miscellaneous django tools
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Miscellaneous tools for django.

Look also at the siblings project: django-cms-tools (Tools/helpers around Django-CMS).

Build Status on travis-ci.org travis-ci.org/jedie/django-tools
Coverage Status on coveralls.io coveralls.io/r/jedie/django-tools
Status on landscape.io landscape.io/github/jedie/django-tools/master

existing stuff


Insert template name as html comments, e.g.:

<!-- START 'foo/bar.html' -->
<!-- END 'foo/bar.html' -->

To use this, you must add django_tools.template.loader.DebugCacheLoader as template loader.

e.g.: Activate it only in DEBUG mode:

    TEMPLATES[0]["OPTIONS"]["loaders"] = [
            "django_tools.template.loader.DebugCacheLoader", (

Filemanager library

Library for building django application like filemanager, gallery etc.

more info, read ./filemanager/README.creole

per-site cache middleware

Similar to django UpdateCacheMiddleware and FetchFromCacheMiddleware, but has some enhancements: 'per site cache' in ./cache/README.creole

smooth cache backends

Same as django cache backends, but adds cache.smooth_update() to clears the cache smoothly depend on the current system load. more info in: 'smooth cache backends' in ./cache/README.creole

local sync cache

Keep a local dict in a multi-threaded environment up-to-date. Usefull for cache dicts. More info, read DocString in ./local_sync_cache/local_sync_cache.py.

threadlocals middleware

For getting request object anywhere, use ./middlewares/ThreadLocal.py

Dynamic SITE_ID middleware

Set settings.SITE_ID dynamically with a middleware base on the current request domain name. Domain name alias can be specify as a simple string or as a regular expression.

more info, read ./dynamic_site/README.creole.


Message storage like LegacyFallbackStorage, except, every message would have a stack info, witch is helpful, for debugging. Stack info would only be added, if settings DEBUG or MESSAGE_DEBUG is on. To use it, put this into your settings:

MESSAGE_STORAGE = "django_tools.utils.messages.StackInfoStorage"

More info, read DocString in ./utils/messages.py.

limit to usergroups

Limit something with only one field, by selecting:

  • anonymous users
  • staff users
  • superusers
  • ..all existing user groups..

More info, read DocString in ./limit_to_usergroups.py

permission helpers

See django_tools.permissions and unittests: django_tools_tests.test_permissions

form/model fields

unittests helpers

Mockup utils

Create dummy PIL/django-filer images with Text, see:


create users


  • django_tools.unittest_utils.user.create_user() - create users, get_super_user
  • django_tools.unittest_utils.user.get_super_user() - get the first existing superuser


django_tools.unittest_utils.unittest_base.BaseUnittestCase contains some low-level assert methods:

  • assertEqual_dedent()
  • assert_is_dir(), assert_not_is_dir()
  • assert_is_file(), assert_not_is_File()

django_tools.unittest_utils.tempdir contains TempDir, a Context Manager Class:

with TempDir(prefix="foo_") as tempfolder:
    # create a file:
    open(os.path.join(tempfolder, "bar"), "w").close()

# the created temp folder was deleted with shutil.rmtree()



Helper to run shell commands. e.g.: "./manage.py cms check"


DOM compare in unittests

The Problem: You can’t easy check if e.g. some form input fields are in the response, because the form rendering use a dict for storing all html attributes. So, the ordering of form field attributes are not sorted and varied.

The Solution: You need to parse the response content into a DOM tree and compare nodes.

We add the great work of Gregor Müllegger at his GSoC 2011 form-rendering branch. You will have the following assert methods inherit from: django_tools.unittest_utils.unittest_base.BaseTestCase

  • self.assertHTMLEqual() – for compare two HTML DOM trees
  • self.assertDOM() – for check if nodes in response or not.
  • self.assertContains() – Check if ond node occurs 'count’ times in response

More info and examples in ./django_tools_tests/test_dom_asserts.py

@set_string_if_invalid() decorator

Helper to check if there are missing template tags by set temporary 'string_if_invalid', see: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.8/ref/templates/api/#invalid-template-variables

Usage, e.g.:

from django.test import SimpleTestCase
from django_tools.unittest_utils.template import TEMPLATE_INVALID_PREFIX, set_string_if_invalid

class TestMyTemplate(SimpleTestCase):
    def test_valid_tag(self):
        response = self.client.get('/foo/bar/')
        self.assertNotIn(TEMPLATE_INVALID_PREFIX, response.content)

You can also decorate the test method ;)

@task_always_eager() celery decorator

Decorator activate celery:

CELERY_ALWAYS_EAGER=True # executed locally instead of being sent to the queue
CELERY_EAGER_PROPAGATES_EXCEPTIONS=True # raise exceptions on errors

Is also set these two items in settings by using override_settings See also: http://docs.celeryproject.org/en/latest/userguide/configuration.html#std:setting-task_always_eager

Usage, e.g.:

from django.core import mail
from django.test import SimpleTestCase
from django_tools.unittest_utils.celery import task_always_eager

class TestMyCeleryJobs(SimpleTestCase):
    def test_send_mail(self):
        response = self.client.get('/send_mail/foo/')
        self.assertEqual(len(mail.outbox), 1)

You can also decorate the test method ;)

Speedup tests

Speedup test run start by disable migrations, e.g.:

from django_tools.unittest_utils.disable_migrations import DisableMigrations
MIGRATION_MODULES = DisableMigrations()

small tools


Display the normal debug page and not the minimal csrf debug page. More info in DocString here: django_tools/views/csrf.py

import lib helper

additional helper to the existing importlib more info in the sourcecode: ./utils/importlib.py

http utils

Pimped HttpRequest to get some more information about a request. More info in DocString here: django_tools/utils/http.py


Developer helper to display silent errors in ModelAdmin.list_display callables. See: display_admin_error in decorators.py

upgrade virtualenv

A simple commandline script that calls pip install —-upgrade XY for every package thats installed in a virtualenv. Simply copy/symlink it into the root directory of your virtualenv and start it.

Note: Seems that this solution can't observe editables right.

To use it, without installing django-tools:

~/$ cd goto/your_env
.../your_env/$ wget https://github.com/jedie/django-tools/raw/master/django_tools/upgrade_virtualenv.py
.../your_env/$ chmod +x upgrade_virtualenv.py
.../your_env/$ ./upgrade_virtualenv.py

This script will be obsolete, if pip has a own upgrade command.


Similar to origin django.http.QueryDict but:

  • urlencode() doesn't add "=" to empty values: "?empty" instead of "?empty="
  • always mutable
  • output will be sorted (easier for tests ;)

More info, see tests: django_tools_tests/test_utils_url.py


Store information in signed Cookies, use django.core.signing. So the cookie data can't be manipulated from the client. Sources/examples:

Print SQL Queries

Print the used SQL queries via context manager.

usage e.g.:

from django_tools.unittest_utils.print_sql import PrintQueries

# e.g. use in unittests:
class MyTests(TestCase):
    def test_foobar(self):
        with PrintQueries("Create object"):

# e.g. use in views:
def my_view(request):
    with PrintQueries("Create object"):

the output is like:

 *** Create object ***
1 - INSERT INTO "foobar" ("name")
    VALUES (foo)


middleware to add debug bool attribute to request object. More info: ./debug/README.creole


Put traceback in log by call logging.exception() on process_exception() Activate with:


InternalIps() - Unix shell-style wildcards in INTERNAL_IPS

settings.py e.g.:

from django_tools.settings_utils import InternalIps

INTERNAL_IPS = InternalIps(["", "::1", "192.168.*.*", "10.0.*.*"])


redirect stdout + stderr to a string buffer. e.g.:

from django_tools.unittest_utils.stdout_redirect import StdoutStderrBuffer

with StdoutStderrBuffer() as buffer:
output = buffer.get_output() # contains "foo\n"

Management commands


Similar to django 'diffsettings', but used pretty-printed representation.

To use it, add 'django_tools.manage_commands.django_tools_nice_diffsettings' to your INSTALLED_APPS and call:

$ ./manage.py nice_diffsettings


Just list all existing models in app_label.ModelName format. Useful to use this in 'dumpdata' etc.

To use it, add 'django_tools.manage_commands.django_tools_list_models' to your INSTALLED_APPS and call:

$ ./manage.py list_models

..all others…

There exist many miscellaneous stuff. Look in the source, luke!

running django-tools unittests

Run all tests in all environment combinations:

.../django-tools $ tox

Run all tests in current environment:

.../django-tools $ pytest

Run specific tests, e.g.:

.../django-tools $ pytest django_tools_tests/test_unittest_utils.py

Backwards-incompatible changes


remove outdated stuff:


ClientCookieStorage was renamed to SignedCookieStorage import e.g.:

from django_tools.utils.client_storage import SignedCookieStorage


SmoothCacheBackends API changed: The cache.clear() method will really clear the cache, as the origin backend API. You must call cache.smooth_update() to set the "last change" timestamp.


AutoUpdateFileBasedCache is deprecated, use new SmoothCacheBackends.


Language code field and SelectMediaPath are renamed.

change: from django_tools.fields import LanguageCodeFormField to: from django_tools.fields.language_code import LanguageCodeFormField

change and rename: from django_tools.fields import LanguageCodeField to: from django_tools.fields.language_code import LanguageCodeModelField

change and rename: from django_tools.widgets import SelectMediaPath to: from django_tools.fields.media_path import MediaPathWidget

Django compatibility

django-tools django version python
>= v0.30.1 1.8, 1.9, 1.10 2.7, 3.4, 3.5
v0.30 1.8, 1.9 2.7, 3.4
v0.29 1.6 - 1.8 2.7, 3.4
v0.26 <=1.6
v0.25 <=1.4

(since v0.29 the given version combination will be tested via travis-ci)


  • v0.32.9 - 21.03.2017 - compare v0.32.8...v0.32.9
    • Bugfix DebugCacheLoader if TemplateDoesNotExist was raised
  • v0.32.8 - 16.03.2017 - compare v0.32.7...v0.32.8
    • NEW: django_tools.template.loader.DebugCacheLoader to add template name as html comments
    • Change temp filename in BrowserDebug and use django_tools_browserdebug_ prefix
    • Bugfix in django_tools.middlewares.ThreadLocal.ThreadLocalMiddleware
  • v0.32.7 - 10.03.2017 - compare v0.32.6...v0.32.7
    • NEW: django_tools.permissions - helper for setup permissions
    • NEW: /unittest_utils/user.py - helper for creating users (needfull in unittests)
  • v0.32.6 - 22.02.2017 - compare v0.32.5...v0.32.6
  • @task_always_eager() decorator will set CELERY_EAGER_PROPAGATES_EXCEPTIONS=True, too.
  • v0.32.5 - 10.02.2017 - compare v0.32.4...v0.32.5
    • NEW: Add template_name (optional) to self.assertResponse() (check with assertTemplateUsed())
  • v0.32.4 - 01.02.2017 - compare v0.32.3...v0.32.4
  • Fix: Set "is_active" for created test users
  • v0.32.3 - 25.01.2017 - compare v0.32.2...v0.32.3
    • Fix UnicodeDecodeError in BrowserDebug
    • NEW: @set_string_if_invalid() decorator
    • NEW: @task_always_eager() decorator
  • v0.32.2 - 13.01.2017 - compare v0.32.1...v0.32.2
    • NEW: django_tools.utils.url.GetDict
  • v0.32.1 - 29.12.2016 - compare v0.32.0...v0.32.1
    • NEW: TracebackLogMiddleware
  • v0.32.0 - 19.12.2016 - compare v0.31.0...v0.32.0
    • NEW: Management commands: 'nice_diffsettings', 'list_models'
    • NEW: @display_admin_error to display silent errors in ModelAdmin.list_display callables.
    • NEW: django_tools.template.render.render_template_file
    • use pytest-django
    • remove outdated stuff: See 'Backwards-incompatible changes' above.
  • v0.31.0 - 03.11.2016 - compare v0.30.4...v0.31.0
    • add Mockup utils to create dummy PIL/django-filer images with Text (see above)
    • move tests into /django_tools_tests/
  • v0.30.4 - 27.10.2016 - compare v0.30.2...v0.30.4
    • add DjangoCommandMixin
  • v0.30.2 - 05.10.2016 - compare v0.30.1...v0.30.2
    • Bugfix Python 2 compatibility
  • v0.30.1 - 26.08.2016 - compare v0.30.0...v0.30.1
    • add: django_tools.unittest_utils.disable_migrations.DisableMigrations (see above)
    • run tests also with django v1.10 and Python 3.5
    • use tox
  • v0.30.0 - 27.04.2016 - compare v0.29.5...v0.30.0
    • Django 1.9 and Python 3 support contributed by naegelyd
  • v0.29.4 and v0.29.5 - 10.08.2015 - compare v0.29.3...v0.29.5
    • Some bugfixes for django 1.6 support
  • v0.29.3 - 10.08.2015 - compare v0.29.2...v0.29.3
    • Clear ThreadLocal request atttribute after response is processed (contributed by Lucas Wiman)
  • v0.29.2 - 19.06.2015 - compare v0.29.1...v0.29.2
    • Bugfix in unittest_utils.selenium_utils.selenium2fakes_response
    • assertResponse used assertContains from django
    • Add QueryLogMiddleware (TODO: add tests)
  • v0.29.1 - 17.06.2015 - compare v0.29.0...v0.29.1
    • Bugfixes for Py2 and Py3
    • add StdoutStderrBuffer()
  • v0.29.0 - 09.06.2015 - compare v0.26.0...v0.29.0
    • WIP: Refactor unittests (DocTests must be updated for Py3 and more unittests must be written to cover all)
    • catch more directory traversal attacks in BaseFilesystemBrowser (and merge code parts)
    • Bugfix for "django.core.exceptions.AppRegistryNotReady: Models aren't loaded yet." if using UpdateInfoBaseModel
    • Bugfixes in dynamic_site for django 1.7
    • add: django_tools.settings_utils.InternalIps
  • v0.28.0 - 12.02.2015 - compare v0.26.0...v0.28.0
    • Work-a-round for import loops
    • (new Version number, because of PyPi stress)
  • v0.26.0 - 11.02.2015 - compare v0.25.1...v0.26.0
    • Updates for Django 1.6 and Python 3
  • v0.25.1 - 18.11.2013
    • Bugfix: Fall back to "UTF-8" if server send no encoding info
  • v0.25.0 - 28.08.2012
    • Rename cache.clear() in SmoothCacheBackends to cache.smooth_update(), so that reset timestamp is independ from clear the cache.
  • v0.24.10 - 24.08.2012
  • v0.24.9 - 24.08.2012
    • Bugfix in per-site cache middleware: set inital count values to None, if counting is disabled.
  • v0.24.8 - 24.08.2012
  • v0.24.7 - 21.08.2012
  • v0.24.6 - 21.08.2012
    • Add the filemanager library (see above)
  • v0.24.5 - 06.08.2012
    • Add Print SQL Queries context manager. (see above)
  • v0.24.4 - 26.07.2012
    • remove date from version string, cause of side-effects e.g.: user clone the repo and has the filter not installed
  • v0.24.3 - 25.07.2012
  • v0.24.2 - 10.07.2012
    • Split UpdateInfoBaseModel(): So you can only set "createtime", "lastupdatetime" or "createby", "lastupdateby" or both types (This is backwards compatible)
  • v0.24.1 - 12.06.2012
    • Bugfix: UsergroupsModelField() and add unittests for it
    • Add "normal users" in UsergroupsModelField()
    • New: Add create_user() and create_testusers() to BaseTestCase
    • Add a test project for the unittests. TODO: use this for all tests
  • v0.24.0 - 04.06.2012
  • v0.23.1
    • Dynamic Site would be only initialised if settings.USE_DYNAMIC_SITE_MIDDLEWARE = True
  • v0.23.0
    • Use cryptographic signing tools from django 1.4 in django_tools.utils.client_storage
  • v0.22.0
    • Add static_path.py thats used settings.STATIC_ROOT.
    • The old media_path.py which used settings.MEDIA_ROOT is deprecated and will be removed in the future.
    • auto_add_check_unique_together() can use settings.DATABASES["default"]["ENGINE"], too.
  • v0.21.1
  • v0.21.0beta
    • New: site alias function
    • refractory 'DynamicSiteMiddleware' to a own app (Backwards-incompatible change: change your settings if you use the old DynamicSiteMiddleware.)
  • v0.20.1
  • v0.20.0
  • v0.19.6
    • Add some south introspection rules for LanguageCodeModelField and jQueryTagModelField
    • fallback if message for anonymous user can't created, because django.contrib.messages middleware not used.
    • Bugfix in django_tools.utils.messages.StackInfoStorage
  • v0.19.5
  • v0.19.4
    • Bugfix for PyPy in local_sync_cache get_cache_information(): sys.getsizeof() not implemented on PyPy
    • Bugfix in template.filters.chmod_symbol()
    • Nicer solution for template.filters.human_duration()
  • v0.19.3
    • Add support for https in utils/http.py
  • v0.19.2
    • Bugfix in utils/http.py timeout work-a-round
  • v0.19.1
    • utils/http.py changes:
      • Use a better solution, see:
      • Add timeout and add a work-a-round for Python < 2.6
  • v0.19.0
    • NEW: Add utils/http.py with helpers to get a webpage via http GET in unicode
    • Change README from textile to creole ;)
  • v0.18.2
    • Bugfix: Add missing template in pypi package
  • v0.18.0
    • NEW: Add DOM compare from Gregor Müllegger GSoC work into unittest utils.
  • v0.17.1
    • Bugfix in “limit_to_usergroups”: Make choices “lazy”: Don’t access the database in init
  • v0.17
    • Add the script “upgrade_virtualenv.py”
    • Add “limit_to_usergroups”
    • Add “local sync cache”
    • Add models.UpdateInfoBaseModel
    • Update decorators.render_to
    • render_to pass keyword arguments to render_to_response() (e.g.: mimetype=“text/plain”)
    • new argument “skip_fail” in get_filtered_apps(): If True: raise excaption if app is not importable
  • v0.16.4
    • Bugfix: get_db_prep_save() got an unexpected keyword argument 'connection’ when save a SignSeparatedModelField()
  • v0.16.3
    • Update BrowserDebug: Use response.templates instead of response.template and make output nicer
  • v0.16.2
    • Merge stack info code and display better stack info on browser debug page
  • v0.16.1
    • Update django_tools.utils.messages.StackInfoStorage for django code changes.
  • v0.16.0
    • NEW: path model field (check if direcotry exist)
  • v0.15.0
    • NEW: Add a flexible URL field (own validator, model- and form-field)
  • v0.14.1
    • Bugfix: make path in MediaPathModelField relativ (remove slashes)
  • v0.14
    • NEW: django-tagging addon: Display existing tags under a tag field
  • v0.13
    • Bugfix UnicodeEncodeError in Browser debug
  • v0.12
    • NEW: django_tools.utils.messages.failsafe_message
  • v0.11
    • NEW: Store data in a secure cookie, see: utils/client_storage.py
  • v0.10.1
    • New: Display used templates in unittest BrowserDebug
    • Bugfix: catch if last usermessages exist
  • v0.10.0
    • NEW: utils around django messages, see: /django_tools/utils/messages.py
  • v0.9.1
    • Bugfix: database column was not created: don’t overwrite get_internal_type()
  • v0.9
    • New: stuff in /django_tools/fields/
    • see also backwards-incompatible changes, above!
  • v0.8.2
    • New: widgets.SelectMediaPath(): Select a sub directory in settings.MEDIA_ROOT
    • New: fields.SignSeparatedField()
  • v0.8.1
    • Add “no_args” keyword argument to installed_apps_utils.get_filtered_apps()
  • v0.8.0
    • Add model LanguageCode field and form LanguageCode field in Accept-Language header format (RFC 2616)
  • v0.7.0
    • Add decorators.py
  • v0.6.0
  • v0.5.0
    • Add template/filters.py from PyLucid v0.8.x
  • v0.4.0
    • Add experimental “warn_invalid_template_vars”
  • v0.3.1
    • Bugfix: Exclude the instance if it was saved in the past.
  • v0.3.0
    • Add utils.installed_apps_utils
  • v0.2.0
  • v0.1.0

pip upgrade

To do a pip upgrade in a virtual environment, run this:

~$ cd /YourVirtualEnv/bin
~/YourVirtualEnv/bin$ source activate
(YourVirtualEnv)~/YourVirtualEnv/bin$ pip install --upgrade --verbose --editable=git+git://github.com/jedie/django-tools.git#egg=django-tools

The example used git readonly clone url. If you use subversion do this:

(YourVirtualEnv)~/YourVirtualEnv/bin$ pip install --upgrade --verbose --editable=http://svn.github.com/jedie/django-tools.git#egg=django-tools

If you have git write access, use this:

(YourVirtualEnv)~/YourVirtualEnv/bin$ pip install --upgrade --verbose --editable=git+git@github.com:jedie/django-tools.git#egg=django-tools

...or just use our limit_to_usergroups.py script (see above)

fast repo update

To made a fast repository update, you can run this simple shell script:

~$ cd /path/to/django-tools
/path/to/django-tools$ ./update.sh

the update script runs “git pull origin master” or “svn update”.


Homepage http://github.com/jedie/django-tools
PyPi http://pypi.python.org/pypi/django-tools/


Come into the conversation, besides the github communication features:

Forum official 'django-tools' Forum
IRC #pylucid on freenode.net (Yes, the PyLucid channel...)
webchat http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=pylucid