How to install Django

This document will get you up and running with Django.

Install Python

Being a Python Web framework, Django requires Python. It works with Python 2.7 or 3.3+.

Get the latest version of Python at or with your operating system’s package manager.

Django on Jython

If you use Jython (a Python implementation for the Java platform), you’ll need to follow a few additional steps. See Running Django on Jython for details.

Python on Windows

If you are just starting with Django and using Windows, you may find How to install Django on Windows useful.

Install Apache and mod_wsgi

If you just want to experiment with Django, skip ahead to the next section; Django includes a lightweight web server you can use for testing, so you won’t need to set up Apache until you’re ready to deploy Django in production.

If you want to use Django on a production site, use Apache with mod_wsgi. mod_wsgi can operate in one of two modes: an embedded mode and a daemon mode. In embedded mode, mod_wsgi is similar to mod_perl – it embeds Python within Apache and loads Python code into memory when the server starts. Code stays in memory throughout the life of an Apache process, which leads to significant performance gains over other server arrangements. In daemon mode, mod_wsgi spawns an independent daemon process that handles requests. The daemon process can run as a different user than the Web server, possibly leading to improved security, and the daemon process can be restarted without restarting the entire Apache Web server, possibly making refreshing your codebase more seamless. Consult the mod_wsgi documentation to determine which mode is right for your setup. Make sure you have Apache installed, with the mod_wsgi module activated. Django will work with any version of Apache that supports mod_wsgi.

See How to use Django with mod_wsgi for information on how to configure mod_wsgi once you have it installed.

If you can’t use mod_wsgi for some reason, fear not: Django supports many other deployment options. One is uWSGI; it works very well with nginx. Additionally, Django follows the WSGI spec (PEP 3333), which allows it to run on a variety of server platforms.

Get your database running

If you plan to use Django’s database API functionality, you’ll need to make sure a database server is running. Django supports many different database servers and is officially supported with PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle and SQLite.

If you are developing a simple project or something you don’t plan to deploy in a production environment, SQLite is generally the simplest option as it doesn’t require running a separate server. However, SQLite has many differences from other databases, so if you are working on something substantial, it’s recommended to develop with the same database as you plan on using in production.

In addition to the officially supported databases, there are backends provided by 3rd parties that allow you to use other databases with Django.

In addition to a database backend, you’ll need to make sure your Python database bindings are installed.

  • If you’re using PostgreSQL, you’ll need the postgresql_psycopg2 package. You might want to refer to our PostgreSQL notes for further technical details specific to this database.

    If you’re on Windows, check out the unofficial compiled Windows version.

  • If you’re using MySQL, you’ll need the MySQL-python package, version 1.2.1p2 or higher. You will also want to read the database-specific notes for the MySQL backend.

  • If you’re using SQLite you might want to read the SQLite backend notes.

  • If you’re using Oracle, you’ll need a copy of cx_Oracle, but please read the database-specific notes for the Oracle backend for important information regarding supported versions of both Oracle and cx_Oracle.

  • If you’re using an unofficial 3rd party backend, please consult the documentation provided for any additional requirements.

If you plan to use Django’s migrate command to automatically create database tables for your models (after first installing Django and creating a project), you’ll need to ensure that Django has permission to create and alter tables in the database you’re using; if you plan to manually create the tables, you can simply grant Django SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE permissions. After creating a database user with these permissions, you’ll specify the details in your project’s settings file, see DATABASES for details.

If you’re using Django’s testing framework to test database queries, Django will need permission to create a test database.

Remove any old versions of Django

If you are upgrading your installation of Django from a previous version, you will need to uninstall the old Django version before installing the new version.

If you installed Django using pip or easy_install previously, installing with pip or easy_install again will automatically take care of the old version, so you don’t need to do it yourself.

If you previously installed Django using python install, uninstalling is as simple as deleting the django directory from your Python site-packages. To find the directory you need to remove, you can run the following at your shell prompt (not the interactive Python prompt):

python -c "import sys; sys.path = sys.path[1:]; import django; print(django.__path__)"

Install the Django code

Installation instructions are slightly different depending on whether you’re installing a distribution-specific package, downloading the latest official release, or fetching the latest development version.

It’s easy, no matter which way you choose.

Installing an official release with pip

This is the recommended way to install Django.

  1. Install pip. The easiest is to use the standalone pip installer. If your distribution already has pip installed, you might need to update it if it’s outdated. (If it’s outdated, you’ll know because installation won’t work.)

  2. (optional) Take a look at virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper. These tools provide isolated Python environments, which are more practical than installing packages systemwide. They also allow installing packages without administrator privileges. It’s up to you to decide if you want to learn and use them.

  3. If you’re using Linux, Mac OS X or some other flavor of Unix, enter the command sudo pip install Django at the shell prompt. If you’re using Windows, start a command shell with administrator privileges and run the command pip install Django. This will install Django in your Python installation’s site-packages directory.

    If you’re using a virtualenv, you don’t need sudo or administrator privileges, and this will install Django in the virtualenv’s site-packages directory.

Installing an official release manually

  1. Download the latest release from our download page.

  2. Untar the downloaded file (e.g. tar xzvf Django-X.Y.tar.gz, where X.Y is the version number of the latest release). If you’re using Windows, you can download the command-line tool bsdtar to do this, or you can use a GUI-based tool such as 7-zip.

  3. Change into the directory created in step 2 (e.g. cd Django-X.Y).

  4. If you’re using Linux, Mac OS X or some other flavor of Unix, enter the command sudo python install at the shell prompt. If you’re using Windows, start a command shell with administrator privileges and run the command python install. This will install Django in your Python installation’s site-packages directory.

    Removing an old version

    If you use this installation technique, it is particularly important that you remove any existing installations of Django first. Otherwise, you can end up with a broken installation that includes files from previous versions that have since been removed from Django.

Installing a distribution-specific package

Check the distribution specific notes to see if your platform/distribution provides official Django packages/installers. Distribution-provided packages will typically allow for automatic installation of dependencies and easy upgrade paths; however, these packages will rarely contain the latest release of Django.

Installing the development version

Tracking Django development

If you decide to use the latest development version of Django, you’ll want to pay close attention to the development timeline, and you’ll want to keep an eye on the release notes for the upcoming release. This will help you stay on top of any new features you might want to use, as well as any changes you’ll need to make to your code when updating your copy of Django. (For stable releases, any necessary changes are documented in the release notes.)

If you’d like to be able to update your Django code occasionally with the latest bug fixes and improvements, follow these instructions:

  1. Make sure that you have Git installed and that you can run its commands from a shell. (Enter git help at a shell prompt to test this.)

  2. Check out Django’s main development branch (the ‘trunk’ or ‘master’) like so:

    git clone git:// django-trunk

    This will create a directory django-trunk in your current directory.

  3. Make sure that the Python interpreter can load Django’s code. The most convenient way to do this is via pip. Run the following command:

    sudo pip install -e django-trunk/

    (If using a virtualenv you can omit sudo.)

    This will make Django’s code importable, and will also make the django-admin utility command available. In other words, you’re all set!

    If you don’t have pip available, see the alternative instructions for installing the development version without pip.


Don’t run sudo python install, because you’ve already carried out the equivalent actions in step 3.

When you want to update your copy of the Django source code, just run the command git pull from within the django-trunk directory. When you do this, Git will automatically download any changes.

Installing the development version without pip

If you don’t have pip, you can instead manually modify Python’s search path.

First follow steps 1 and 2 above, so that you have a django-trunk directory with a checkout of Django’s latest code in it. Then add a .pth file containing the full path to the django-trunk directory to your system’s site-packages directory. For example, on a Unix-like system:

echo WORKING-DIR/django-trunk > SITE-PACKAGES-DIR/django.pth

In the above line, change WORKING-DIR/django-trunk to match the full path to your new django-trunk directory, and change SITE-PACKAGES-DIR to match the location of your system’s site-packages directory.

The location of the site-packages directory depends on the operating system, and the location in which Python was installed. To find your system’s site-packages location, execute the following:

python -c "from distutils.sysconfig import get_python_lib; print(get_python_lib())"

(Note that this should be run from a shell prompt, not a Python interactive prompt.)

Some Debian-based Linux distributions have separate site-packages directories for user-installed packages, such as when installing Django from a downloaded tarball. The command listed above will give you the system’s site-packages, the user’s directory can be found in /usr/local/lib/ instead of /usr/lib/.

Next you need to make the utility available in your shell PATH.

On Unix-like systems, create a symbolic link to the file django-trunk/django/bin/django-admin in a directory on your system path, such as /usr/local/bin. For example:

ln -s WORKING-DIR/django-trunk/django/bin/ /usr/local/bin/

(In the above line, change WORKING-DIR to match the full path to your new django-trunk directory.)

This simply lets you type from within any directory, rather than having to qualify the command with the full path to the file.

On Windows systems, the same result can be achieved by copying the file django-trunk/django/bin/ to somewhere on your system path, for example C:\Python27\Scripts.

Note that the rest of the documentation assumes this utility is installed as django-admin. You’ll have to substitute if you use this method.