host {{ fqdn }}

  - name: garbage cleaning
      path: "/tmp/venv"
      state: absent

  tags: [tests]
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode


Ansible uses Jinja2 templating to enable dynamic expressions and access to variables.

Below is an Nginx templated config file used for routing from localhost to a dedicated FQDN (Fully qualified domain name

cat >> nginx-pypi.conf.j2 <<EOF
server {
    server_name {{ fqdn }};
    listen 80;

    gzip             on;
    gzip_min_length  2000;
    gzip_proxied     any;
    gzip_types       application/json;

    proxy_read_timeout 60s;
    client_max_body_size 70M;

    # set to where your devpi-server state is on the filesystem
    root {{ devpi_folder_home }};

    # try serving static files directly
    location ~ /\+f/ {
        # workaround to pass non-GET/HEAD requests through to the named location below
        error_page 418 = @proxy_to_app;
        if ($request_method !~ (GET)|(HEAD)) {
            return 418;

        expires max;
        try_files /+files$uri @proxy_to_app;
    # try serving docs directly
    location ~ /\+doc/ {
        # if the --documentation-path option of devpi-web is used,
        # then the root must be set accordingly here
        root {{ devpi_folder_home }};
        try_files $uri @proxy_to_app;
    location / {
        # workaround to pass all requests to / through to the named location below
        error_page 418 = @proxy_to_app;
        return 418;
    location @proxy_to_app {
        proxy_pass http://{{ host_ip }}:{{ devpi_port }};
        proxy_set_header X-outside-url $scheme://$http_host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode


Below is a snippet from our Makefile, which makes it a lot easier to install dependencies and set up a PyPI server. This means that instead of typing the whole pip or ansible-playbook commands to install dependencies and bring up a PyPI server, we can run something like:

make install_pkgs pypi
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

You can also check out my over-engineered Makefile here.

cat >> Makefile << EOF 

import re, sys
print("Please use `make <target>` where <target> is one of\n")
for line in sys.stdin:
    match = re.match(r'^([a-zA-Z_-]+):.*?## (.*)$$', line)
    if match:
        target, help = match.groups()
        if not target.startswith('--'):
            print(f"{target:20} - {help}")



install_pkgs:  ## Install Ansible dependencies locally.
    python3 -m pip install -r ansible-requirements-freeze.txt

lint: *.yml  ## Lint all yaml files
    echo $^ | xargs ansible-playbook -i host_inventory --syntax-check

pypi: ## Setup and start PyPI server
    ansible-playbook -i host_inventory -Kk up_pypi.yml
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Final Testing

To ensure deterministic pypi_server builds, I ran/did the following:

  • Stopped pypi_server container, delete pypi_server on server
  • Ran a CI job that builds and pushes Docker images to our local docker registry.
  • Started pypi_server container by executing make pypi whilst in the current working directory (ansible roles) on an ansible dedicated server.
  • Verified if pypi.domain FQDN is up (curl http://pypi.domain && dig pypi.domain)
  • In a virtual environment, installed a random Python package then rebuilt the wheel before pushing it to pypi.domain



Accessing your FQDN you should see the devpi home page listing your indices:

Assuming that everything was set up correctly. You now have a local/private PyPI server running in a Docker container that is under config management, thus ensuring deterministic builds and a single command can tear it down or bring it up.

This was a great Ansible and Nginx learning curve for me and if you have reached the end of this post. I appreciate you!


Top comments (0)