Deploying Q to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 / CentOS 7 / Amazon Linux 2

These instructions can be used to configure a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, CentOS 7, or Amazon Linux 2 system to run GovReady-Q. A Vagrantfile based on CentOS 7 and these instructions is also provided at the root of the GovReady-Q source code.

Preparing System Packages

GovReady-Q calls out to git to fetch apps from git repositories, but that requires git version 2 or later because of the use of the GIT_SSH_COMMAND environment variable. RHEL stock git is version 1. Switch it to version 2+ by using the IUS package:

# if necessary, enable EPEL and IUS repositories
rpm -i

# if necessary, remove any git currently installed
yum remove git

yum install git2u

Preparing Q Source Code

Create a UNIX user named govready-q:

# Create user.
useradd govready-q -c "govready-q"

# Change permissions so that Apache can read static files.
chmod a+rx /home/govready-q

Deploy GovReady-Q source code:

# Install required software.
# Note that python34-devel and mysql-devel are needed to compile & install
# the mysqlclient Python package. But mysql-devl has an installation conflict
# with IUS. Adding --disablerepo=ius fixes it.
# gcc is needed to build the uWSGI Python package.
sudo yum install --disablerepo=ius \
    unzip gcc python34-pip python34-devel \
    graphviz \
    pandoc xorg-x11-server-Xvfb wkhtmltopdf \
    postgresql mysql-devel

Upgrade pip because the RHEL package version is out of date (we need >=9.1 to properly process hashes in requirements.txt):

pip3 install --upgrade pip

Then switch to the govready-q user and install Q:

sudo su govready-q
git clone
cd govready-q
git checkout {choose the tag for the current released version}
pip3 install --user -r requirements.txt

# if you intend to use optional configurations, such as the MySQL adapter, you
# may need to run additional `pip3 install` commands, such as:
# pip3 install -r requirements_mysql.txt

Test Q with a Local Database

Run the final setup commands to initialize a local Sqlite3 database in local/db.sqlite to make sure everything is OK so far:

python3 migrate
python3 load_modules
python3 createsuperuser

And test that the site starts in debug mode at localhost:8000:

python3 runserver

Set basic configuration variables

Create a file named local/environment.json (ensure it is not world-readable) that contains site configuration in JSON:

  "debug": false,
  "host": "",
  "organization-parent-domain": "",
  "https": true,
  "secret-key": "generate random string using e.g.",
  "static": "/home/govready-q/public_html/static"

Because of host header checking, to test the site again using python3 runserver you will need to visit it using and not localhost. (Be sure to replace with your hostname.)

Setting Up the Postgres Database Server

This deployment script uses PostgreSQL but other database servers may be used.

On the database server

On the database server, install Postgres:

yum install postgresql-server postgresql-contrib
postgresql-setup initdb

In /var/lib/pgsql/data/postgresql.conf, enable TLS connections by changing the ssl option to

ssl = on

and enable remote connections by binding to all interfaces:

listen_addresses = '*'

Enable remote connections to the database only from the web server and only encrypted with TLS by editing /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf and adding the line (replacing the hostname with the hostname of the Q web server):

hostssl all all md5

Generate a self-signed certificate (replace db.govready-q.internal with the database server’s hostname if possible):

openssl req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -days 365 -nodes -x509 -keyout /var/lib/pgsql/data/server.key -out /var/lib/pgsql/data/server.crt -subj '/CN=db.govready-q.internal'
chmod 600 /var/lib/pgsql/data/server.{key,crt}
chown postgres.postgres /var/lib/pgsql/data/server.{key,crt}

Copy the certificate to the web server so that the web server can make trusted connections to the database server:

cat /var/lib/pgsql/data/server.crt
# place on web server at /home/govready-q/pgsql.crt

Then restart the database:

service postgresql restart

Then set up the user and database (both named govready_q):

sudo -iu postgres createuser -P govready_q
# paste a long random password

sudo -iu postgres createdb govready_q

Postgres’s default permissions automatically grant users access to a database of the same name.

And if necessary, open the Postgres port:

firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=5432/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --reload

On the web server

On the web server, now check that secure connections can be made:

psql "postgresql://"

(It should fail if the TLS certificate file is not provided, if sslmode is set to disable, if a different user or database is given, or if the wrong password is given.)

Then in our GovReady-Q local/environment.json file, configure the database (replace THEPASSWORDHERE) by setting the following key:

"db": "postgresql://",

Then initialize the database content:

python3 migrate
python3 load_modules

And generate static files:

python3 collectstatic

Setting Up Apache & uWSGI

Install Apache 2.x with SSL (back to being root):

yum install httpd mod_ssl

Copy the Apache config into place:

cp /home/govready-q/govready-q/deployment/rhel/apache.conf /etc/httpd/conf.d/govready-q.conf

And then edit the file replacing and * with your hostnames.

If you don’t have a TLS certificate ready to use, create a self-signed certificate (replacing with your hostname):

openssl req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -days 365 -nodes -x509 -keyout /home/govready-q/ssl_certificate.key -out /home/govready-q/ssl_certificate.crt -subj '/'
chmod 600 /home/govready-q/ssl_certificate.{key,crt}
chown apache.apache /home/govready-q/ssl_certificate.{key,crt}

If SELinux is enabled (sestatus shows SELinux status: enabled), grant the Apache process access to these files as well as the site’s static files:

chcon -v -R --type=httpd_sys_content_t /home/govready-q/govready-q/deployment/rhel/apache.conf /home/govready-q/ssl_certificate.{key,crt} /home/govready-q/public_html

and grant Apache permission to make network connections so that it can connect to the Python/uwsgi backend running GovReady-Q:

setsebool httpd_can_network_connect true

Install supervisor which will keep the Python/Django process running and symlink our supervisor config into place:

yum install supervisor
ln -s /home/govready-q/govready-q/deployment/rhel/supervisor.ini /etc/supervisord.d/govready-q.ini

Restart services:

service supervisord restart
service httpd restart

And if necessary open the web ports:

firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=80/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=443/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --reload

GovReady-Q should now be running and accessible at your domain name. Follow the instructions in the main for creating your first organization.

Creating the First User

If you are setting up a multi-tenant instance of Q where different organizations will use the site on different subdomains, create the administrative user using:

python3 createsuperuser

and then log into the admin to create initial organizations.

Otherwise, for a single-tenant setup, add to local/environment.json:

“single-organization”: “main”,

which will serve just the Organization instance whose subdomain field is “main”, and then create the initial user and the “main” organization using:

python3 first_run

You should now be able to log into GovReady-Q using the user created in this section.

Setting up an HTTPS Certificate

The instructions above created a self-signed certificate to get the website up and running. To use Let’s Encrypt to automatically provision a real certificate, install and run certbot:

yum install -y python-certbot-apache
certbot --apache -d
# and follow the prompts

Then set it to automatically renew certificates as needed:

# edit root's crontab
crontab -e

# insert at end:
30 2 * * * /usr/bin/certbot renew >> /var/log/le-renew.log

Other Configuration Settings

Set up email by adding to local/environment.json:

"admins": [["Your Name", ""]],
"email": {
  "host": "", "port": "587", "user": "...", "pw": "....",
  "domain": ""
"mailgun_api_key": "...",

Updating Deployment

When there are changes to the GovReady-Q software, pull new sources and restart processes with:

sudo -iu govready-q /home/govready-q/govready-q/deployment/rhel/

As root, you can also restart just the Python/Django process:

sudo supervisorctl restart all

But this won’t do a full update so don’t normally do that (it won’t restart the separate notifications process or generate static assets, etc.).