Error reporting via e-mail

When you’re running a public site you should always turn off the DEBUG setting. That will make your server run much faster, and will also prevent malicious users from seeing details of your application that can be revealed by the error pages.

However, running with DEBUG set to False means you’ll never see errors generated by your site – everyone will just see your public error pages. You need to keep track of errors that occur in deployed sites, so Django can be configured to e-mail you details of those errors.

Server errors

When DEBUG is False, Django will e-mail the users listed in the ADMINS setting whenever your code raises an unhandled exception and results in an internal server error (HTTP status code 500). This gives the administrators immediate notification of any errors. The ADMINS will get a description of the error, a complete Python traceback, and details about the HTTP request that caused the error.


In order to send e-mail, Django requires a few settings telling it how to connect to your mail server. At the very least, you’ll need to specify EMAIL_HOST and possibly EMAIL_HOST_USER and EMAIL_HOST_PASSWORD, though other settings may be also required depending on your mail server’s configuration. Consult the Django settings documentation for a full list of email-related settings.

By default, Django will send e-mail from root@localhost. However, some mail providers reject all e-mail from this address. To use a different sender address, modify the SERVER_EMAIL setting.

To disable this behavior, just remove all entries from the ADMINS setting.

See also

New in Django 1.3: Please, see the release notes

Server error e-mails are sent using the logging framework, so you can customize this behaviour by customizing your logging configuration.

404 errors

Django can also be configured to e-mail errors about broken links (404 “page not found” errors). Django sends e-mails about 404 errors when:

If those conditions are met, Django will e-mail the users listed in the MANAGERS setting whenever your code raises a 404 and the request has a referer. (It doesn’t bother to e-mail for 404s that don’t have a referer – those are usually just people typing in broken URLs or broken Web ‘bots).

You can tell Django to stop reporting particular 404s by tweaking the IGNORABLE_404_ENDS and IGNORABLE_404_STARTS settings. Both should be a tuple of strings. For example:

IGNORABLE_404_ENDS = ('.php', '.cgi')
IGNORABLE_404_STARTS = ('/phpmyadmin/',)

In this example, a 404 to any URL ending with .php or .cgi will not be reported. Neither will any URL starting with /phpmyadmin/.

The best way to disable this behavior is to set SEND_BROKEN_LINK_EMAILS to False.

See also

You can also set up custom error reporting by writing a custom piece of exception middleware. If you do write custom error handling, it's a good idea to emulate Django's built-in error handling and only report/log errors if DEBUG is False.

See also

New in Django 1.3: Please, see the release notes

404 errors are logged using the logging framework. By default, these log records are ignored, but you can use them for error reporting by writing a handler and configuring logging appropriately.