Heroku Deployment

The following guide will let you deploy an instance of Froide on Heroku together with Postmark for email sending/receiving and S3 for file storage and static file serving. Heroku and Postmark are free with limited capacity, S3 will cost you a tiny bit of money. You can also use any other file storage/serving service that is supported by Django Storages.

Install your Froide instance on Heroku

  1. Install the heroku toolbelt.

  2. Create a virtualenv:

    # Install virtualenv
    curl -O https://pypi.python.org/packages/source/v/virtualenv/virtualenv-1.10.1.tar.gz
    tar -xvf virtualenv-1.10.1.tar.gz
    python virtualenv-1.10.1/virtualenv.py froidetheme
    # Activate it
    source froidetheme/bin/activate
  3. Download and install Froide Theme:

    git clone https://github.com/okfde/froide-theme.git
    cd froide-theme
    pip install -r requirements.txt -e .
  4. Register at Heroku and create a new app through the Heroku Dashboard.

  5. Add the Heroku remote to the repository and push:

    git remote add heroku git@heroku.com:<your-heroku-name>.git
    git push heroku master
  6. Set some configuration, change the DJANGO_SECRET_KEY value to something secret and give the correct Heroku App URL in DJANGO_SITE_URL:

    heroku config:set DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=froide_theme.settings
    heroku config:set DJANGO_CONFIGURATION=ThemeHerokuPostmark
    heroku config:set DJANGO_SECRET_KEY="Your RANDOM secret key"
    heroku config:set DJANGO_SITE_URL="http://<your-heroku-name>.herokuapp.com"
  7. Initialize the Heroku database by running:

    heroku run python manage.py syncdb --noinput --migrate

Congratulations, you can already access your Froide instance at:


You can continue reading further here or read up on post-installation setup in Add basic database objects.

Set up Email Sending and receiving

You will need access to a domain and its DNS settings.

  1. Add the Postmark Add-On to your Heroku App.

  2. Run the following in your terminal, which will open a web page:

    heroku addons:open postmark
  3. Click on “Details” on your Server, go to settings and set the bounce URLs:

    # Bounce Hook
    # Inbound  Hook

    You should change these URLs through the SECRET_URLS setting of Froide.

  4. Setup the MX records for your domain and make the API call like described in this article. The “Token” mentioned is your API key that you can find on the postmark page under Credentials.

  5. For setting up sender signatures you should allow some hours to pass so that MX records are recognized. In Postmark click on “Sender Signatures” and add a new signature for your domain. You should setup two signatures: one for regular notification mails (e.g. mail@example.com, incoming mails going to a regular inbox of yours) and the other for sending out requests (request@inbound.example.com, incoming mails going to Postmark). You should also setup the DKIM and SPF records for your domain and verify them.

    Since the confirmation mail for sending signatures of your request address will go to Postmark, check the “Inbound” tab of your “Activity” page of your Postmark account and use the confirmation link in the incoming email. This can take some time because of DNS propagation. You may have to resend the confirmation emails.

  6. Set the following config values in Heroku:

    heroku config:set DJANGO_DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL=mail@inbound.example.com
    heroku config:set DJANGO_FOI_EMAIL_DOMAIN=inbound.example.com
    # The following should conform with your request mail name
    # followed by a + sign like this:
    heroku config:set DJANGO_FOI_EMAIL_TEMPLATE="request+{secret}@{domain}"
    heroku config:set DJANGO_SERVER_EMAIL=mail@inbound.example.com
    heroku config:set DJANGO_SITE_EMAIL=mail@inbound.example.com

Enable mail attachment storage and faster static file serving

  1. Set up an Amazon Web Services account with S3

  2. Create a bucket and an access key

  3. Set the values as Heroku config:

    # Must end with a /
    heroku config:set DJANGO_STATIC_URL=http://your-bucket-name.s3.amazonaws.com/
    heroku config:set DJANGO_CONFIGURATION=ThemeHerokuPostmarkS3


The theme app now comes with a custom post_compile Heroku script that compiles translations on Heroku automatically.

Worker Processes

The Procfile defines a worker configuration. To use background processing, add one of the Heroku queueing add-ons, e.g. CloudAMQP:

heroku addons:add cloudamqp

Then find out the CLOUDAMQP_URL:

heroku config:get CLOUDAMQP_URL

And then set the some config based on that:

heroku config:get DJANGO_BROKER_URL=<CLOUDAMQP_URL here>
heroku config:set CELERY_ALWAYS_EAGER=False

Have a look at Background Tasks with Celery for further details.

Search Engine Options

The default setup uses the database as the search engine. Any Solr or Haystack Heroku Add-On can be used to replace this by setting the correct HAYSTACK_CONNECTIONS setting.

Froide also contains support for instant queued indexing through celery-haystack that activates when the app is installed.