Friday, January 3, 2014

Setting up a local Google App Engine Development Environment for Python

Installing Google App Engine Dev. Environment

I have a mac running latest OSX 10.9 Mavericks. I want to be able to develop and test a Python Google App Engine app on this machine. This is the list of steps I took to make it happen. I am starting from a fairly clean machine as my older mac have multiple installations of Python, and I seem to get stuck attempting to setup my dev environment on it.

I placed this list here, as some of the documentation around the web is scattered and sometimes confusing or outdated. This was done on OSX Mavericks.

Some of the steps below are specific to my own app (pycrypto, PIL and lxml may or may not be needed by your app).

1. Python is installed by default (version 2.7.5 is bundled with OSX)
2. sudo easy_install pip
3. Install XCode from App Store
4. Install XCode command line tools: xcode-select --install
had to use the ./configure --with-ssl=openssl command and not ./configure as mentioned
6. install setuptools: wget -O - | sudo python (
7. install PIL: sudo pip install Pillow
8. install Crypto (used by my app): sudo pip install pycrypto
9. install lxml (used by goose): sudo pip install lxml (if fails, you can try: sudo apt-get install python-lxml)

UPDATE: had to install libjpeg: sudo apt-get install libjpeg-dev which forced me to re-install Pillow


Cleaning Up My Old Mac Python

Ok, now that I have the app engine development environment setup on a new mac, and some test scripts running fine, I am going to clean up my old mac (which is actually my work machine - a Mid 2012 Mac Book Air 13” with OSX 10.9.1).

My understanding is that I can remove any installations that are under /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework.
I want to be left with the Apple installed python 2.7.5 which is under /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework

So, I am following the link suggested in the above SO answer:
It seems a bit radical, but after looking into what I got from running the list of files, it seemed to be fine. So I just did that and deleted all the directories and files listed under /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework various old versions, the Applications folder and the Receipts folder.
Finally, I made a symbolic link to the Apple python from /Library/Frameworks by:
cd /Library/Frameworks
then (just to be on the safe side):
sudo mv Python.framework Python.framework.orig
and then
ln -s /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/ Python.framework

Next, I changed the python in the GAE Launcher preferences to /usr/bin/python2.7 and Voila!
All is well, and I can move on to do the tests here.

Tests are running on my local machine.


  1. Hey, thanks for your post. I am currently trying to configure my OSX 10.9 Mavericks to work with google app engine.

    I followed the steps till number 7 but when I try to install sudo pip install Pillow, I get the "command not found" message ? any suggestions ?

    1. a bit strange, as step 2 should install pip.
      can you try to type just pip and tell me if it also complains command is not known? If it does, it means step 2 was not completed.