How to Install BMON on a Local Web Server

This document describes how to alternatively install the BMON application on a local web server. The specific steps shown here apply to installation on a locally housed Linux server running NGINX and UWSGI. This installation process has been tested and reproduced multiple times in a test environment, however your mileage may vary. There are many ways to configure a web server, this is just a method that worked for us - install at your own risk.

The assumption here is that BMON will be installed on a server running the Linux operating system.

The skills needed for installation are primarily:

  • Linux command line skills - it is assumed you are familiar so explanations of basic linux command line operations are not included in this documentation.

  • Some experience with Python and the Django web framework would be helpful, as the BMON application is a Python application built using the Django web framework. If you are using the Wefaction hosting services, these skills are not absolutely necessary, as step-by-step installation instructions for that hosting service are detailed below. If you are not using the Webfaction hosting service, more Django and Python skills will be required, as the instructions below will need to be modified to fit your configuration.

  • Some knowledge of the Git version control system would be helpful.

Install and Configure the Server Operating System

  1. Download the current LTS (long-term support) Version of Ubuntu Server from the Ubuntu Website. This documentation was written for Ubuntu Server 18.04.2 LTS.

  2. Install the operating system on a suitable network capable physical server or virtual machine Follow the self guided installation instructions for Ubuntu, optionally installing OpenSSH for remote access.

  3. Run updates using sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade

Installing Necessary Packages

In order to run BMON on a local web server you must first install some required packages

Python Dependencies
sudo apt install build-essential checkinstall
sudo apt-get install -y build-essential checkinstall libreadline-gplv2-dev python3.7 python3.7-dev libpython3.7-dev uwsgi uwsgi-src uuid-dev libcap-dev libpcre3-dev libncursesw5-dev libssl-dev libsqlite3-dev tk-dev libgdbm-dev libc6-dev libbz2-dev zlib1g-dev openssl libffi-dev python3-dev python3-setuptools wget
SQL Server
sudo apt-get install mysql-server
sudo mysql_secure_installation
Python Pip
cd $home
sudo apt-get install python3-pip
sudo -H pip3 install --upgrade pip

Installing the Virtual Environment

It is assumed we are working from within our $home directory

Virtualenv & Virtualenvwrapper
sudo -H pip3 install virtualenv virtualenvwrapper
Adjust your .bashrc file to incorporate the virtual environment variables

You may need to run whereis and document the path.

sudo nano ~/.bashrc
Add the following to the end of the file:
export VIRTUALENVWRAPPER_PYTHON=/usr/bin/python3
export WORKON_HOME=~/Env
source /usr/local/bin/
Save the file and then run:
source ~/.bashrc

If the parameters added to your bashrc are correct - virtualenvwrapper scripts will be created like this:

virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/premkproject
virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/postmkproject
virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/initialize
virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/premkvirtualenv
virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/postmkvirtualenv
virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/prermvirtualenv
virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/postrmvirtualenv
virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/predeactivate
virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/postdeactivate
virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/preactivate
virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/postactivate
virtualenvwrapper.user_scripts creating /home/cchrc/Env/get_env_details
Create your virtual environment
cd home
mkvirtualenv bmon -p python3.7

You will know you are successful if an Env directory is created within your home directory. Once you make your virtual environment, while it’s active, your prompt will change to indicate you are working in the virtual environment, below is an example of how it will look



To exit your virtual environment type deactivate to resume working in your virtual environment type workon bmon for the instructions below continue working in your virtual environment until instructed to exit.

Installing the Required Python Packages & BMON Project

Install BMON & Required Packages
sudo git clone

A directory named bmon will be created in your $home directory

cd bmon
pip3 install -r requirements.txt

Creating BMON Settings File

cd bmon (you should be in bmon/bmon now)

Django requires a file to provide essential information for running a project. We will start with a sample settings file and make necessary changes.

Move to the $home/bmon/bmon directory (yes, the bmon folder inside the bmon folder) and create a file from the sample located there:
sudo cp
Open in an editor, e.g. sudo nano Each one of the settings is documented within the file. Examine each setting carefully for any needed changes.
In this example, we modify the following attributes:
BMSAPP_STORE_KEY - per the settings file, visit to generate a key
BMSAPP_TITLE_TEXT - purely cosmetic, change XYZ to the name of your organization/facility/etc.
BMSAPP_HEADER - purely cosmetic, change XYZ to the name of your organization/facility/etc.
ALLOWED_HOSTS - change to the server IP address or the URL depending on your setup ex. [‘’] (brackets and single quotes necessary)
SECRET_KEY - per the settings file, visit to generate a key
BMSAPP_STATIC_APP_NAME - indicate the full path of your project to the first level, then add static ex. /home/cchrc/bmon/static

Configuring the file

Unlike in the How to Install BMON on a Web Server documentation, we need to modify the file to point to the correct python location

type which python3.7 and note the path ex. /home/cchrc/Env/bmon/bin/python3.7

cd $home/bmon or cd .. if you just finished the prior step.

sudo nano
Change #!/usr/local/bin/python3.7 to whatever path came up when you typed which python, but the line must begin with
#! before the path to the Python executable.
Test the file for errors
sudo ./ check

You’re looking for System check identified no issues (0 silenced) If you get a permission denied error make sure your path is typed correctly in the file

Create the Django Database, Install Initial Data, and Prepare Static Files

Create the Django database file by executing:
sudo ./ migrate
Some initial data for common sensor units, sensor categories, and a sample building and sensor should be loaded into the database by:
sudo ./ loaddata init_data.yaml
Copy the static files (images, stylesheets, JavaScript files, etc.) into the folder where they will be served by the Static Application you created. Do this by executing:
sudo ./ collectstatic
In order to use the Admin site for setting up sensors and buildings, we need to create an admin user. To do this, execute:
sudo ./ createsuperuser

Enter your desired username, email, and password to complete the setup. The username and password created here will be the credentials needed to log into the Admin side of the BMON site.

Test the development server by running the following:
sudo ./ runserver SERVERIP OR URL:8000

Then go to SERVERIP OR URL:8000 in your web browser and see if you see a poorly formatted version of BMON (the CSS doesn’t load in development). End the test by pressing Ctl-C to kill the process

Configuring the Webserver


The steps in this section are patterned after the general instructions from Digital Ocean’s How To Serve Django Applications with uWSGI and Nginx on Ubuntu 18.04


We are still working in the virtualenvironment

Install & Compile UWSGI
cd $home
sudo wget
tar zxvf uwsgi-latest.tar.gz
sudo rm -rf uwsgi-latest.tar.gz
cd to the newly made uwsgi directory
python3.7 --build
make PROFILE=nolang

Create the python 3.7 plugin

PYTHON=python3.7 ./uwsgi --build-plugin "plugins/python python37"

Link the file

sudo ln -s /home/cchrc/[uwsgi directory]/uwsgi /usr/local/bin/uwsgi

Now, end your virtual session by typing deactivate

sudo mkdir -p /etc/uwsgi/sites
sudo nano /etc/uwsgi/sites/bmon.ini

example ini file

plugins-dir = /home/cchrc/[uwsgi directory]
plugin = python37

project = bmon
uid = cchrc
base = /home/%(uid)

chdir = %(base)/%(project)
home = %(base)/Env/%(project)
module = %(project).wsgi:application
pythonpath = %(base)/Env/%(project)/bin/python3.7

master = true
processes = 5

socket = /run/uwsgi/%(project).sock
chown-socket = %(uid):www-data
chmod-socket = 660


plugins-dir = the location of your uwsgi install
plugin = tells uwsgi to use python 3.7 as default
chown-socket = YOURUSERNAME:www-data
home = /path/to/home/Env/bmon
chdir = /path/to/project
pythonpath = /path/to/home/Env/bmon
wsgi-file = /path/to/home/bmon/bmon/
Create a Service File
sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/uwsgi.service

example service file

Description=uWSGI Emperor service

ExecStartPre=/bin/bash -c ‘mkdir -p /run/uwsgi; chown cchrc:www-data /run/uwsgi’
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/uwsgi –emperor /etc/uwsgi/sites


The only portion of the service file that needs to be modified in your installation is
ExecStartPre=/bin/bash -c 'mkdir -p /run/uwsgi; chown cchrc:www-data /run/uwsgi'

where chown should indicate YOURUSERNAME:www-data

cd $home

Install NGINX
sudo apt-get install nginx
sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/bmon

example bmon settings file

server {
listen 80;

location = /favicon.ico { access_log off; log_not_found off; }
location /static/ {
root /home/cchrc/bmon;

location / {
include uwsgi_params;
uwsgi_pass unix:/run/uwsgi/bmon.sock;

The only portion of this file that needs to be changed is server_name which should be changed to either your server IP address or URL and root should reflect your own directory structure.

Enable the Site
sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/bmon /etc/nginx/sites-enabled
Create a uwsgi run directory
sudo mkdir /run/uwsgi
sudo chown -R cchrc:www-data /run/uwsgi
sudo chmod -R 774 /run/uwsgi
Change some owners and permissions to make sure the files are accessible
sudo chown -R cchrc:www-data /home/cchrc
sudo chmod -R 774 /home/cchrc/

Here, you would substitute YOURUSERNAME where cchrc is and /your/home/path where /home/cchrc is

Create an override file (this was done to fix some errors)

sudo mkdir /etc/systemd/system/nginx.service.d
sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/nginx.service.d/override.conf

Put a space in the file and save

Change owners and permissions for the override file

sudo chmod 666 /etc/systemd/system/nginx.service.d/override.conf
sudo chown cchrc:www-data /etc/systemd/system/nginx.service.d/override.conf
sudo printf "[Service]\nExecStartPost=/bin/sleep 0.1\n" > /etc/systemd/system/nginx.service.d/override.conf

Start the Server

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart nginx
sudo nginx -t
you want to see the following
nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful
sudo systemctl start uwsgi

To check the status of any process type the following: sudo systemctl status SERVICENAME (ex. nginx)

You should now be able to reach your project by going to its respective domain name or IP address from your preferred web browser.

If you are unable to access the site through your web browser you can test by entering
sudo uwsgi --http SERVERIP OR URL:8080 --home /home/cchrc/Env/bmon --chdir /home/cchrc/bmon -w bmon.wsgi

and visiting the URL. | reviewing the nginx error log may also help troubleshoot sudo tail -30 /var/log/nginx/error.log If you see messages about /run/uwsgi/bmon.sock failed (2: No such file or directory) while connecting to upstream it usually means you need to rerun the permission settings for the /run/uwsgi folder.


change the IP address in the line above with either your server’s ip address or URL specified in your configuration

If everything works, do the following to have nginx uwsgi start automatically

sudo systemctl enable nginx
sudo systemctl enable uwsgi

Cron Jobs

One cron job is necessary for the BMON application. To edit the your crontab file, execute crontab -e. Then, add the following line to the file:

*/5 * * * * cd /home/cchrc/bmon && ./ runscript main_cron > /dev/null 2>&1

This cron job:

  • creates calculated reading values and stores Internet weather data in the reading database every half hour

  • checks for active Alert Conditions every five minutes

  • creates a daily status line in the log file indicating how many sensor readings were stored in the database during the past day (viewable by browsing to <Domain URL>/show_log)

  • creates a backup of the main Django database every day, and

  • creates a backup of the reading database every three days