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HTML5 upload with photo rotate/crop tools and Django backend

A reusable Django app to work with photo and file uploads. Extracted from FlatmateRooms photo upload feature (please don't save if testing)

  • contains native JavaScript multifile drag and drop upload UI with instant thumbnails and progress bars, see upload/static/upload.js
  • python/PIL backend for upload, cropping, autocrop and rotation of photos
  • seamless integration into Django projects
  • image cropping UI (uses jQuery)

Thumbnails are generated using python PIL/Pillow using easy-thumbnails or compatible thumbnailing application such as sorl-thumbnails.

Uploaded files are grouped into sortable collections, the collection model is swappable via settings, so uploaded files can be grouped to an Album, Page, Gallery, Listing etc.

Generic foreign key allows to associate uploads with any content object (user profile, staff profile, message) while also supporting swappable collections.

upload.js builds on the following HTML5 demos: upload.js uses the W3C File API

Installation (into a Django project)

To get the latest version from GitHub

pip3 install -e git+git://

Add upload to your INSTALLED_APPS


Configure your settings to suit, see upload/ You can use the collection model provided or plug your own using

UPLOAD_COLLECTION_MODEL = 'yourcastleapp.Castle'

Add the upload URLs to your

urlpatterns = [
    url(r'^upload/', include('upload.urls')),

Create your tables

./ migrate upload


Setup a collection

This app supports multiple collections (or your custom model) with multiple files in each collection.

Add files

Drag and drop upload photos and files into your application. Files can have alternative description and are orderable.


Upload shines best for sites that need ability to upload photo galleries.

It will automatically shard the storage folder so as to not hit ext3 subfolder limit (~32000 folders).

Included is also a backup management tool to sync/download publicly uploaded files from server to a local machine.


Simple integration works out of the box.

To upload files to your collection from your editing interface, link:

<a href="{% url 'upload_col_edit' %}">Upload</a>

To upload files for any model taking advantage of generic foreign key, link:

<a href="{% url 'upload_gfk_edit' app_label model(lower) object_id %}">

Therefore a profile picture upload link might look like so:

<a href="{% url 'upload_gfk_edit' 'auth' 'user' %}">..</a>

An important view to reuse or use as inspiration in a custom integration is views_post.FilesEditView.

Example settings

import os

APP_ROOT = os.path.abspath(
    os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__), '..'))

STATIC_URL = '/static/'
MEDIA_URL = '/media/'

Access control

You can control editing access by implementing is_editable_by method on your collection model such as:

def is_editable_by(self, user):
    if == self.user_id or user.is_staff:
        return True
    return False

The above ensures that a collection is only editable by its user and staff.


File issues. Fork and send pull requests. Tell developers implementing uploads.

Dual Licensing

Commercial license

If you want to use Upload to develop and run commercial projects and applications, the Commercial license is the appropriate license. With this option, your source code is kept proprietary.

Once purchased, you are granted a commercial BSD style license and all set to use Upload in your business.

Small Team License (£350) Small Team License for up to 8 developers

Organization License (£1200) Commercial Organization License for Unlimited developers

Open source license

If you are creating an open source application under a license compatible with the GNU GPL license v3, you may use Upload under the terms of the GPLv3.


HTML5 Upload library with django backend and image manipulation tools




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