FAQ: Installation

How do I get started?

  1. Download the code.
  2. Install Django (read the installation guide).
  3. Walk through the tutorial.
  4. Check out the rest of the documentation, and ask questions if you run into trouble.

What are Django’s prerequisites?

Django requires Python, specifically any version of Python from 2.4 through 2.7. No other Python libraries are required for basic Django usage.

For a development environment – if you just want to experiment with Django – you don’t need to have a separate Web server installed; Django comes with its own lightweight development server. For a production environment, Django follows the WSGI spec, which means it can run on a variety of server platforms. See Deploying Django for some popular alternatives. Also, the server arrangements wiki page contains details for several deployment strategies.

If you want to use Django with a database, which is probably the case, you’ll also need a database engine. PostgreSQL is recommended, because we’re PostgreSQL fans, and MySQL, SQLite 3, and Oracle are also supported.

Do I lose anything by using Python 2.4 versus newer Python versions, such as Python 2.5 or 2.6?

Not in the core framework. Currently, Django itself officially supports any version of Python from 2.4 through 2.7, inclusive. However, newer versions of Python are often faster, have more features, and are better supported. If you use a newer version of Python you will also have access to some APIs that aren’t available under older versions of Python. For example Django provides some context managers for various operations. If you use Python 2.4 you won’t be able to use them, however other APIs which provide the same functionality are always made available.

Third-party applications for use with Django are, of course, free to set their own version requirements.

Over the next year or two Django will begin dropping support for older Python versions as part of a migration which will end with Django running on Python 3 (see below for details).

All else being equal, we recommend that you use the latest 2.x release (currently Python 2.7). This will let you take advantage of the numerous improvements and optimizations to the Python language since version 2.4, and will help ease the process of dropping support for older Python versions on the road to Python 3.

Can I use Django with Python 2.3?

Django 1.1 (and earlier) supported Python 2.3. Django 1.2 and newer does not. We highly recommend you upgrade Python if at all possible, but Django 1.1 will continue to work on Python 2.3.

Can I use Django with Python 3?

Not at the moment. Python 3.0 introduced a number of backwards-incompatible changes to the Python language, and although these changes are generally a good thing for Python’s future, it will be a while before most Python software catches up and is able to run on Python 3.0. For larger Python-based software like Django, the transition is expected to take at least a year or two (since it involves dropping support for older Python releases and so must be done gradually).

In the meantime, Python 2.x releases will be supported and provided with bug fixes and security updates by the Python development team, so continuing to use a Python 2.x release during the transition should not present any risk.

Will Django run under shared hosting (like TextDrive or Dreamhost)?

See our Django-friendly Web hosts page.

Should I use the stable version or development version?

Generally, if you’re using code in production, you should be using a stable release. The Django project publishes a full stable release every nine months or so, with bugfix updates in between. These stable releases contain the API that is covered by our backwards compatibility guarantees; if you write code against stable releases, you shouldn’t have any problems upgrading when the next official version is released.