Use an URL to configure email backend settings in your Django Application.
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This utility is based on dj-database-url by Kenneth Reitz.

It allows to utilize the 12factor inspired environments variable to configure the email backend in a Django application.


Import the package in

import dj_email_url

Fetch your email configuration values. The default option is fetch them from EMAIL_URL environment variable:

email_config = dj_email_url.config()

Other option is parse an arbitrary email URL:

email_config = dj_email_url.parse('smtp://...')

Finally, it is necessary to assign values to settings:

EMAIL_HOST = email_config['EMAIL_HOST']
EMAIL_PORT = email_config['EMAIL_PORT']
EMAIL_USE_TLS = email_config['EMAIL_USE_TLS']
EMAIL_USE_SSL = email_config['EMAIL_USE_SSL']

Alternatively, it is possible to use this less explicit shortcut:


Common EMAIL_URL values

EMAIL_URL Description
console: Email printed on screen (development)
smtp: Email sent using a mail transfer agent at localhost
submission:// Email sent using SendGrid SMTP on port 587 (STARTTLS)

Supported backends

Currently, dj-email-url supports:

  • SMTP backend (smtp for port 25, submission or submit for port 587),
  • console backend (console),
  • file backend (file),
  • in-memory backend (memory),
  • and dummy backend (dummy).

SMTP backend

The SMTP backend is selected when the scheme in the URL if one these:

Value Default port Comment
smtp 25 Local mail transfer agent
submission or submit 587 SMTP with STARTTLS

Changed in version 0.1: The use of smtps is now discouraged The value smtps was used to indicate to use TLS connections, that is to set EMAIL_USE_TLS to True. Now is recommended to use submission or submit (see service name for port numbers or Uniform Resource Identifier Schemes at IANA).

On the most popular mail configuration option is to use a third party SMTP server to relay emails.

>>> url = 'submission://'
>>> url = dj_email_url.parse(url)
>>> assert url['EMAIL_PORT'] == 587
>>> assert url['EMAIL_USE_SSL'] is False
>>> assert url['EMAIL_USE_TLS'] is True

Other common option is to use a local mail transfer agent Postfix or Exim. In this case it as easy as:

>>> url = 'smtp://'
>>> url = dj_email_url.parse(url)
>>> assert url['EMAIL_HOST'] == 'localhost'
>>> assert url['EMAIL_PORT'] == 25
>>> assert url['EMAIL_USE_SSL'] is False
>>> assert url['EMAIL_USE_TLS'] is False

It is also possible to configure SMTP-over-SSL (usually on 465). This configuration is not generally recommended but might be needed for legacy systems. To apply use this configuration specify SSL using a ssl=True as a query parameter and indicate the port explicitly:

>>> url = 'smtp://'
>>> url = dj_email_url.parse(url)
>>> assert url['EMAIL_PORT'] == 465
>>> assert url['EMAIL_USE_SSL'] is True
>>> assert url['EMAIL_USE_TLS'] is False

File backend

The file backend is the only one which needs a path. The url path is store in EMAIL_FILE_PATH key.

Change Log


0.1.0 - 2018-03-24

  • Added new schemes submission and submit to select SMTP backend on port 587 with STARTTLS. Thanks to @LEW21 to suggest to include new submit URI.
  • Discouraged the use of scheme smtps and add a user warning. Thanks to @LEW21 to alert about this confusing usage.
  • Expand which values are considered as truthy on a query string param. Now, 1, on, true, and yes, as a single character or in all case variants (lower, upper and title case) are considered as True.

0.0.10 - 2016-10-14

  • Post release version to fix release date in change log.

0.0.9 - 2016-10-14

  • Fix case when user sets ssl=False in its url (thanks bogdal)

0.0.8 - 2016-06-07

  • Allow universal wheel

0.0.7 - 2016-05-31

  • Add EMAIL_USE_SSL setting to docs and set a default value (thanks iraycd).
  • Add coverage (thanks iraycd).

0.0.6 - 2016-04-18

  • Fix error parsing URL without credentials (thanks martinmaillard).

0.0.5 - 2016-04-17

  • Allow URL encoded credentials (thanks kane-c).

0.0.4 - 2015-03-05

  • Fix README.

0.0.3 - 2015-03-05

  • Add change log.
  • Add ssl= option as a query parameter for SMTP backend.
  • Add Travis continuous integration.

0.0.2 - 2014-03-12

  • Add Python 3 support.

0.0.1 - 2013-02-12

  • Initial version.

CI status

Development (master):