Wagtail on Cloud Run

1. Introduction


Cloud Run is a managed compute platform that enables you to run stateless containers that are invocable via HTTP requests. Cloud Run is serverless: it abstracts away all infrastructure management, so you can focus on what matters most — building great applications.

It also natively interfaces with many other parts of the Google Cloud ecosystem, including Cloud SQL for managed databases, Cloud Storage for unified object storage, and Secret Manager for managing secrets.

Wagtail is an open source content management system (CMS) built on top of Django. Django is a high-level Python web framework.

In this tutorial, you will use these components to deploy a small Wagtail project.

What you'll learn

  • How to use the Cloud Shell
  • How to create a Cloud SQL database
  • How to create a Cloud Storage bucket
  • How to create Secret Manager secrets
  • How to use Secrets from different Google Cloud services
  • How to connect Google Cloud components to a Cloud Run service
  • How to use Container Registry to store built containers
  • How to deploy to Cloud Run
  • How to run database schema migrations in Cloud Build

2. Setup and requirements

Self-paced environment setup

  1. Sign-in to the Google Cloud Console and create a new project or reuse an existing one. If you don't already have a Gmail or Google Workspace account, you must create one.




  • The Project name is the display name for this project's participants. It is a character string not used by Google APIs. You can update it at any time.
  • The Project ID is unique across all Google Cloud projects and is immutable (cannot be changed after it has been set). The Cloud Console auto-generates a unique string; usually you don't care what it is. In most codelabs, you'll need to reference the Project ID (it is typically identified as PROJECT_ID). If you don't like the generated ID, you may generate another random one. Alternatively, you can try your own and see if it's available. It cannot be changed after this step and will remain for the duration of the project.
  • For your information, there is a third value, a Project Number which some APIs use. Learn more about all three of these values in the documentation.
  1. Next, you'll need to enable billing in the Cloud Console to use Cloud resources/APIs. Running through this codelab shouldn't cost much, if anything at all. To shut down resources so you don't incur billing beyond this tutorial, you can delete the resources you created or delete the whole project. New users of Google Cloud are eligible for the $300 USD Free Trial program.

Google Cloud Shell

While Google Cloud can be operated remotely from your laptop, in this codelab we will be using Google Cloud Shell, a command line environment running in the Cloud.

Activate Cloud Shell

  1. From the Cloud Console, click Activate Cloud Shell 853e55310c205094.png.


If you've never started Cloud Shell before, you're presented with an intermediate screen (below the fold) describing what it is. If that's the case, click Continue (and you won't ever see it again). Here's what that one-time screen looks like:


It should only take a few moments to provision and connect to Cloud Shell.


This virtual machine is loaded with all the development tools you need. It offers a persistent 5GB home directory and runs in Google Cloud, greatly enhancing network performance and authentication. Much, if not all, of your work in this codelab can be done with simply a browser or your Chromebook.

Once connected to Cloud Shell, you should see that you are already authenticated and that the project is already set to your project ID.

  1. Run the following command in Cloud Shell to confirm that you are authenticated:
gcloud auth list

Command output

 Credentialed Accounts
*       <my_account>@<my_domain.com>

To set the active account, run:
    $ gcloud config set account `ACCOUNT`
  1. Run the following command in Cloud Shell to confirm that the gcloud command knows about your project:
gcloud config list project

Command output

project = <PROJECT_ID>

If it is not, you can set it with this command:

gcloud config set project <PROJECT_ID>

Command output

Updated property [core/project].

3. Enable the Cloud APIs

From Cloud Shell, enable the Cloud APIs for the components that will be used:

gcloud services enable \
  run.googleapis.com \
  sql-component.googleapis.com \
  sqladmin.googleapis.com \
  compute.googleapis.com \
  cloudbuild.googleapis.com \
  secretmanager.googleapis.com \

Since this is the first time you're calling APIs from gcloud, you'll be asked to authorize using your credentials to make this request. This will happen once per Cloud Shell session.

This operation may take a few moments to complete.

Once completed, a success message similar to this one should appear:

Operation "operations/acf.cc11852d-40af-47ad-9d59-477a12847c9e" finished successfully.

4. Create a template project

You'll use the default Wagtail project template as your sample Wagtail project. To do this, you'll temporarily install Wagtail to generate the template.

To create this template project, use Cloud Shell to create a new directory named wagtail-cloudrun and navigate to it:

mkdir ~/wagtail-cloudrun
cd ~/wagtail-cloudrun

Then, install Wagtail into a temporary virtual environment:

virtualenv venv
source venv/bin/activate
pip install wagtail

Then, create a new template project in the current folder:

wagtail start myproject .

You'll now have a template Wagtail project in the current folder:

ls -F
Dockerfile  home/  manage.py*  myproject/  requirements.txt  search/ venv/

You can now exit and remove your temporary virtual environment:

rm -rf venv

From here, Wagtail will be called within the container.

5. Create the backing services

You'll now create your backing services: a dedicated service account, a Cloud SQL database, a Cloud Storage bucket, and a number of Secret Manager values.

Securing the values of the passwords used in deployment is important to the security of any project, and ensures that no one accidentally puts passwords where they don't belong (for example, directly in settings files, or typed directly into your terminal where they could be retrieved from history.)

To begin, set two base environment variables, one for the Project ID:

PROJECT_ID=$(gcloud config get-value core/project)

And one for the region:


Create a service account

To limit the access the service will have to other parts of Google Cloud, create a dedicated service account:

gcloud iam service-accounts create cloudrun-serviceaccount

You will reference this account by it's email in future sections of this codelab. Set that value in an environment variable:

SERVICE_ACCOUNT=$(gcloud iam service-accounts list \
    --filter cloudrun-serviceaccount --format "value(email)")

Create the database

Create a Cloud SQL instance:

gcloud sql instances create myinstance --project $PROJECT_ID \
  --database-version POSTGRES_13 --tier db-f1-micro --region $REGION

This operation may take a few minutes to complete.

In that instance, create a database:

gcloud sql databases create mydatabase --instance myinstance

In that same instance, create a user:

DJPASS="$(cat /dev/urandom | LC_ALL=C tr -dc 'a-zA-Z0-9' | fold -w 30 | head -n 1)"
gcloud sql users create djuser --instance myinstance --password $DJPASS

Grant the service account permission to connect to the instance:

gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding $PROJECT_ID \
    --member serviceAccount:${SERVICE_ACCOUNT} \
    --role roles/cloudsql.client

Create the storage bucket

Finally, create a Cloud Storage bucket (noting the name must be globally unique):

gsutil mb -l ${REGION} gs://${GS_BUCKET_NAME}

Since objects stored in the bucket will have a different origin (a bucket URL rather than a Cloud Run URL), you need to configure the Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) settings.

Create a new file called cors.json, with the following contents:

touch cors.json
cloudshell edit cors.json


      "origin": ["*"],
      "responseHeader": ["Content-Type"],
      "method": ["GET"],
      "maxAgeSeconds": 3600

Apply this CORS configuration to the newly created storage bucket:

gsutil cors set cors.json gs://$GS_BUCKET_NAME

Store configuration as secret

Having set up the backing services, you'll now store these values in a file protected using Secret Manager.

Secret Manager allows you to store, manage, and access secrets as binary blobs or text strings. It works well for storing configuration information such as database passwords, API keys, or TLS certificates needed by an application at runtime.

First, create a file with the values for the database connection string, media bucket, a secret key for Django (used for cryptographic signing of sessions and tokens), and to enable debugging:

echo DATABASE_URL=\"postgres://djuser:${DJPASS}@//cloudsql/${PROJECT_ID}:${REGION}:myinstance/mydatabase\" > .env

echo GS_BUCKET_NAME=\"${GS_BUCKET_NAME}\" >> .env

echo SECRET_KEY=\"$(cat /dev/urandom | LC_ALL=C tr -dc 'a-zA-Z0-9' | fold -w 50 | head -n 1)\" >> .env

echo DEBUG=\"True\" >> .env

Then, create a secret called application_settings, using that file as the secret:

gcloud secrets create application_settings --data-file .env

Allow the service account access to this secret:

gcloud secrets add-iam-policy-binding application_settings \
  --member serviceAccount:${SERVICE_ACCOUNT} --role roles/secretmanager.secretAccessor

Confirm the secret has been created by listing the secrets:

gcloud secrets versions list application_settings

After confirming the secret has been created, remove the local file:

rm .env

6. Configure your application

The template project that you previously created now needs some alterations. These changes will reduce the complexity of the template settings configurations that come with Wagtail, and also integrate Wagtail with the backing services you previously created.

Configure settings

Find the generated base.py settings file, and rename it to basesettings.py in the main myproject folder:

mv myproject/settings/base.py myproject/basesettings.py

Next, use the Cloud Shell web editor to open the file and replace the entire file's contents the the following:

touch myproject/settings.py
cloudshell edit myproject/settings.py


import io
import os
from urllib.parse import urlparse

import environ

# Import the original settings from each template
from .basesettings import *

# Load the settings from the environment variable
env = environ.Env()
env.read_env(io.StringIO(os.environ.get("APPLICATION_SETTINGS", None)))

# Setting this value from django-environ

# If defined, add service URL to Django security settings
    ALLOWED_HOSTS = ["*"]

# Default false. True allows default landing pages to be visible
DEBUG = env("DEBUG", default=False)

# Set this value from django-environ
DATABASES = {"default": env.db()}

# Change database settings if using the Cloud SQL Auth Proxy
if os.getenv("USE_CLOUD_SQL_AUTH_PROXY", None):
    DATABASES["default"]["HOST"] = ""
    DATABASES["default"]["PORT"] = 5432

if "myproject" not in INSTALLED_APPS:
     INSTALLED_APPS += ["myproject"] # for custom data migration

# Define static storage via django-storages[google]
DEFAULT_FILE_STORAGE = "storages.backends.gcloud.GoogleCloudStorage"
STATICFILES_STORAGE = "storages.backends.gcloud.GoogleCloudStorage"
GS_DEFAULT_ACL = "publicRead"

Take the time to read the commentary added about each configuration.

Note that you may see linting errors on this file. This is expected. Cloud Shell does not have context of the requirements for this project, and thus may report invalid imports, and unused imports.

Then, remove the old settings folder.

rm -rf myproject/settings/

You will then have two settings files: one from Wagtail, and one you just created that builds from these settings:

ls myproject/*settings*
myproject/basesettings.py  myproject/settings.py

Finally, open the manage.py settings file, and update the configuration to tell Wagtail to point to the main settings.py file.

cloudshell edit manage.py

manage.py line (before)

os.environ.setdefault("DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE", "myproject.settings.dev")

manage.py line (after)

os.environ.setdefault("DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE", "myproject.settings")

Make the same configuration change for the myproject/wsgi.py file:

cloudshell edit myproject/wsgi.py

myproject/wsgi.py line (before)

os.environ.setdefault("DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE", "myproject.settings.dev")

myproject/wsgi.py line (after)

os.environ.setdefault("DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE", "myproject.settings")

Remove the automatically created Dockerfile:

rm Dockerfile

Python dependencies

Locate the requirements.txt file, and append the following packages:

cloudshell edit requirements.txt

requirements.txt (append)


Define your application image

Cloud Run will run any container as long as it conforms to the Cloud Run Container Contract. This tutorial opts to not include a Dockerfile, but instead use Cloud Native Buildpacks.

Buildpacks assist in building containers for common languages, including Python. To build a Python container, the only alteration to the code is to define the command to start the web service.

To containerize the template project, first create a new file named Procfile in the top level of your project (in the same directory as manage.py), and copy the following content:

touch Procfile
cloudshell edit Procfile


web: gunicorn --bind$PORT --workers 1 --threads 8 --timeout 0 myproject.wsgi:application

7. Configure, build, and run the migration steps

To create the database schema in your Cloud SQL database and populate your Cloud Storage bucket with your static assets, you need to run migrate and collectstatic.

These base Django migration commands need to be run within the context of your built container image with access to your database.

You will also need to run createsuperuser to create an administrator account to log into the Django admin.

Allow access to components

For this step, we're going to use Cloud Build to run Django commands, so Cloud Build will need access to the Django configuration stored in Secret Manager.

As earlier, set the IAM policy to explicitly allow the Cloud Build service account access to the secret settings:

export PROJECTNUM=$(gcloud projects describe ${PROJECT_ID} --format 'value(projectNumber)')
export CLOUDBUILD=${PROJECTNUM}@cloudbuild.gserviceaccount.com

gcloud secrets add-iam-policy-binding application_settings \
  --member serviceAccount:${CLOUDBUILD} --role roles/secretmanager.secretAccessor

Additionally, allow Cloud Build to connect to Cloud SQL in order to apply the database migrations:

gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding ${PROJECT_ID} \
    --member serviceAccount:${CLOUDBUILD} --role roles/cloudsql.client

Create your Django superuser

To create the superuser, you're going to use a data migration. This migration needs to be created in the migrations folder under my myproject.

Firstly, create the base folder structure:

mkdir myproject/migrations
touch myproject/migrations/__init__.py

Then, create the new migration, copying the following contents:

touch myproject/migrations/0001_createsuperuser.py
cloudshell edit myproject/migrations/0001_createsuperuser.py


import os

from django.contrib.auth.models import User
from django.db import migrations

def createsuperuser(apps, schema_editor):
    admin_password = os.environ["ADMIN_PASSWORD"] 
    User.objects.create_superuser("admin", password=admin_password)

class Migration(migrations.Migration):

    initial = True

    dependencies = [

    operations = [

Now back in the terminal, create the admin_password as within Secret Manager, and allow it to be accessed by Cloud Build:

admin_password="$(cat /dev/urandom | LC_ALL=C tr -dc 'a-zA-Z0-9' | fold -w 30 | head -n 1)"

echo -n "${admin_password}" | gcloud secrets create admin_password --data-file=-

gcloud secrets add-iam-policy-binding admin_password \
  --member serviceAccount:${CLOUDBUILD} --role roles/secretmanager.secretAccessor

Create the migration configuration

Create a migration configuration file that Cloud Build will use to run the database and static migration commands:

touch migrate.yaml
cloudshell edit migrate.yaml


  # This step creates a new image, adding the Cloud SQL Auth Proxy to allow Cloud Build to connect securely to Cloud SQL
  - id: "docker-layer"
    name: "gcr.io/cloud-builders/docker"
    entrypoint: bash
      - "-c"
      - "echo \"FROM ${_IMAGE_NAME}\nCOPY --from=gcr.io/cloudsql-docker/gce-proxy /cloud_sql_proxy /cloudsql/cloud_sql_proxy\" > Dockerfile-proxy && docker build -f Dockerfile-proxy -t ${_IMAGE_NAME}-proxy ."

  # This step runs the Django migration commands using the image built in the previous step
  # It starts the Cloud SQL Auth Proxy as a background process, then runs the Django commands.
  - id: "migrate"
    name: "${_IMAGE_NAME}-proxy"
    entrypoint: launcher
      - "bash"
      - "-c"
      - "(/cloudsql/cloud_sql_proxy -instances=${_INSTANCE_CONNECTION_NAME}=tcp:5432 & sleep 2) && 
          python3 manage.py migrate && 
          python3 manage.py collectstatic --noinput"

  _IMAGE_NAME: "gcr.io/${PROJECT_ID}/myimage"
  _REGION: us-central1

    - versionName: projects/${PROJECT_ID}/secrets/application_settings/versions/latest
    - versionName: projects/${PROJECT_ID}/secrets/admin_password/versions/latest

  dynamicSubstitutions: true

Build your application image

You can now build your image, which will be named myimage:

gcloud builds submit --pack image=gcr.io/${PROJECT_ID}/myimage

Run the migration

With the configurations in place, run the migrations:

gcloud builds submit --config migrate.yaml

Note: if you chose a region other than "us-central1", specify that value in your command:

gcloud builds submit --config migrate.yaml \
  --substitutions _REGION=$REGION

8. Deploy to Cloud Run

With the backing services created and populated, you can now create the Cloud Run service to access them.

The initial deployment of your containerized application to Cloud Run is created using the following command:

gcloud run deploy wagtail-cloudrun \
  --platform managed \
  --region $REGION \
  --image gcr.io/${PROJECT_ID}/myimage \
  --set-cloudsql-instances ${PROJECT_ID}:${REGION}:myinstance \
  --set-secrets APPLICATION_SETTINGS=application_settings:latest \
  --service-account $SERVICE_ACCOUNT \

Wait a few moments until the deployment is complete. On success, the command line displays the service URL:

Service [wagtail-cloudrun] revision [wagtail-cloudrun-00001-...] has been deployed and is serving 100 percent of traffic.
Service URL: https://wagtail-cloudrun-...-uc.a.run.app

You can also retrieve the service URL with this command:

CLOUDRUN_SERVICE_URL=$(gcloud run services describe wagtail-cloudrun \
  --platform managed \
  --region $REGION  \
  --format "value(status.url)")

You can now visit your deployed container by opening this URL in a web browser:


9. Accessing the Django Admin

Updating CSRF settings

Django includes protections against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF). Any time a form is submitted on your Django site, including logging into the Django admin, the Trusted Origins setting is checked. If it doesn't match the origin of the request, Django returns an error.

In the mysite/settings.py file, if the CLOUDRUN_SERVICE_URL environment variable is defined it's used in the CSRF_TRUSTED_ORIGINS and ALLOWED_HOSTS settings. While defining ALLOWED_HOSTS isn't mandatory, it's good practice to add this since it's already required for CSRF_TRUSTED_ORIGINS.

Because you need your service URL, this configuration can't be added until after your first deployment.

You'll have to make a new version of the application settings secret in order to add this setting:

# Save a copy of the secret to your machine
gcloud secrets versions access latest --secret application_settings > temp_settings

# Append the service URL

# Create a new version of the secret
gcloud secrets versions add application_settings --data-file temp_settings

# Delete your local copy
rm temp_settings

Now, re-deploy the service:

gcloud run services update wagtail-cloudrun \
  --platform managed \
  --region $REGION \
  --image gcr.io/${PROJECT_ID}/myimage

The service has been configured to use the most recent version of the application settings secret, so updating the service will force it to use the new secret version.

Logging into the Django Admin

To access the Django admin interface, append /admin to your service URL.

Now log in with the username "admin" and retrieve your password using the following command:

gcloud secrets versions access latest --secret admin_password && echo ""



10. Applying application updates

If you want to make changes to your Wagtail site, you will need to:

  • build your changes into a new image,
  • apply any database or static migrations, and then
  • update your Cloud Run service to use the new image.

To build your image:

gcloud builds submit --pack image=gcr.io/${PROJECT_ID}/myimage

To apply database and static migrations:

gcloud builds submit --config migrate.yaml

To update your service:

gcloud run services update wagtail-cloudrun \
  --platform managed \
  --region $REGION \
  --image gcr.io/${PROJECT_ID}/myimage

Running makemigrations

When making changes to your database models, you may need to generate Django's migration files by running python manage.py makemigrations.

There are several ways this can be added to your workflow:

Within Cloud Build

Changing the migrate.yaml to include the command will generate the migrations before they're applied, but the changes will not be generated on your local machine.

On your local machine, against the Cloud SQL Database

You can run the Cloud SQL Auth Proxy on your local machine, connecting to your deployed database and applying the one off command. This step runs commands similar to those in migrate.yaml on your local machine.

Once you have installed the Cloud SQL Auth Proxy, follow these steps:

# Create a virtualenv
virtualenv venv
source venv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt

# Copy the application settings to your local machine
gcloud secrets versions access latest --secret application_settings > temp_settings

# Run the Cloud SQL Auth Proxy
./cloud_sql_proxy --instances=${PROJECT_ID}:${REGION}:myinstance=tcp:5432

# In a new tab, run commands using these local settings and setting the proxy flag
USE_CLOUD_SQL_AUTH_PROXY=true APPLICATION_SETTINGS=$(cat temp_settings) python manage.py makemigrations

# Disable and remove your virtualenv when complete
rm -rf venv

On your local machine, against an SQLite database

You can override the database settings and use a local SQLite file as a local database to generate the migration files. This may not work for all changes given the differences between PostgreSQL and SQLite databases.

To apply this method:

# Create a virtualenv
virtualenv venv
source venv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt

# Copy the application settings to your local machine
gcloud secrets versions access latest --secret application_settings > temp_settings

# Edit the DATABASE_URL setting to use a local sqlite file. For example:

# Run commands using these local settings
APPLICATION_SETTINGS=$(cat temp_settings) python manage.py makemigrations

# Disable and remove your virtualenv when complete
rm -rf venv

Applying migrations

Once your migrations have been generated, you can apply them by building your application container image and running the Cloud Build migration command, as specified above.

11. Congratulations!

You have just deployed a complex project to Cloud Run!

  • Cloud Run automatically and horizontally scales your container image to handle the received requests, then scales down when demand decreases. You only pay for the CPU, memory, and networking consumed during request handling.
  • Cloud SQL allows you to provision a managed PostgreSQL instance that is maintained automatically for you, and integrates natively into many Google Cloud systems.
  • Cloud Storage lets you have cloud storage in a way that is accessible seamlessly in Django.
  • Secret Manager allows you to store secrets, and have them accessible by certain parts of Google Cloud and not others.

Clean up

To avoid incurring charges to your Google Cloud Platform account for the resources used in this tutorial:

  • In the Cloud Console, go to the Manage resources page.
  • In the project list, select your project then click Delete.
  • In the dialog, type the project ID and then click Shut down to delete the project.

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