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Django REST Framework interface for direct upload to S3. Designed for browser-based clients using Fine Uploader and API clients.


Handles browser-based uploads

  1. Signs policy documents for the POST API.
  2. Provides an empty response to use as a success action redirect with old browsers (IE 9 and Android 2.3.x) which do not support the File API, instead using a dynamically generated iframe.
  3. Provides a framework for your upload-complete callback, which should copy the file to storage and take whatever other action is needed, such as creating model objects.

See this Fine Uploader blog post for a long explanation of these responsibilities.

Handles API-client uploads

The library provides a streamlined interface suitable for programmatic uploads by non-browser-based API clients:

  1. Provides signed URIs for the REST PUT Object API.
  2. Provides an upload-complete callback.

Designed for security

This library's design goal is to be secure by default. To that end, it makes two recommendations:

  1. Send your uploads to an "uploads" bucket, and make them private. This simplifies the namespacing used to segregate uploads by user, and discourages read-write ACLs.
  2. Create an account which has the minimum permission required on your uploads bucket, and use that account to sign users' policy documents.
  3. Move the files into a storage bucket during the completion callback, with either private or read-only ACLs. The library provides a view and serializer you can subclass to accomplish this easily.
  4. Use Fine Uploader's objectProperties.key property to incorporate the username as a prefix in the key. If you don't already have access to the username in the client, you can use the library's middleware to set a cookie with the prefix.
  5. Be sure to specify an https endpoint url when you configure Fine Uploader.
  6. Set a one-day expiration policy which automatically deletes stale, incomplete uploads. This step is mainly to save you money.

If you're willing to take what hopefully is sensible-sounding advice, go on to the next section. If you want to know why, see the discussion in

If you don't want to use it as designed, you can use the utility classes and naive serializers to create your own components.


This project is functional pre-alpha. Most significantly it needs better documentation.

Build Status


Requires Django REST Framework, a great toolkit for building Web APIs in Django.

    pip install drf_to_s3

This will install the remaining dependencies: boto, and querystring_parser which handles nested keys within uploadSuccess.params.

How to use

  1. Include drf_to_s3.urls in your site (or if you prefer, redefine them).

  2. If you want to use nested dictionaries in your success callback, you must disable Django REST Framework's options for overriding the HTTP method and content. You probably aren't using these options, and they interfere with the view's use of a custom form parser.

    REST_FRAMEWORK = {    
  3. Create an temporary bucket for uploads.

  4. Set the CORS policy on that bucket.

  5. Create a user which only has PutObject access to that bucket.

  6. Add Fine Uploader to your front end.

  7. Configure Fine Uploader:

    • Keys
    • request.key
    • access key


Users must be logged in to upload. Anonymous uploads currently aren't supported.

Deletes during upload are not supported, but would be easy to add.


Unit tests:

rake create_venv
. .venv/bin/activate
rake install
rake test

Unit tests against S3:

  1. If it's not already installed on your system, install foreman. You can get it from RubyGems with gem install foreman or install Heroku Toolbelt.

  2. Create an S3 bucket to use for testing.

  3. Create a .env file at the project root with the following three lines:

  4. Run the tests:

    source venv/bin/activate foreman run drf_to_s3/runtests/

Integration tests:

  1. Install foreman, create an S3 bucket, and set up your .env file as described above.

  2. Install Node, NPM, the build dependences for Fine Uploader, and Chromium Driver:

    rake install_integration

  3. If you're not using Mac OS / Homebrew, you need to install Chromium Driver some other way.

  4. Choose a version of Fine Uploader to test:

    rake install_fine

  5. Build it into drf_to_s3/integration/static:

    rake install_fine[4.2.2]

  6. Run the tests

    rake integration

Running integration tests on Sauce Labs:

  1. Create a Sauce Labs account.


  3. Install Sauce Connect.

  4. Start Sauce Connect:

    foreman run sh -c 'java -jar ~/code/Sauce-Connect-latest/Sauce-Connect.jar $SAUCE_USERNAME $SAUCE_ACCESS_KEY'

  5. Run the tests:

    WITH_SAUCE=1 rake integration

Building the package for PyPi:

This readme is written in Markdown, so there are dependencies for converting it to reStructuredText. You only need this if you want to generate the PyPi package with long_description intact. Without it, you'll just get a warning.

rake install_dist

If you're not using MacOS / Homebrew, you'll need to install Pandoc some other way.


This project is licensed under the MIT license.


Django REST Framework interface for direct upload to S3




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