Create your own private egg repository on amazon EC2

Published: Mar 30, 2011 by Noe Nieto

I want a private Python egg repository (basic authentication) and I want it on the cloud. Let’s see how it goes.


We are starting to do more plone development. I started to learn and use jarn.mkrelease so I can properly package my code and publish it on PyPI and re-use in different projects. But I’ve yet to solve the problem of non-public code. So I found that [zc.buildout might be able to open a pasword protected URL] (

The idea is simple: setup a private package repository (a simple web server, with a directory listing that’s pasword protected) and use zest.releaser to upload eggs to the webserver using sftp, scp or something like that.

The web server can be anywere, so I created one on AWS.

Building the webserver

So I went to create a new account on Amazon EC2 in order to take advantage of the Free Usage Tier that’s already available.

Once I finished the process, It was time to select the AMI. I had to read through Ubuntu’s EC2 Starters Guide to figure out which AMI to install. Copying and Pasting Ubuntu’s Amazon ID into the “Community AMIs” search box helped me to narrow the possible options. So, just for the fun of it, I selected the latest natty server image for i386 (ami-0476846d).

All the rest of the steps are very straightforward: setup the server size (t1.micro), create the server key and configure the firewall (allow SSH, HTTP and HTTPS). After some seconds the instance is up and running.

This AMI image uses 8GB of EBS storage to “persist” it’s configuration. That leaves me 2 GB for a stand-alone AMI image. I will use this image to store all the eggs for my private repository.

So I went to “EBS Volumes” in the control panel, created the 2 GB volume (need to be careful to select the same zone as the AMI EBS storage) and, when finally available (blue dot), right click on it and select “Attach”, select the AMI instance and the filesystem node and restart the instance.

Next, we need to make the partition and format the new available volume. I used cfdisk to create the partition,

sudo cfdisk /dev/xvdb
sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/xvdb1

Finally, modify /etc/fstab to mount /dev/xvdb1 onto /var/www:

sudo mkdir /var/www
sudo nano /etc/fstab
cat /etc/fstab | grep -v "#"
proc             /proc   proc    nodev,noexec,nosuid    0       0
LABEL=uec-rootfs /       ext4    defaults               0       0
/dev/xvdb1      /var/www ext3   defaults,noatime,noexec 0       0

Note: I used noatime option in order to avoid double writes to the EBS volume.

Now it is time to setup the webserver. I like nginx and there’s a PPA for it. So this one-liner installs it:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nginx/stable && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y install nginx

Now let’s do the nginx configuration. nginx runs as the www-data user

I want to have the logs on the separate EBS volume, So, let’s change /etc/nginx/nginx.conf and set the the path of the logfiles to:

access_log /var/www/logs/access.log;
error_log /var/www/logs/error.log;

Then, let’s setup the root directory and enable index listing by changing the lines. For the root directory, I changed this line:

root /var/www/webfiles;

And to enable index listing I have to modify /etc/nginx/sites- available/default :

location / {
 try_files $uri $uri/ /index.html;
 autoindex on;

Next, I mannually created the directories that will be used for files and logs.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/webfiles
sudo mkdir -p /var/www/logs

By default these directories are owned by root, so we have to give permissions to the ubuntu user in the webfiles/ directory and permissions to ww-data on webfiles/.

sudo chown -R www-data /var/www/logs/
sudo chown -R ubuntu /var/www/webfiles

It’s also very wise to create a skeleton directory to hold out packages:

mkdir -p /var/www/webfiles/public
mkdir -p /var/www/webfiles/private/customerA
mkdir -p /var/www/webfiles/private/customerB

Finally restart the nginx server.

sudo service nginx restart

Assign a DNS Name

I had two options: 1) Add a CNAME record that points to the DNS name of the EC2-Instance or 2) Allocate 1 Elastic IP, associate/route it to the EC-2 instance and use an A Record.

I choosed option 2 because I want to treat this EC2 Instance as somethig disposable. The Amazon free tier covers the first 100 remaps for each elastic IP. I’m pretty sure we will be way below this level. Password-protected directories on nginx

The repository will have public and private areas. For example: and First, let’s modify /etc/nginx/sites-available/default and add the following:

location ^~ /private/ {
 autoindex on;
 auth_basic            "Restricted";
 auth_basic_user_file  /etc/nginx/htpasswd;

The first line inside the location directive turns on automatic indexing. The second and third line enable the basic authentication mechanism of nginx.

To generate the htpasswd file we can use this script.

python -c -b htpasswordfile secretuser supersecretpassword

Once generated, copy the htpasswd file to /etc/nginx and fix the permissions …

sudo chown -R www-data:root htpasswd
sudo chmod 600 htpasswd

… create the public and private directorties….

sudo mkdir /var/www/webfiles/{public,private}

…. and restart the webserver.

sudo service nginx restart

Releasing eggs to the repository

First we need to automate the login procedure to the Amazon EC2 instance. Normally, I would use this to login without password:

ssh -i /path/to/server_key.pem

But some programs might not be able to give you options to include a ssh key. The solution, then is to tell openssh that it should use that key whenever we login to

First copy the .pem key to ~/.ssh , then edit ~/.ssh/config and add the following lines:

    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/server_key.pem

Now we need to install jarn.mkrelease. I used buildout; I just added the following lines and included mkrelease in the parts section on [buildout].

parts =

    recipe = zc.recipe.egg
    eggs = jarn.mkrelease

That installs mkrelease in bin/ directory of buildout. Now it’s time to configure jarn.mkrelease to upload eggs to our new repository by adding the following configuration to ~/.mkrelease:

plone =

myserver_public =
clientA =

**Note: Do not forget to create the directorties and set the appropiate **permissions to /var/www/webfiles.

Let’s also configure ~/.pypirc with the information about pypi and

index-servers =

username = mysuer
password = password

repository =
username = myuser
password = password

Finally, in order to release eggs to the different repositories we will use various commands. So let’s suppose we are inside a directory that contains the code for one egg and it’s a git repository:

cd my.product/
  docs  my  my.product.egg-info README.rst  setup.cfg

To release to pypi and

bin/mkrelease -T -d pypi .
bin/mkrelease -T -d ploneorg .

To release to myserver_public :

bin/mkrelease -T -d myserver_public .

And finally, releasing to clientA :

bin/mkrelease -T -d clientA .

Using the private and public repository

Once you’ve released your eggs to your public and private repositories, it’s time to use them in your buildout. And turns out to be brain-dead easy.

Public repo:

find-links =

And for the private repo:

find-links =

The End.