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 any Python version from 2.5 to 2.7 (due to backwards incompatibilities in Python 3.0, Django does not currently work with Python 3.0; see the Django FAQ for more information on supported Python versions and the 3.0 transition).

Get Python at If you’re running Linux or Mac OS X, you probably already have it installed.

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

On Windows, you might need to adjust your PATH environment variable to include paths to Python executable and additional scripts. For example, if your Python is installed in C:\Python27\, the following paths need to be added to PATH:


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. Another is FastCGI, perfect for using Django with servers other than Apache. Additionally, Django follows the WSGI spec (PEP 3333), which allows it to run on a variety of server platforms. See the server-arrangements wiki page for specific installation instructions for each platform.

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:

The Django versions and ORM features supported by these unofficial backends vary considerably. Queries regarding the specific capabilities of these unofficial backends, along with any support queries, should be directed to the support channels provided by each 3rd party project.

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 MySQLdb, version 1.2.1p2 or higher. You will also want to read the database-specific notes for the MySQL backend.

  • 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 syncdb command to automatically create database tables for your models, 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. On some databases, Django will need ALTER TABLE privileges during syncdb but won’t issue ALTER TABLE statements on a table once syncdb has created it.

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 install, uninstalling is as simple as deleting the django directory from your Python site-packages.

If you installed Django from a Python egg, remove the Django .egg file, and remove the reference to the egg in the file named easy-install.pth. This file should also be located in your site-packages directory.

Where are my site-packages stored?

The location of the site-packages directory depends on the operating system, and the location in which Python was installed. To find out 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/.

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 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.

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.

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 list of backwards-incompatible changes. 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 Subversion, Git, or Mercurial installed, and that you can run its commands from a shell. (Enter svn help, git help, or hg help at a shell prompt to test this.) Note that the Subversion repository is the canonical source for the official Git and Mercurial repositories and as such will always be the most up-to-date.

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

    # Subversion
    svn co django-trunk

    Mirrors of the Subversion repository can be obtained like so:

    # Git (requires version 1.6.6 or later)
    git clone
    # or (works with all versions)
    git clone git://
    # Mercurial
    hg clone


    These mirrors should be updated every 5 minutes but aren’t guaranteed to be up-to-date since they are hosted on external services.

  3. Next, make sure that the Python interpreter can load Django’s code. The most convenient way to do this is to modify Python’s search path. 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 SITE-PACKAGES-DIR to match the location of your system’s site-packages directory, as explained in the Where are my site-packages stored? section above. Change WORKING-DIR/django-trunk to match the full path to your new django-trunk directory.)

  4. On Unix-like systems, create a symbolic link to the file django-trunk/django/bin/ 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.


Don’t run sudo python install, because you’ve already carried out the equivalent actions in steps 3 and 4. Furthermore, this is known to cause problems when updating to a more recent version of Django.

When you want to update your copy of the Django source code, just run the command svn update from within the django-trunk directory. When you do this, Subversion will automatically download any changes. The equivalent command for Git is git pull, and for Mercurial hg pull --update.