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How to serve static files
Django itself doesn't serve static (media) files, such as images, style sheets,
or video. It leaves that job to whichever Web server you choose.
The reasoning here is that standard Web servers, such as Apache_ and lighttpd_,
are much more fine-tuned at serving static files than a Web application
With that said, Django does support static files **during development**. Use
the view ``django.views.static.serve`` to serve media files.
.. _Apache:
.. _lighttpd:
The big, fat disclaimer
Using this method is **inefficient** and **insecure**. Do not use this in a
production setting. Use this only for development.
For information on serving static files in an Apache production environment,
see the `Django mod_python documentation`_.
.. _Django mod_python documentation: ../modpython/#serving-media-files
How to do it
Just put this in your URLconf_::
(r'^site_media/(?P<path>.*)$', 'django.views.static.serve', {'document_root': '/path/to/media'}),
...where ``site_media`` is the URL where your media will be rooted, and
``/path/to/media`` is the filesystem root for your media.
You must pass a ``document_root`` parameter to indicate the filesystem root.
* The file ``/path/to/media/foo.jpg`` will be made available at the URL
* The file ``/path/to/media/css/mystyles.css`` will be made available
at the URL ``/site_media/css/mystyles.css``.
* The file ``/path/bar.jpg`` will not be accessible, because it doesn't
fall under the document root.
.. _URLconf: ../url_dispatch/
Directory listings
Optionally, you can pass a ``show_indexes`` parameter to the ``static.serve``
view. This is ``False`` by default. If it's ``True``, Django will display file
listings for directories.
(r'^site_media/(?P<path>.*)$', 'django.views.static.serve', {'document_root': '/path/to/media', 'show_indexes': True}),
You can customize the index view by creating a template called
``static/directory_index``. That template gets two objects in its context:
* ``directory`` -- the directory name (a string)
* ``file_list`` -- a list of file names (as strings) in the directory
Here's the default ``static/directory_index`` template::
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
<html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-us" />
<meta name="robots" content="NONE,NOARCHIVE" />
<title>Index of {{ directory }}</title>
<h1>Index of {{ directory }}</h1>
{% for f in file_list %}
<li><a href="{{ f }}">{{ f }}</a></li>
{% endfor %}
Limiting use to DEBUG=True
Because URLconfs are just plain Python modules, you can use Python logic to
make the static-media view available only in development mode. This is a handy
trick to make sure the static-serving view doesn't slip into a production
setting by mistake.
Do this by wrapping an ``if DEBUG`` statement around the
``django.views.static.serve`` inclusion. Here's a full example URLconf::
from django.conf.urls.defaults import *
from django.conf import settings
urlpatterns = patterns('',
(r'^articles/2003/$', 'news.views.special_case_2003'),
(r'^articles/(?P<year>\d{4})/$', 'news.views.year_archive'),
(r'^articles/(?P<year>\d{4})/(?P<month>\d{2})/$', 'news.views.month_archive'),
(r'^articles/(?P<year>\d{4})/(?P<month>\d{2})/(?P<day>\d+)/$', 'news.views.article_detail'),
if settings.DEBUG:
urlpatterns += patterns('',
(r'^site_media/(?P<path>.*)$', 'django.views.static.serve', {'document_root': '/path/to/media'}),
This code is straightforward. It imports the settings and checks the value of
the ``DEBUG`` setting. If it evaluates to ``True``, then ``site_media`` will be
associated with the ``django.views.static.serve`` view. If not
(``DEBUG == False``), then the view won't be made available.
Of course, the catch here is that you'll have to remember to set ``DEBUG=False``
in your production settings file. But you should be doing that anyway.
.. _DEBUG setting: ../settings/#debug
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