Flask 101: Serve Images

Welcome to part 4 of the the Flask 101 Series. 

 

  1. Flask 101: Create a Basic Python Web App
  2. Flask 101: Add JSON to your Python Web App
  3. Flask 101: Use HTML templates & send variables 
  4. Flask 101: Serve Images – This tutorial

For this tutorial, we will create a random image generator.

Also the full code for this project is available on my GitHub repo.

 

1 – Setup

If you want to use a Python 3 virtual environment, you can follow this post for example. But all you really need is to install Flask

# Install flask
pip install flask

Create the following directory and files, leave them empty for now. We fill fill them later.

static/
myapp.py
runapp.sh

As in part 3, you will need some images to serve. For simplicity you can just download the ones on my GitHub repo here.

 

2 – Create your flask application

So far your directory structure should look like this

static/
   img1.jpg
   .. more images ... 
myapp.py 
runapp.sh

 

Now open the file named myapp.py that you have created above, and add the content below. We are basically doing 3 things there:

  1. def random_image()
    this one is in charge for returning one of the images inside your static/ directory at random
  2. @app.route(‘/’)
    this is the main – and only – route of this app. It takes a random image and serves it through the send_file() method.

 

from flask import Flask, send_file
import os
import random

app = Flask(__name__)

def random_image():
    """
    Return a random image from the ones in the static/ directory
    """
    img_dir = "./static"
    img_list = os.listdir(img_dir)
    img_path = os.path.join(img_dir, random.choice(img_list))
    return img_path


@app.route('/')
def myapp():
    """
    Returns a random image directly through send_file
    """
    image = random_image()
    return send_file(image, mimetype='image/png')

 

3 – Run your app

In the same directory as myapp.py, create a file named runapp.sh with the following contents.

export FLASK_APP=myapp
export FLASK_ENV=development
flask run

Close the file, then in the command line, run it with

# Execute this in the command line inside the same directory 
bash runapp.sh

You should see the following output

* Serving Flask app "myapp" (lazy loading)
* Environment: development
* Debug mode: on
* Running on http://127.0.0.1:5000/ (Press CTRL+C to quit)
* Restarting with stat
* Debugger is active!
* Debugger PIN: 319-407-766

 

5 – Test your app