a Django app for allowing users of your site to send messages to each other
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Pinax Messages

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About Pinax

Pinax is an open-source platform built on the Django Web Framework. It is an ecosystem of reusable Django apps, themes, and starter project templates. This collection can be found at http://pinaxproject.com.



pinax-messages is an app for providing private user-to-user threaded messaging.

Supported Django and Python versions

Django \ Python 2.7 3.4 3.5 3.6
1.11 * * * *
2.0 * * *



To install pinax-messages:

$ pip install pinax-messages

Add "pinax.messages" to your INSTALLED_APPS setting:

    # other apps

Run Django migrations to create pinax-messages database tables:

$ python manage.py migrate

Finally, add pinax.messages.urls to your project urlpatterns:

    urlpatterns = [
        # other urls
        url(r"^messages/", include("pinax.messages.urls", namespace="pinax_messages")),


pinax-messages handles user-to-user private threaded messaging primarily by the inclusion of template snippets. These snippets fall into three categories: view message inbox (all threads), view message thread, and create (or respond to) a message.

Access Inbox

Place this snippet wherever a "Message Inbox" link is needed for viewing user message inbox:

<a href="{% url 'pinax_messages:inbox' %}"><i class="fa fa-envelope"></i> {% trans "Message Inbox" %}</a>

View Message Thread

Place this snippet wherever you have need to view a specific message thread:

<a href="{% url 'pinax_messages:thread_detail' thread.pk %}"><i class="fa fa-envelope"></i> {% trans "View Message Thread" %}</a>

Create Message - Template

Add the following line to an object template in order to provide a button for messaging a user associated with object:

<a href="{% url "pinax_messages:message_user_create" user_id=object.user.id %}" class="btn btn-default">Message this user</a>

Create Message - Code

Use the following code to create a new message programmatically. Note that to_users (message recipients) is a list, allowing messages sent to multiple users.

from pinax.messages.models import Message

Message.new_message(from_user=self.request.user, to_users=[user], subject=subject, content=content)

Template Context Variables

pinax-messages provides two context variables using a template context processor. In order to access these in your templates, add user_messages to your TEMPLATES settings:

        # ...
        "OPTIONS": {
            # other options
            "context_processors": [
                # other processors

The following context variables are available, and work with the current authenticated user:

  • inbox_threads — all message threads for current user
  • unread_threads — unread message threads for current user

Template Tags and Filters


Determines if a message thread has unread messages for a user.

Argument: user

For instance if there are unread messages in a thread, change the CSS class accordingly:

{% load pinax_messages_tags %}

    <div class="thread {% if thread|unread:user %}unread{% endif %}">


Returns the number of unread threads for the user. Use for notifying a user of new messages, for example in _account_bar.html

Argument: user

For instance if there are unread messages in a thread, change the CSS class accordingly:

{% load pinax_messages_tags %}

    {% with user|unread_thread_count as user_unread %}
    <li class="{% if user_unread %}unread{% endif %}">
        <a href="{% url 'pinax_messages:inbox' %}"><i class="fa fa-envelope"></i> {% trans "Messages" %}
            {% if user_unread %}<sup>{{ user_unread }}</sup>{% endif %}
    {% endwith %}

Reference Guide

URL–View–Template Matrix

URL Name View Template
pinax-messages:inbox InboxView() inbox.html
pinax-messages:message_create MessageCreateView() message_create.html
pinax-messages:message_user_create MessageCreateView() message_create.html
pinax-messages:thread_detail ThreadView() thread_detail.html
pinax-messages:thread_delete ThreadDeleteView() N/A

URL Names

These URL names are available when using pinax-messages urls.py:

pinax-messages:inbox — Inbox view

pinax-messages:message_create — Create new message

pinax-messages:message_user_create — Create new message to specific user

pinax-messages:thread_detail — View message thread, requires thread PK

pinax-messages:thread_delete — Delete message thread, requires thread PK


InboxView - Display all message threads

MessageCreateView — Create a new message thread

ThreadView — View specific message thread

ThreadDeleteView — Delete specific message thread


NewMessageForm — creates a new message thread to a single user

NewMessageFormMultiple — creates a new message thread to multiple users

MessageReplyForm - creates a reply to a message thread


Default templates are provided by the pinax-templates app in the messages section of that project.

Reference pinax-templates installation instructions to include these templates in your project.

View live pinax-templates examples and source at Pinax Templates!

Customizing Templates

Override the default pinax-templates templates by copying them into your project subdirectory pinax/messages/ on the template path and modifying as needed.

For example if your project doesn't use Bootstrap, copy the desired templates then remove Bootstrap and Font Awesome class names from your copies. Remove class references like class="btn btn-success" and class="icon icon-pencil" as well as bootstrap from the {% load i18n bootstrap %} statement. Since bootstrap template tags and filters are no longer loaded, you'll also need to update {{ form|bootstrap }} to {{ form }} since the "bootstrap" filter is no longer available.


Displays inbox message threads.


Show message thread and allow response.


New message form.


message_sentproviding_args = ["message", "thread", "reply"]

Change Log


  • Update CI config
  • Update MANIFEST.in
  • Add sorting guidance for 3rd-party app imports
  • Improve documentation markup
  • Remove pinax-theme-bootstrap from test requirements


  • Update test config
  • Update documentation


  • Standardize documentation layout
  • Drop Django v1.8, v1.10 support


  • Add unread_thread_count template filter


  • Add Django 2.0 compatibility testing
  • Drop Django 1.9 and Python 3.3 support
  • Move documentation into README
  • Convert CI and coverage to CircleCi and CodeCov
  • Add PyPi-compatible long description


  • Fix thread delete view with correct template path and success URL


  • add documentation


  • convert to Django generic CBVs
  • various fixes and cleanup


  • initial release


This app was formerly named user-messages but was renamed after being donated to Pinax from Eldarion.


For an overview on how contributing to Pinax works read this blog post and watch the included video, or read our How to Contribute section. For concrete contribution ideas, please see our Ways to Contribute/What We Need Help With section.

In case of any questions we recommend you join our Pinax Slack team and ping us there instead of creating an issue on GitHub. Creating issues on GitHub is of course also valid but we are usually able to help you faster if you ping us in Slack.

We also highly recommend reading our blog post on Open Source and Self-Care.

Code of Conduct

In order to foster a kind, inclusive, and harassment-free community, the Pinax Project has a code of conduct. We ask you to treat everyone as a smart human programmer that shares an interest in Python, Django, and Pinax with you.

Connect with Pinax

For updates and news regarding the Pinax Project, please follow us on Twitter @pinaxproject and check out our Pinax Project blog.


Copyright (c) 2012-2018 James Tauber and contributors under the MIT license.