I have a Flask server running through port 5000, and it’s fine. I can access it at http://example.com:5000

But is it possible to simply access it at http://example.com? I’m assuming that means I have to change the port from 5000 to 80. But when I try that on Flask, I get this error message when I run it.

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "xxxxxx.py", line 31, in <module>
app.run(host="", port=int("80"), debug=True)
   File "/usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/flask/app.py", line 772, in run
run_simple(host, port, self, **options)
  File "/usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/werkzeug/serving.py", line 706, in run_simple
    test_socket.bind((hostname, port))
  File "<string>", line 1, in bind
socket.error: [Errno 98] Address already in use

Running lsof -i :80 returns

apache2   467     root    3u  IPv4 92108840      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2  4413 www-data    3u  IPv4 92108840      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2 14346 www-data    3u  IPv4 92108840      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2 14570 www-data    3u  IPv4 92108840      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2 14571 www-data    3u  IPv4 92108840      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2 14573 www-data    3u  IPv4 92108840      0t0  TCP *:www (LISTEN)

Do I need to kill these processes first? Is that safe? Or is there another way to keep Flask running on port 5000 but have the main website domain redirect somehow?

1- Stop other applications that are using port 80.
2- run application with port 80 :

if __name__ == '__main__':
      app.run(host="", port=80)

For externally visible server, where you don’t use apache or other web server you just type

flask run --host= --port=80

So it’s throwing up that error message because you have apache2 running on port 80.

If this is for development, I would just leave it as it is on port 5000.

If it’s for production either:

Not Recommended

  • Stop apache2 first;

Not recommended as it states in the documentation:

You can use the builtin server during development, but you should use a full deployment option for production applications. (Do not use the builtin development server in production.)


  • Proxy HTTP traffic through apache2 to Flask.

This way, apache2 can handle all your static files (which it’s very good at – much better than the debug server built into Flask) and act as a reverse proxy for your dynamic content, passing those requests to Flask.

Here’s a link to the official documentation about setting up Flask with Apache + mod_wsgi.

Edit 1 – Clarification for @Djack

Proxy HTTP traffic to Flask through apache2

When a request comes to the server on port 80 (HTTP) or port 443 (HTTPS) a web server like Apache or Nginx handles the connection of the request and works out what to do with it. In our case a request received should be configured to be passed through to Flask on the WSGI protocol and handled by the Python code. This is the “dynamic” part.

reverse proxy for dynamic content

There are a few advantages to configuring your web server like the above;

  • SSL Termination – The web server will be optimized to handle HTTPS requests with only a little configuration. Don’t “roll your own” in Python which is probably very insecure in comparison.
  • Security – Opening a port to the internet requires careful consideration of security. Flask’s development server is not designed for this and could have open bugs or security issues in comparison to a web server designed for this purpose. Note that a badly configured web server can also be insecure!
  • Static File Handling – It is possible for the builtin Flask web server to handle static files however this is not recommended; Nginx/Apache are much more efficient at handling static files like images, CSS, Javascript files and will only pass “dynamic” requests (those where the content is often read from a database or the content changes) to be handled by the Python code.
  • +more. This is bordering on scope for this question. If you want more info do some research into this area.

If you use the following to change the port or host:

if __name__ == '__main__':
  app.run(host="", port=80)

use the following code to start the server (my main entrance for flask is app.py):

python app.py

instead of using:

flask run

A convinient way is using the package python-dotenv:
It reads out a .flaskenv file where you can store environment variables for flask.

  • pip install python-dotenv
  • create a file .flaskenv in the root directory of your app

Inside the file you specify:


After that you just have to run your app with flask run and can access your app at that port.

Please note that FLASK_RUN_HOST defaults to and FLASK_RUN_PORT defaults to 5000.

This is the only solution that worked for me on Ubuntu-18.

Inside the file app.py , use:

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app.run(host="", port=80)

The code above will give the same permission error unless sudo is used to run it:

sudo python3 app.py

you can easily disable any process running on port 80 and then run this command

flask run --host --port 80

or if u prefer running it within the .py file

if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run(host="", port=80)

If you want your application on same port i.e port=5000 then just in your terminal run this command:

fuser -k 5000/tcp

and then run:

python app.py

If you want to run on a specified port, e.g. if you want to run on port=80, in your main file just mention this:

if __name__ == '__main__':  
    app.run(host="", port=80)

I had to set FLASK_RUN_PORT in my environment to the specified port number. Next time you start your app, Flask will load that environment variable with the port number you selected.

On my scenario the following steps worked like a charm:

  • Installing the package:

    pip install --upgrade pip
    pip install python-dotenv
  • Creating a hidden file in my app directory “flaskr/.flaskenv”

  • Adding the following content:

  • Finally, run the flask command one more time:

    flask run
  • The version which I am working on is:

    pip freeze |grep -i flask

Your issue is, that you have an apache webserver already running that is already using port 80. So, you can either:

  1. Kill apache: You should probably do this via /etc/init.d/apache2 stop, rather than simply killing them.

  2. Deploy your flask app in your apache process, as flask in apache describes.

You don’t need to change port number for your application, just configure your www server (nginx or apache) to proxy queries to flask port. Pay attantion on uWSGI.

set the port with app.run(port=80,debug=True)
you should set debug to true when on dev

Easiest and Best Solution

Save your .py file in a folder. This case my folder name is test. In the command prompt run the following

c:\test> set FLASK_APP=application.py
c:\test> set FLASK_RUN_PORT=8000
c:\test> flask run

—————– Following will be returned —————-

 * Serving Flask app "application.py"
 * Environment: production
   WARNING: Do not use the development server in a production environment.
   Use a production WSGI server instead.
 * Debug mode: off
 * Running on (Press CTRL+C to quit) - - [23/Aug/2019 09:40:04] "[37mGET / HTTP/1.1[0m" 200 - - - [23/Aug/2019 09:40:04] "[33mGET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.1[0m" 404 -

Now on your browser type: Thanks