Running OpenREM on Windows with IIS

These instructions are for running OpenREM under IIS on Windows Server 2012, but should work on Windows 7/8/10 and later versions of Windows Server with minimal modification. The instructions are based on

Why use IIS?

The built-in Django webserver is not advised for production environments. There are a few alternatives for serving a Django application. Apache is probably the best known web server, but has some requirements under Windows in combination with Python / Django that are hard to fulfill (see IIS is default available on Windows Server and doesn’t have these requirements.


  • A working OpenREM installation, that serves web pages using the built-in web server.
    You can test this using the instructions in Start all the services

Steps to perform

Install wfastcgy Python package

  • Open a command prompt and navigate to the pythonscript directory if that directory is not in your path
  • Type pip install wfastcgi
  • Close the command prompt by entering exit

Install IIS

  • Open Control panel

  • Take care the view by is on small or large icons (not category view)

  • Select Program and Features

  • Select Turn Windows features on or off

  • Windows Server 2012

    • Click Next
    • Leave the Role-based or feature-based installation radio button selected and click Next
    • Leave the current server highlighted and click Next
    • Scroll to the bottom of the list and check Web Server (IIS)
    • In the dialog that appears, leave the Include management tools (if applicable) checkbox checked and click Add Features
    • On the Select server roles step, now that Web Server (IIS) is checked, click Next
    • Leave the defaults and click Next
    • On the Web Server Role (IIS) step, click Next
    • On the Select role services step, scroll down to Application Development, expand that section, and check the CGI box. click Next.
    • Click Install and after installation, click Close
  • Window 7 & Windows 10

    • Tick Internet information services to turn the default features on
    • In World Wide Web Services, Application Development Features, tick CGI
    • Click OK
    • Click Close (Windows 10 only, In Windows 7 the Windows Features window will close automatically)
  • Close the Server Manager and the Control Panel

To test the IIS installation browse to http://localhost. You should see the default IIS “Welcome” Page.

Configure IIS

  • Open Administrative Tools and double-click the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager link. You may need to right click and Run as Adminstrator. - For Windows 7 the Administrative Tools are not available by default, you can also type inetmgr in the search program and files text box.
  • Click on the name of the server within the IIS manager
  • Click No if a pop-up about the Web Platform Components appears
  • Double-click on the FastCGI Settings icon
  • In the right pane under actions click Add Application...
  • In the Full Path box type the path to the Python executable, e.g.: c:\python27\python.exe
  • In the Arguments box type the path to file, e.g.: c:\python27\Lib\site-packages\


If your path contains spaces be sure to have double quotes(") around the argument

  • Under FastCGI properties, click on (Collection) next to Environment Variables and click on the grey ... box
  • In the EnvironmentVariables Collection Editor dialog, click Add
  • Under Name properties on the right, click the input box to the right of Name, and replace the text Name by DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE (capitals is important)
  • As Value enter openremproject.settings
  • Click Add again and add a variable with name PYTHON_PATH and value the path to the openrem path, e.g. C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\openrem
  • Click Add for the third time and a variable with name WSGI_HANDLER and value django.core.wsgi.get_wsgi_application()
  • Click Ok to close the EnviromentVariables Collection Editor.
  • Under FastCGI properties find the Activity Timeout entry and increase the value to 300. This is to ensure that the server allows enough time for skin dose map data to be calculated.
  • Click Ok to close the Add FastCGI Application dialog
  • Start Windows Explorer and browse to the Python folder, e.g. C:\Python27, or if using a virtualenv browse to that
  • Right click on the Lib sub-folder and choose properties. In the security tab, make sure IIS_IUSRS has Read, Write, Execute and Change permissions for this directory and the subdirectories.
  • Repeat the above step for the Scripts sub-folder, and also for the MEDIA_ROOT folder (as configured in; default c:/Temp/OpenREM/media)

Create a new website

  • In the IIS manager under connections expand the tree under server name
  • Right-click on sites and click Add Website...
  • Enter as sitename OpenREM
  • As physical path enter the same path as the PYTHON_PATH in the FastCGI settings above, e.g. C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\openrem
  • Set the port to the port you desire. If you wish to use the default port 80, you need to stop and/or remove the default website or change the port of the default website
  • Click OK

Configure the new website

  • In IIS manager double click on the OpenREM website under Sites
  • Double click on the Handler Mappings icon in the middle pane
  • In the right pane, under Actions, click Add Module Mappings or Add Module Mapping..
  • In the Request Path box enter an asterix (*)
  • In the Module box select FastCgiModule (not the CgiModule)
  • In the Executable box enter path\to\python.exe|path\to\, e.g.: c:\python27\python.exe|c:\python27\Lib\site-packages\ The | character between the two paths is usually to be found with Shift \.
  • In Name type OpenREM cgi handler (value of name is not important)


If one of your paths contains a space use quotations marks around that path. Don’t use quotations marks around the full statement.

  • Click the Request Restrictions button and uncheck the Invoke handler only if request is mapped to: checkbox
  • Click Ok twice to close the Request Restrictions dialog and the Add Module Mapping dialog
  • When prompted Do you want to create a FastCGI application for this executable? click No

The website should work now: browse to http://localhost:port (port is the number you configured the website on. If the port is 80, you can omit the colon and port number).


The website will look “ugly” as the static files (like the css-files) are not yet configured

Configure Django and IIS to serve static files

  • Create a directory called static in your openrem directory, e.g. C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\openrem\static
  • In the Openrem file, located in the openremproject directory (e.g. C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\openrem\oprenremproject\ find the STATIC_ROOT variable and set the value to match the directory you just created. The backslashes should be replaced by forward slashed. e.g. STATIC_ROOT = 'C:/Python27/Lib/site-packages/openrem/static'
  • Open a command prompt and navigate to the openrem directory, e.g. C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\openrem
  • Type python collectstatic
  • Type Yes to confirm if the static root directory mentioned is correct
  • Close the command prompt by typing exit
  • In IIS right-click on the OpenREM website (under Sites)
  • Click Add Virtual Directory
  • Type static as alias and the path to the static directoy as Physical Path, e.g. C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\openrem\static
  • Click Ok to close the dialog box
  • Click on the static directory in IIS within the OpenREM site (unfold the OpenREM site)
  • Double click on the Handler Mappings icon in the middle pane
  • On the right pane click View Ordered Lists... under Actions
  • Click on the StaticFile Handler in the middle pane and on Move Up in the right pane until the StaticFile Handler is on the top


You may get a warning that you are detaching the virtual directory. Click Yes on this warning.

Check the website by browsing to http://localhost:port, everything should be fine now.