Python: Auto Reload Using Flask

lukeinthecloud profile image Luke Babich ・2 min read

So recently I have been jumping into the world of Python and creating my own servers etc now that I felt like I had a grasp of the language.

Coming from Javascript with NodeJS using nodemon, ts-node-dev etc. First thing I wanted in this server was for it to auto reload on changes.

So lets jump right into it.

from flask import Flask

app = Flask(__name__)

def hello_world():
    return 'Hello, Nice!'

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app.run('', 8085)

So this is just your standard Hello World server. The main difference is there is a little check to determine if the file is being executed itself or not.

So using our favorite IDE (In my case PyCharm) we are able to execute that file and the server would run with

 * Serving Flask app "app" (lazy loading)
 * Environment: production
   WARNING: This is a development server. Do not use it in a production deployment.
   Use a production WSGI server instead.
 * Debug mode: off
 * Running on (Press CTRL+C to quit)

We now want to run this with a debugger and for it to reload automagically on changes. To do so you can generally just run (you can one line this I just like multi):

export FLASK_APP=app.py
export FLASK_ENV=development

flask run --port 8085

However that would become tedious to have to do that every time. So in my project folder I created a /bin directory and added a server-debug.sh script with the following:


export FLASK_APP=app.py
export FLASK_ENV=development

flask run --port 8085

Now I can then execute the above script via the IDE which will set everything up for me that I could want. This will now output:

 * Serving Flask app "app.py" (lazy loading)
 * Environment: development
 * Debug mode: on
 * Restarting with stat
 * Debugger is active!
 * Debugger PIN: 294-871-031
 * Running on (Press CTRL+C to quit)

Which means we can then go and attach to the debugging process now created, then our breakpoints will work, with the benefit of reloading on changes!

The power of this is that I can now create different executable scripts depending on my needs and not have to worry about it.

Hopefully this helped someone and any improvements I welcome any feedback!

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lukeinthecloud profile

Luke Babich


- Software Developer I love code. Whether it loves me back is another question.


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