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Yuichiro Tachibana (Tsuchiya)
Yuichiro Tachibana (Tsuchiya)

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at whitphx.info

How to deploy Streamlit apps to Google App Engine

Things to know

There are some things to know when you deploy Streamlit apps to App Engine.

The flexible environment is mandatory

You have to choose the flexible environment because it supports WebSockets and the standard environment does not.
Streamlit heavily relies on WebSockets for the communication between the server and the client.

App Engine environment comparison on WebSockets support

This is a screenshot of https://cloud.google.com/appengine/docs/the-appengine-environments on 2021/12/12. The left is about the standard env and the right is the flexible env.

Custom runtime is not necessary

You do not have to use a custom runtime (an original Docker image).
The flexible environment offers an official Python runtime as https://cloud.google.com/appengine/docs/flexible/python/runtime and you can use it.

You can also use a custom runtime. For example, it is a nice option when you want to use a different Python version from the one provided as the official runtime or when you already have a working Docker image.

NOTE:
As of 2021/12/12, the document says the Python version on the built-in Python3 runtime is 3.7.2, but it is actually 3.6.10 known from sys.version at least in the asia-northeast1 zone (Tokyo).
And Streamlit officially supports only Python>=3.7 while it is technically possible to be installed with Python 3.6, so maybe you should set up a custom runtime with Python>=3.7 following the section below.

The number of instances should be 1 if st.file_uploader or st.download_button is used

If your app contains st.file_uploader or st.download_button, you should set the maximum number of instances to 1. For that configuration, see https://cloud.google.com/appengine/docs/flexible/python/reference/app-yaml#services.

App Engine typically distributes the requests evenly among available instances so the file upload/download requests sometimes reach the instance different from the one where the session exists when there are multiple instances.

Errors as below appear in such cases.

Upload error
When an error occurs with file upload: The file upload request reaches a server where the session does not exist and the server returns the 400 error code.

Download error
When an error occurs with file download: The file download request reaches a server where the session does not exist and the 404 response is returned.

This problem occurs with the file uploader/downloader components because they use normal stateless HTTP POST/GET requests while other components work on top of WebSocket connections consistent over sessions.

While I know this problem occurs at least with these components, I'm not sure whether there is another component which have this problem. I have not checked all.

NOTE:
Restricting the number of instances to 1 has a drawback as it may cause some downtimes.
As the document says, the flexible instances are restarted once a week, which leads to downtime when there are not multiple instances.
While this problem has already been stated in the following posts, the only solution suggested was to set the minimum number of instances as more than one, although it conflicts with the solution explained in this article. I could not find a solution that covers both problems.

NOTE:
App Engine offers the session affinity setting, but it does not help in this case because it is only for HTTP long polling like socket.io as documented though this problem is due to a different reason.

Recipes

I will show some examples deploying Streamlit apps to App Engine in different situations.

Each of them can be deployed with the command below.

$ gcloud app deploy
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All sample resources are available at https://github.com/whitphx/streamlit-appengine-samples .

Basic setup

This is the simplest one.

  • No custom runtime
  • No config on the number of instances (scaling)
    • This app is not using file uploader or downloader.

https://github.com/whitphx/streamlit-appengine-samples/tree/main/helloworld

File list

.
├── app.yaml
├── requirements.txt
└── streamlit-app.py
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app.yaml

runtime: python
env: flex

runtime_config:
  python_version: 3

entrypoint: streamlit run streamlit-app.py --server.port $PORT

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requirements.txt

streamlit~=1.2.0

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streamlit-app.py

import streamlit as st

st.title("App Engine sample app")

name = st.text_input("Your name?")

st.write(f"Hello, {name or 'world'}!")
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File uploader and downloader

This is a sample with a file uploader and a downloader.

File list

.
├── app.yaml
├── requirements.txt
└── streamlit-app.py
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app.yaml

runtime: python
env: flex

runtime_config:
  python_version: 3

entrypoint: streamlit run streamlit-app.py --server.port $PORT

automatic_scaling:
  max_num_instances: 1

# Or manual scaling as below:
# manual_scaling:
#   instances: 1

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In addition to the basic set-up, automatic_scaling.max_num_instances is set to 1.
If you want to use the manual scaling, use manual_scaling.instances instead.

For these settings, see https://cloud.google.com/appengine/docs/flexible/python/reference/app-yaml#services.

requirements.txt

streamlit~=1.2.0

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streamlit-app.py

import streamlit as st

st.title("App Engine sample app")

uploaded_file = st.file_uploader("Upload some file")
if uploaded_file:
    st.write(f"{uploaded_file.name} was uploaded.")

    st.download_button(f"Download {uploaded_file.name}", data=uploaded_file, file_name=uploaded_file.name)

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Custom runtime

This sample uses a custom runtime with Dockerfile.

Ref: https://cloud.google.com/appengine/docs/flexible/custom-runtimes/build

.
├── Dockerfile
├── app.yaml
├── requirements.txt
└── streamlit-app.py
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app.yaml

runtime: custom
env: flex

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  • Set runtime: custom to use a custom runtime.
  • entrypoint is not needed as it is defined in Dockerfile.

Dockerfile

FROM gcr.io/google-appengine/python

# Ref:
# * https://github.com/GoogleCloudPlatform/python-runtime/blob/8cdc91a88cd67501ee5190c934c786a7e91e13f1/README.md#kubernetes-engine--other-docker-hosts
# * https://github.com/GoogleCloudPlatform/python-runtime/blob/8cdc91a88cd67501ee5190c934c786a7e91e13f1/scripts/testdata/hello_world_golden/Dockerfile
RUN virtualenv /env -p python3.7

ENV VIRTUAL_ENV /env
ENV PATH /env/bin:$PATH

ADD requirements.txt /app/
RUN pip install -r requirements.txt

ADD . /app
ENTRYPOINT [ "streamlit", "run", "streamlit-app.py", "--server.port", "8080" ]

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requirements.txt

streamlit~=1.2.0

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streamlit-app.py

import sys

import streamlit as st


st.write(sys.version)

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