A URL-based image processing app for Django
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django-url-imaging provides URL-based image processing functionality for Django projects. It features a plugabble storage system with implementations for storing images locally, on Amazon S3 or using the SCP utiltiy to copy them to another server.


Once installed and configured, django-url-imaging will allow you to embed thumbnails and other image transformations using nothing more than a specially crafted URL. As an example, if you configured django-url-imaging to listen for requests on /thumbnails/ and needed to have a resized copy of the image at http://media.mydomain.com/foo.jpg, you would just create a link like:

<img src="/thumbnails/resize/50x50/media.mydomain.com/foo.jpg" />

django-url-imaging provides many different URL-based commands for image processing such as cropping, resizing, scaling, watermarking and much more. For more information on django-url-imaging, please check out the Wiki.


  1. Download and install django-url-imaging using Distutils:
$ sudo python setup.py install
  1. Add the urlimaging app to INSTALLED_APPS
  2. Include urlimaging.urls as a resource in your urls.py:
(r'thumbnails/', include('urlimaging.urls')),
  1. Finally, depending on if you want to use S3 or local file storage, configure the appropriate settings:


Depending on how you plan to store your images, you will need to add one of the following sets of properties to your settings.py file:

Amazon S3

  • IMAGE_STORAGE_BACKEND – This should be set to 'S3ImageStorage' to specify the S3 storage backend.
  • S3_BUCKET_NAME – The name of the bucket (which should already be created) on S3 where images will be stored.
  • AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID – The AWS access key provided by Amazon.
  • AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY – The AWS secret access key provided by Amazon.
  • S3_EXPIRES (optional) – The length of time which the S3-generated URL will be valid.

Local Image Storage

  • IMAGE_STORAGE_BACKEND – This parameter should be set to 'LocalImageStorage' for the local image storage backend.
  • IMAGE_STORAGE_DIR (optional) – The full path to the directory where images should be stored if this is not set, the value is inherited from MEDIA_ROOT. This directory should be publicly accessible since the application doesn't serve images directly from it.


If you'd like to use the scp command to copy the generated files to another UNIX-like server, configure the following options:

  • PROCESSED_MEDIA_URL - A URL where the images can be accessed once they are stored
  • SSH_MEDIA_USER - The username which has ssh access on the remote host
  • SSH_MEDIA_PATH - The path to where the images will be stored on the remote host
  • SSH_IDENTITY_FILE - If an identity file is required for access to the remote host, this is the path to that file.

Custom django-admin commands

django-url-imaging adds the following custom command to the project's django-admin:

  • removeoldimages - Will remove any processed images which haven't been visited for a a predetermined time (defaults to a week). It is recommended that this is added to a scheduling system such as cron to be run every couple of days.

Additional Configuration

  • IMAGE_WHITELIST_FN – A function which takes a url as an argument and uses that to decide whether or not to allow it to be processed. By default it is defined as lambda url: settings.MEDIA_URL in url which will allow for processing any images in your MEDIA_URL directory.
  • MEDIA_URL – If you're using the LocalImageStorage backend, setting this parameter gives the root url that serves images stored in the IMAGE_STORAGE_DIR
  • FONT_PATH - The path to the font file to be used when using the watermark operation. Defaults to /usr/share/fonts/truetype/freefont/FreeSansBold.ttf
  • IMAGE_EXPIRATION_DAYS - The number of days before images which haven't been visited are deleted. Defaults to 7.
  • USE_TZ - Whether or not to enable local timezone support. Defaults to False