Deploying Project

When deploying a project to a live server, does the project have to be in a python virtual environment?

Will be deploying to Linode.

Should your project run within the context of a virtual environment? Absolutely.

You want to be able to manage that environment independently from the system’s python installation. The last thing you want to have happen is to upgrade a package that destabilizes a system function, or to apply an update to the OS that breaks your application.

(One of my personal sites is running on Linode, I’ve been very happy with it.)

Is there a way to move what I have into a virtual env?

You don’t physically “move” anything. A virtual environment defines an environment in which your code executes.

Then how would I get the current project files into a venv?

You don’t. There is no “into” with a venv.

A venv is not something physical and not organizational.

Technically, it’s a set of environment variables that are set in a parent process that identifies what instance of Python to use when you run your code.

Also see Virtual environment setup for django and the three links in the first reply.

You should also read 12. Virtual Environments and Packages — Python 3.12.0 documentation and venv — Creation of virtual environments — Python 3.12.0 documentation