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How to use Django with SecretHub

This guide will show how you to load secrets from SecretHub into your Django application. These could be database passwords, API keys, encryption keys, your Django secret key or anything else you’d like to keep secret.

Instead of putting secrets values in source code or config files, you’ll be able to load them on demand from a secure and central place.

Before you begin

Before you start using SecretHub with Django, make sure you have completed the following steps:

  1. Set up SecretHub on your workstation.
  2. Install Django and Python and have a project ready to use.

Step 1: Replace plaintext values with references

Collect all secrets from your settings.py or config files, and use the SecretHub CLI to encrypt and store them.

To do this, copy the values to your clipboard and use the write command and specify a path on SecretHub:

secrethub write --clip your-username/demo/api_key

In your Python code, read these secrets from environment variables:

import os

API_KEY = os.getenv('API_KEY')

Then, in your app launch script or runtime environment, you’ll have to set these environment variables. But instead of using plaintext values, reference the secrets by the path you chose earlier, prefixed with secrethub://:

export API_KEY=secrethub://your-username/demo/api_key

Step 2: Load secrets into your app

To load secrets into your app, you don’t have to incorporate a Python client or SDK of some sort. Your application code can stay SecretHub-agnostic.

Instead, you can use the CLI to automatically fetch and decrypt secrets the moment your app starts.

Simply wrap your app start command with secrethub run and any environment variable that references a SecretHub secret will get updated to contain the actual secret value:

secrethub run -- python manage.py runserver

That’s it! You have now provisioned the app without a secret being near it. 🎉

As an added bonus, secrethub run keeps an eye on your log output to see if any secret accidentally gets logged and masks them from the output!

Additional Tips

Django Secret Key

Every new Django project comes with a hardcoded SECRET_KEY in the settings.py file:

# SECURITY WARNING: keep the secret key used in production secret!
SECRET_KEY = 'p0lx_5n@$+2yyc&(bz!t=t&*w55ed#-wecor+brcf#2k^h(bl!'

To store this on SecretHub, you can also use the generate command to automatically generate and store a new value:

secrethub generate \
  --length=50 \
  --charset=lowercase,numeric,symbols \
  your-username/demo/secret_key

WSGI

If you use WSGI, the mechanism works in the exact same way. Just wrap gunicorn or uwsgi with secrethub run:

secrethub run -- gunicorn app_name.wsgi

Next Up: Deploy your app

It’s great if simple examples work locally, but they don’t mean much if they don’t work anymore in a real-world scenario. So to read more about actually deploying your app with SecretHub, see:

Amazon Web Services icon Amazon Web Services

Google Cloud icon Google Cloud

Azure icon Azure

Other / bare-metal icon Other / bare-metal