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OpenStack Swift storage backend for Django
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django-storage-swift: a storage layer for OpenStack Swift

django-storage-swift allows Django applications to use OpenStack Swift as a file storage layer.


  • Reads/writes files into/out of Swift.
  • Automatically derives the correct URL to allow files to be accessed through a web browser based on information returned from the authorisation server.
    • Allows you to override the host, port and path as necessary.
    • Supports the generation of temporary URLs to restrict access to files.


You can install django-storage-swift through pip. To store your media files on swift, add the following line to your or


To store your static files on swift, add the following line:


This will use another container.


django-storage-swift recognises the following options.

Option Default Description
SWIFT_AUTH_URL None The URL for the auth server, e.g.
SWIFT_USERNAME None The username to use to authenticate.
SWIFT_KEY None The key (password) to use to authenticate.
SWIFT_AUTH_VERSION 1 The version of the authentication protocol to use.
SWIFT_TENANT_NAME None The tenant name to use when authenticating.
SWIFT_TENANT_ID None The tenant id to use when authenticating.
SWIFT_USER_DOMAIN_NAME None The domain name for the user to use when authenticating. (SWIFT_AUTH_VERSION=3 only)
SWIFT_USER_DOMAIN_ID None The domain id for the user to use when authenticating. (SWIFT_AUTH_VERSION=3 only)
SWIFT_PROJECT_DOMAIN_NAME None The domain name for the project/tenant to use when authenticating. (SWIFT_AUTH_VERSION=3 only)
SWIFT_PROJECT_DOMAIN_ID None The domain id for the project/tenant to use when authenticating. (SWIFT_AUTH_VERSION=3 only)
SWIFT_CONTAINER_NAME None The container in which to store the files.
SWIFT_STATIC_CONTAINER_NAME None Alternate container used by StaticSwiftStorage.
SWIFT_AUTO_CREATE_CONTAINER False Should the container be created if it does not exist?
SWIFT_AUTO_BASE_URL True Query the authentication server for the base URL.
SWIFT_BASE_URL None The base URL from which the files can be retrieved, e.g.
SWIFT_USE_TEMP_URLS False Generate temporary URLs for file access (allows files to be accessed without a permissive ACL).
SWIFT_TEMP_URL_KEY None Temporary URL key --- see the OpenStack documentation.
SWIFT_TEMP_URL_DURATION 30*60 How long a temporary URL remains valid, in seconds.
SWIFT_EXTRA_OPTIONS {} Extra options, eg. { "endpoint_type": "adminURL" }, which will return adminURL instead publicURL.


django-swift-storage will automatically query the authentication server for the URL where your files can be accessed, which takes the form http://server:port/v1/AUTH_token/.

Sometimes you want to override the server and port (for example if you're developing using devstack inside Vagrant). This can be accomplished with SWIFT_BASE_URL.

The provided value is parsed, and:

  • host and port override any automatically derived values
  • any path component is put before derived path components.

So if your auth server returns and you have SWIFT_BASE_URL="", the url function will a path based on

Temporary URLs

Temporary URLs provide a means to grant a user permission to access a file for a limited time only and without making the entire container public.

Temporary URLs work as described in the Swift documentation. (The code to generate the signatures is heavily based on their implementation.) They require setup of a key for signing: the process is described in the OpenStack documentation.


Once installed and configured, use of django-storage-swift should be automatic and seamless.

You can verify that swift is indeed being used by running, inside python shell:

from import default_storage

The result should be <<swiftclient.client.Connection object ...>>

Openstack Keystone/Identity v3

To authenticate with a swift installation using Keystone AUTH and the Identity v3 API, you must also specify either the domain ID or name that your user and project (tenant) belongs to.



  • I'm getting permission errors accessing my files: If you are not using temporary URLs, you may need to make the container publically readable. See this helpful discussion. If you are using temporary URLs, verify that your key is set correctly.


# This was executed on a VM running a SAIO, for example with

# Create two world-readable containers
swift post -r ".r:*" django
swift post -r ".r:*" django-static

# A virtualenv to keep installation separated
virtualenv sampleenv
source sampleenv/bin/activate
pip install django-storage-swift
pip install django

# Create a sample project
django-admin startproject sampleproj
export DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=sampleproj.settings
cd sampleproj/

# A few required settings, using SAIO defaults
cat <<EOF >> sampleproj/

# Create the initial DB data
python migrate

# This uploads static files to Swift
python collectstatic --noinput

# Now open in your browser
# Static files like CSS are served by Swift
python runserver
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