The Django admin site

One of the most powerful parts of Django is the automatic admin interface. It reads metadata in your model to provide a powerful and production-ready interface that content producers can immediately use to start adding content to the site. In this document, we discuss how to activate, use and customize Django’s admin interface.


There are seven steps in activating the Django admin site:

  1. Add 'django.contrib.admin' to your INSTALLED_APPS setting.
  2. The admin has four dependencies - django.contrib.auth, django.contrib.contenttypes, django.contrib.messages and django.contrib.sessions. If these applications are not in your INSTALLED_APPS list, add them.
  3. Add django.contrib.messages.context_processors.messages to TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS as well as django.contrib.auth.middleware.AuthenticationMiddleware and django.contrib.messages.middleware.MessageMiddleware to MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES. (These are all active by default, so you only need to do this if you’ve manually tweaked the settings.)
  4. Determine which of your application’s models should be editable in the admin interface.
  5. For each of those models, optionally create a ModelAdmin class that encapsulates the customized admin functionality and options for that particular model.
  6. Instantiate an AdminSite and tell it about each of your models and ModelAdmin classes.
  7. Hook the AdminSite instance into your URLconf.

After you’ve taken these steps, you’ll be able to use your Django admin site by visiting the URL you hooked it into (/admin/, by default).

Other topics

See also

For information about serving the static files (images, JavaScript, and CSS) associated with the admin in production, see Serving files.

Having problems? Try FAQ: The admin.

ModelAdmin objects

class ModelAdmin

The ModelAdmin class is the representation of a model in the admin interface. These are stored in a file named in your application. Let’s take a look at a very simple example of the ModelAdmin:

from django.contrib import admin
from myproject.myapp.models import Author

class AuthorAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    pass, AuthorAdmin)

Do you need a ModelAdmin object at all?

In the preceding example, the ModelAdmin class doesn’t define any custom values (yet). As a result, the default admin interface will be provided. If you are happy with the default admin interface, you don’t need to define a ModelAdmin object at all – you can register the model class without providing a ModelAdmin description. The preceding example could be simplified to:

from django.contrib import admin
from myproject.myapp.models import Author

ModelAdmin options

The ModelAdmin is very flexible. It has several options for dealing with customizing the interface. All options are defined on the ModelAdmin subclass:

class AuthorAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    date_hierarchy = 'pub_date'

A list of actions to make available on the change list page. See Admin actions for details.


Controls where on the page the actions bar appears. By default, the admin changelist displays actions at the top of the page (actions_on_top = True; actions_on_bottom = False).


Controls whether a selection counter is displayed next to the action dropdown. By default, the admin changelist will display it (actions_selection_counter = True).


Set date_hierarchy to the name of a DateField or DateTimeField in your model, and the change list page will include a date-based drilldown navigation by that field.


date_hierarchy = 'pub_date'

This will intelligently populate itself based on available data, e.g. if all the dates are in one month, it’ll show the day-level drill-down only.


This attribute, if given, should be a list of field names to exclude from the form.

For example, let’s consider the following model:

class Author(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    title = models.CharField(max_length=3)
    birth_date = models.DateField(blank=True, null=True)

If you want a form for the Author model that includes only the name and title fields, you would specify fields or exclude like this:

class AuthorAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    fields = ('name', 'title')

class AuthorAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    exclude = ('birth_date',)

Since the Author model only has three fields, name, title, and birth_date, the forms resulting from the above declarations will contain exactly the same fields.


If you need to achieve simple changes in the layout of fields in the forms of the “add” and “change” pages like only showing a subset of the available fields, modifying their order or grouping them in rows you can use the fields option (for more complex layout needs see the fieldsets option described in the next section). For example, you could define a simpler version of the admin form for the django.contrib.flatpages.models.FlatPage model as follows:

class FlatPageAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    fields = ('url', 'title', 'content')

In the above example, only the fields url, title and content will be displayed, sequentially, in the form. fields can contain values defined in ModelAdmin.readonly_fields to be displayed as read-only.

The fields option, unlike list_display, may only contain names of fields on the model or the form specified by form. It may contain callables only if they are listed in readonly_fields.

To display multiple fields on the same line, wrap those fields in their own tuple. In this example, the url and title fields will display on the same line and the content field will be displayed below them in its own line:

class FlatPageAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    fields = (('url', 'title'), 'content')


This fields option should not be confused with the fields dictionary key that is within the fieldsets option, as described in the next section.

If neither fields nor fieldsets options are present, Django will default to displaying each field that isn’t an AutoField and has editable=True, in a single fieldset, in the same order as the fields are defined in the model.


Set fieldsets to control the layout of admin “add” and “change” pages.

fieldsets is a list of two-tuples, in which each two-tuple represents a <fieldset> on the admin form page. (A <fieldset> is a “section” of the form.)

The two-tuples are in the format (name, field_options), where name is a string representing the title of the fieldset and field_options is a dictionary of information about the fieldset, including a list of fields to be displayed in it.

A full example, taken from the django.contrib.flatpages.models.FlatPage model:

class FlatPageAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    fieldsets = (
        (None, {
            'fields': ('url', 'title', 'content', 'sites')
        ('Advanced options', {
            'classes': ('collapse',),
            'fields': ('enable_comments', 'registration_required', 'template_name')

This results in an admin page that looks like:


If neither fieldsets nor fields options are present, Django will default to displaying each field that isn’t an AutoField and has editable=True, in a single fieldset, in the same order as the fields are defined in the model.

The field_options dictionary can have the following keys:

  • fields

    A tuple of field names to display in this fieldset. This key is required.


    'fields': ('first_name', 'last_name', 'address', 'city', 'state'),

    As with the fields option, to display multiple fields on the same line, wrap those fields in their own tuple. In this example, the first_name and last_name fields will display on the same line:

    'fields': (('first_name', 'last_name'), 'address', 'city', 'state'),

    fields can contain values defined in readonly_fields to be displayed as read-only.

    If you add the name of a callable to fields, the same rule applies as with the fields option: the callable must be listed in readonly_fields.

  • classes

    A list containing extra CSS classes to apply to the fieldset.


    'classes': ['wide', 'extrapretty'],

    Two useful classes defined by the default admin site stylesheet are collapse and wide. Fieldsets with the collapse style will be initially collapsed in the admin and replaced with a small “click to expand” link. Fieldsets with the wide style will be given extra horizontal space.

  • description

    A string of optional extra text to be displayed at the top of each fieldset, under the heading of the fieldset.

    Note that this value is not HTML-escaped when it’s displayed in the admin interface. This lets you include HTML if you so desire. Alternatively you can use plain text and django.utils.html.escape() to escape any HTML special characters.


By default, a ManyToManyField is displayed in the admin site with a <select multiple>. However, multiple-select boxes can be difficult to use when selecting many items. Adding a ManyToManyField to this list will instead use a nifty unobtrusive JavaScript “filter” interface that allows searching within the options. The unselected and selected options appear in two boxes side by side. See filter_vertical to use a vertical interface.


Same as filter_horizontal, but uses a vertical display of the filter interface with the box of unselected options appearing above the box of selected options.


By default a ModelForm is dynamically created for your model. It is used to create the form presented on both the add/change pages. You can easily provide your own ModelForm to override any default form behavior on the add/change pages. Alternatively, you can customize the default form rather than specifying an entirely new one by using the ModelAdmin.get_form() method.

For an example see the section Adding custom validation to the admin.


If your ModelForm and ModelAdmin both define an exclude option then ModelAdmin takes precedence:

class PersonForm(forms.ModelForm):

    class Meta:
        model = Person
        exclude = ['name']

class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    exclude = ['age']
    form = PersonForm

In the above example, the “age” field will be excluded but the “name” field will be included in the generated form.


This provides a quick-and-dirty way to override some of the Field options for use in the admin. formfield_overrides is a dictionary mapping a field class to a dict of arguments to pass to the field at construction time.

Since that’s a bit abstract, let’s look at a concrete example. The most common use of formfield_overrides is to add a custom widget for a certain type of field. So, imagine we’ve written a RichTextEditorWidget that we’d like to use for large text fields instead of the default <textarea>. Here’s how we’d do that:

from django.db import models
from django.contrib import admin

# Import our custom widget and our model from where they're defined
from myapp.widgets import RichTextEditorWidget
from myapp.models import MyModel

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    formfield_overrides = {
        models.TextField: {'widget': RichTextEditorWidget},

Note that the key in the dictionary is the actual field class, not a string. The value is another dictionary; these arguments will be passed to the form field’s __init__() method. See The Forms API for details.


If you want to use a custom widget with a relation field (i.e. ForeignKey or ManyToManyField), make sure you haven’t included that field’s name in raw_id_fields or radio_fields.

formfield_overrides won’t let you change the widget on relation fields that have raw_id_fields or radio_fields set. That’s because raw_id_fields and radio_fields imply custom widgets of their own.


See InlineModelAdmin objects below as well as ModelAdmin.get_formsets().


Set list_display to control which fields are displayed on the change list page of the admin.


list_display = ('first_name', 'last_name')

If you don’t set list_display, the admin site will display a single column that displays the __unicode__() representation of each object.

You have four possible values that can be used in list_display:

  • A field of the model. For example:

    class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        list_display = ('first_name', 'last_name')
  • A callable that accepts one parameter for the model instance. For example:

    def upper_case_name(obj):
        return ("%s %s" % (obj.first_name, obj.last_name)).upper()
    upper_case_name.short_description = 'Name'
    class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        list_display = (upper_case_name,)
  • A string representing an attribute on the ModelAdmin. This behaves same as the callable. For example:

    class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        list_display = ('upper_case_name',)
        def upper_case_name(self, obj):
          return ("%s %s" % (obj.first_name, obj.last_name)).upper()
        upper_case_name.short_description = 'Name'
  • A string representing an attribute on the model. This behaves almost the same as the callable, but self in this context is the model instance. Here’s a full model example:

    class Person(models.Model):
        name = models.CharField(max_length=50)
        birthday = models.DateField()
        def decade_born_in(self):
            return self.birthday.strftime('%Y')[:3] + "0's"
        decade_born_in.short_description = 'Birth decade'
    class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        list_display = ('name', 'decade_born_in')

A few special cases to note about list_display:

  • If the field is a ForeignKey, Django will display the __unicode__() of the related object.

  • ManyToManyField fields aren’t supported, because that would entail executing a separate SQL statement for each row in the table. If you want to do this nonetheless, give your model a custom method, and add that method’s name to list_display. (See below for more on custom methods in list_display.)

  • If the field is a BooleanField or NullBooleanField, Django will display a pretty “on” or “off” icon instead of True or False.

  • If the string given is a method of the model, ModelAdmin or a callable, Django will HTML-escape the output by default. If you’d rather not escape the output of the method, give the method an allow_tags attribute whose value is True. However, to avoid an XSS vulnerability, you should use format_html() to escape user-provided inputs.

    Here’s a full example model:

    from django.utils.html import format_html
    class Person(models.Model):
        first_name = models.CharField(max_length=50)
        last_name = models.CharField(max_length=50)
        color_code = models.CharField(max_length=6)
        def colored_name(self):
            return format_html('<span style="color: #{0};">{1} {2}</span>',
        colored_name.allow_tags = True
    class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        list_display = ('first_name', 'last_name', 'colored_name')
  • If the string given is a method of the model, ModelAdmin or a callable that returns True or False Django will display a pretty “on” or “off” icon if you give the method a boolean attribute whose value is True.

    Here’s a full example model:

    class Person(models.Model):
        first_name = models.CharField(max_length=50)
        birthday = models.DateField()
        def born_in_fifties(self):
            return self.birthday.strftime('%Y')[:3] == '195'
        born_in_fifties.boolean = True
    class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        list_display = ('name', 'born_in_fifties')
  • The __str__() and __unicode__() methods are just as valid in list_display as any other model method, so it’s perfectly OK to do this:

    list_display = ('__unicode__', 'some_other_field')
  • Usually, elements of list_display that aren’t actual database fields can’t be used in sorting (because Django does all the sorting at the database level).

    However, if an element of list_display represents a certain database field, you can indicate this fact by setting the admin_order_field attribute of the item.

    For example:

    from django.utils.html import format_html
    class Person(models.Model):
        first_name = models.CharField(max_length=50)
        color_code = models.CharField(max_length=6)
        def colored_first_name(self):
            return format_html('<span style="color: #{0};">{1}</span>',
        colored_first_name.allow_tags = True
        colored_first_name.admin_order_field = 'first_name'
    class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        list_display = ('first_name', 'colored_first_name')

    The above will tell Django to order by the first_name field when trying to sort by colored_first_name in the admin.

Set list_display_links to control which fields in list_display should be linked to the “change” page for an object.

By default, the change list page will link the first column – the first field specified in list_display – to the change page for each item. But list_display_links lets you change which columns are linked. Set list_display_links to a list or tuple of fields (in the same format as list_display) to link.

list_display_links can specify one or many fields. As long as the fields appear in list_display, Django doesn’t care how many (or how few) fields are linked. The only requirement is: If you want to use list_display_links, you must define list_display.

In this example, the first_name and last_name fields will be linked on the change list page:

class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    list_display = ('first_name', 'last_name', 'birthday')
    list_display_links = ('first_name', 'last_name')

Set list_editable to a list of field names on the model which will allow editing on the change list page. That is, fields listed in list_editable will be displayed as form widgets on the change list page, allowing users to edit and save multiple rows at once.


list_editable interacts with a couple of other options in particular ways; you should note the following rules:

  • Any field in list_editable must also be in list_display. You can’t edit a field that’s not displayed!
  • The same field can’t be listed in both list_editable and list_display_links – a field can’t be both a form and a link.

You’ll get a validation error if either of these rules are broken.


Set list_filter to activate filters in the right sidebar of the change list page of the admin, as illustrated in the following screenshot:


list_filter should be a list or tuple of elements, where each element should be of one of the following types:

  • a field name, where the specified field should be either a BooleanField, CharField, DateField, DateTimeField, IntegerField, ForeignKey or ManyToManyField, for example:

    class PersonAdmin(ModelAdmin):
        list_filter = ('is_staff', 'company')

    Field names in list_filter can also span relations using the __ lookup, for example:

    class PersonAdmin(UserAdmin):
        list_filter = ('company__name',)
  • a class inheriting from django.contrib.admin.SimpleListFilter, which you need to provide the title and parameter_name attributes to and override the lookups and queryset methods, e.g.:

    from datetime import date
    from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _
    from django.contrib.admin import SimpleListFilter
    class DecadeBornListFilter(SimpleListFilter):
        # Human-readable title which will be displayed in the
        # right admin sidebar just above the filter options.
        title = _('decade born')
        # Parameter for the filter that will be used in the URL query.
        parameter_name = 'decade'
        def lookups(self, request, model_admin):
            Returns a list of tuples. The first element in each
            tuple is the coded value for the option that will
            appear in the URL query. The second element is the
            human-readable name for the option that will appear
            in the right sidebar.
            return (
                ('80s', _('in the eighties')),
                ('90s', _('in the nineties')),
        def queryset(self, request, queryset):
            Returns the filtered queryset based on the value
            provided in the query string and retrievable via
            # Compare the requested value (either '80s' or '90s')
            # to decide how to filter the queryset.
            if self.value() == '80s':
                return queryset.filter(birthday__gte=date(1980, 1, 1),
                                        birthday__lte=date(1989, 12, 31))
            if self.value() == '90s':
                return queryset.filter(birthday__gte=date(1990, 1, 1),
                                        birthday__lte=date(1999, 12, 31))
    class PersonAdmin(ModelAdmin):
        list_filter = (DecadeBornListFilter,)


    As a convenience, the HttpRequest object is passed to the lookups and queryset methods, for example:

    class AuthDecadeBornListFilter(DecadeBornListFilter):
        def lookups(self, request, model_admin):
            if request.user.is_superuser:
                return super(AuthDecadeBornListFilter,
                    self).lookups(request, model_admin)
        def queryset(self, request, queryset):
            if request.user.is_superuser:
                return super(AuthDecadeBornListFilter,
                    self).queryset(request, queryset)

    Also as a convenience, the ModelAdmin object is passed to the lookups method, for example if you want to base the lookups on the available data:

    class AdvancedDecadeBornListFilter(DecadeBornListFilter):
        def lookups(self, request, model_admin):
            Only show the lookups if there actually is
            anyone born in the corresponding decades.
            qs = model_admin.queryset(request)
            if qs.filter(birthday__gte=date(1980, 1, 1),
                          birthday__lte=date(1989, 12, 31)).exists():
                yield ('80s', _('in the eighties'))
            if qs.filter(birthday__gte=date(1990, 1, 1),
                          birthday__lte=date(1999, 12, 31)).exists():
                yield ('90s', _('in the nineties'))
  • a tuple, where the first element is a field name and the second element is a class inheriting from django.contrib.admin.FieldListFilter, for example:

    from django.contrib.admin import BooleanFieldListFilter
    class PersonAdmin(ModelAdmin):
        list_filter = (
            ('is_staff', BooleanFieldListFilter),


    The FieldListFilter API is considered internal and might be changed.

It is possible to specify a custom template for rendering a list filter:

class FilterWithCustomTemplate(SimpleListFilter):
    template = "custom_template.html"

See the default template provided by django (admin/filter.html) for a concrete example.


Set list_max_show_all to control how many items can appear on a “Show all” admin change list page. The admin will display a “Show all” link on the change list only if the total result count is less than or equal to this setting. By default, this is set to 200.


Set list_per_page to control how many items appear on each paginated admin change list page. By default, this is set to 100.

Set list_select_related to tell Django to use select_related() in retrieving the list of objects on the admin change list page. This can save you a bunch of database queries.

The value should be either True or False. Default is False.

Note that Django will use select_related(), regardless of this setting if one of the list_display fields is a ForeignKey.


Set ordering to specify how lists of objects should be ordered in the Django admin views. This should be a list or tuple in the same format as a model’s ordering parameter.

If this isn’t provided, the Django admin will use the model’s default ordering.

If you need to specify a dynamic order (for example depending on user or language) you can implement a get_ordering() method.

Django honors all elements in the list/tuple; before 1.4, only the first was respected.


The paginator class to be used for pagination. By default, django.core.paginator.Paginator is used. If the custom paginator class doesn’t have the same constructor interface as django.core.paginator.Paginator, you will also need to provide an implementation for ModelAdmin.get_paginator().


Set prepopulated_fields to a dictionary mapping field names to the fields it should prepopulate from:

class ArticleAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    prepopulated_fields = {"slug": ("title",)}

When set, the given fields will use a bit of JavaScript to populate from the fields assigned. The main use for this functionality is to automatically generate the value for SlugField fields from one or more other fields. The generated value is produced by concatenating the values of the source fields, and then by transforming that result into a valid slug (e.g. substituting dashes for spaces).

prepopulated_fields doesn’t accept DateTimeField, ForeignKey, nor ManyToManyField fields.


By default, Django’s admin uses a select-box interface (<select>) for fields that are ForeignKey or have choices set. If a field is present in radio_fields, Django will use a radio-button interface instead. Assuming group is a ForeignKey on the Person model:

class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    radio_fields = {"group": admin.VERTICAL}

You have the choice of using HORIZONTAL or VERTICAL from the django.contrib.admin module.

Don’t include a field in radio_fields unless it’s a ForeignKey or has choices set.


By default, Django’s admin uses a select-box interface (<select>) for fields that are ForeignKey. Sometimes you don’t want to incur the overhead of having to select all the related instances to display in the drop-down.

raw_id_fields is a list of fields you would like to change into an Input widget for either a ForeignKey or ManyToManyField:

class ArticleAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    raw_id_fields = ("newspaper",)

The raw_id_fields Input widget should contain a primary key if the field is a ForeignKey or a comma separated list of values if the field is a ManyToManyField. The raw_id_fields widget shows a magnifying glass button next to the field which allows users to search for and select a value:


By default the admin shows all fields as editable. Any fields in this option (which should be a list or tuple) will display its data as-is and non-editable; they are also excluded from the ModelForm used for creating and editing. Note that when specifying ModelAdmin.fields or ModelAdmin.fieldsets the read-only fields must be present to be shown (they are ignored otherwise).

If readonly_fields is used without defining explicit ordering through ModelAdmin.fields or ModelAdmin.fieldsets they will be added last after all editable fields.

A read-only field can not only display data from a model’s field, it can also display the output of a model’s method or a method of the ModelAdmin class itself. This is very similar to the way ModelAdmin.list_display behaves. This provides an easy way to use the admin interface to provide feedback on the status of the objects being edited, for example:

from django.utils.html import format_html_join
from django.utils.safestring import mark_safe

class PersonAdmin(ModelAdmin):
    readonly_fields = ('address_report',)

    def address_report(self, instance):
        # assuming get_full_address() returns a list of strings
        # for each line of the address and you want to separate each
        # line by a linebreak
        return format_html_join(
            ((line,) for line in instance.get_full_address()),
        ) or "<span class='errors'>I can't determine this address.</span>"

    # short_description functions like a model field's verbose_name
    address_report.short_description = "Address"
    # in this example, we have used HTML tags in the output
    address_report.allow_tags = True

Set save_as to enable a “save as” feature on admin change forms.

Normally, objects have three save options: “Save”, “Save and continue editing” and “Save and add another”. If save_as is True, “Save and add another” will be replaced by a “Save as” button.

“Save as” means the object will be saved as a new object (with a new ID), rather than the old object.

By default, save_as is set to False.


Set save_on_top to add save buttons across the top of your admin change forms.

Normally, the save buttons appear only at the bottom of the forms. If you set save_on_top, the buttons will appear both on the top and the bottom.

By default, save_on_top is set to False.


Set search_fields to enable a search box on the admin change list page. This should be set to a list of field names that will be searched whenever somebody submits a search query in that text box.

These fields should be some kind of text field, such as CharField or TextField. You can also perform a related lookup on a ForeignKey or ManyToManyField with the lookup API “follow” notation:

search_fields = ['foreign_key__related_fieldname']

For example, if you have a blog entry with an author, the following definition would enable search blog entries by the email address of the author:

search_fields = ['user__email']

When somebody does a search in the admin search box, Django splits the search query into words and returns all objects that contain each of the words, case insensitive, where each word must be in at least one of search_fields. For example, if search_fields is set to ['first_name', 'last_name'] and a user searches for john lennon, Django will do the equivalent of this SQL WHERE clause:

WHERE (first_name ILIKE '%john%' OR last_name ILIKE '%john%')
AND (first_name ILIKE '%lennon%' OR last_name ILIKE '%lennon%')

For faster and/or more restrictive searches, prefix the field name with an operator:


Matches the beginning of the field. For example, if search_fields is set to ['^first_name', '^last_name'] and a user searches for john lennon, Django will do the equivalent of this SQL WHERE clause:

WHERE (first_name ILIKE 'john%' OR last_name ILIKE 'john%')
AND (first_name ILIKE 'lennon%' OR last_name ILIKE 'lennon%')

This query is more efficient than the normal '%john%' query, because the database only needs to check the beginning of a column’s data, rather than seeking through the entire column’s data. Plus, if the column has an index on it, some databases may be able to use the index for this query, even though it’s a LIKE query.


Matches exactly, case-insensitive. For example, if search_fields is set to ['=first_name', '=last_name'] and a user searches for john lennon, Django will do the equivalent of this SQL WHERE clause:

WHERE (first_name ILIKE 'john' OR last_name ILIKE 'john')
AND (first_name ILIKE 'lennon' OR last_name ILIKE 'lennon')

Note that the query input is split by spaces, so, following this example, it’s currently not possible to search for all records in which first_name is exactly 'john winston' (containing a space).

Performs a full-text match. This is like the default search method but uses an index. Currently this is only available for MySQL.

Custom template options

The Overriding Admin Templates section describes how to override or extend the default admin templates. Use the following options to override the default templates used by the ModelAdmin views:


Path to a custom template, used by add_view().


Path to a custom template, used by change_view().


Path to a custom template, used by changelist_view().


Path to a custom template, used by delete_view() for displaying a confirmation page when deleting one or more objects.


Path to a custom template, used by the delete_selected action method for displaying a confirmation page when deleting one or more objects. See the actions documentation.


Path to a custom template, used by history_view().

ModelAdmin methods


ModelAdmin.save_model() and ModelAdmin.delete_model() must save/delete the object, they are not for veto purposes, rather they allow you to perform extra operations.

ModelAdmin.save_model(request, obj, form, change)

The save_model method is given the HttpRequest, a model instance, a ModelForm instance and a boolean value based on whether it is adding or changing the object. Here you can do any pre- or post-save operations.

For example to attach request.user to the object prior to saving:

class ArticleAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def save_model(self, request, obj, form, change):
        obj.user = request.user
ModelAdmin.delete_model(request, obj)

The delete_model method is given the HttpRequest and a model instance. Use this method to do pre- or post-delete operations.

ModelAdmin.save_formset(request, form, formset, change)

The save_formset method is given the HttpRequest, the parent ModelForm instance and a boolean value based on whether it is adding or changing the parent object.

For example to attach request.user to each changed formset model instance:

class ArticleAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def save_formset(self, request, form, formset, change):
        instances =
        for instance in instances:
            instance.user = request.user

The get_ordering method takes a``request`` as parameter and is expected to return a list or tuple for ordering similar to the ordering attribute. For example:

class PersonAdmin(ModelAdmin):

    def get_ordering(self, request):
        if request.user.is_superuser:
            return ['name', 'rank']
            return ['name']

The save_related method is given the HttpRequest, the parent ModelForm instance, the list of inline formsets and a boolean value based on whether the parent is being added or changed. Here you can do any pre- or post-save operations for objects related to the parent. Note that at this point the parent object and its form have already been saved.

ModelAdmin.get_readonly_fields(request, obj=None)

The get_readonly_fields method is given the HttpRequest and the obj being edited (or None on an add form) and is expected to return a list or tuple of field names that will be displayed as read-only, as described above in the ModelAdmin.readonly_fields section.

ModelAdmin.get_prepopulated_fields(request, obj=None)

The get_prepopulated_fields method is given the HttpRequest and the obj being edited (or None on an add form) and is expected to return a dictionary, as described above in the ModelAdmin.prepopulated_fields section.


The get_list_display method is given the HttpRequest and is expected to return a list or tuple of field names that will be displayed on the changelist view as described above in the ModelAdmin.list_display section.

The get_list_display_links method is given the HttpRequest and the list or tuple returned by ModelAdmin.get_list_display(). It is expected to return a list or tuple of field names on the changelist that will be linked to the change view, as described in the ModelAdmin.list_display_links section.

ModelAdmin.get_fieldsets(request, obj=None)

The get_fieldsets method is given the HttpRequest and the obj being edited (or None on an add form) and is expected to return a list of two-tuples, in which each two-tuple represents a <fieldset> on the admin form page, as described above in the ModelAdmin.fieldsets section.


The get_list_filter method is given the HttpRequest and is expected to return the same kind of sequence type as for the list_filter attribute.

ModelAdmin.get_inline_instances(request, obj=None)

The get_inline_instances method is given the HttpRequest and the obj being edited (or None on an add form) and is expected to return a list or tuple of InlineModelAdmin objects, as described below in the InlineModelAdmin section. For example, the following would return inlines without the default filtering based on add, change, and delete permissions:

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    inlines = (MyInline,)

    def get_inline_instances(self, request, obj=None):
        return [inline(self.model, self.admin_site) for inline in self.inlines]

If you override this method, make sure that the returned inlines are instances of the classes defined in inlines or you might encounter a “Bad Request” error when adding related objects.


The get_urls method on a ModelAdmin returns the URLs to be used for that ModelAdmin in the same way as a URLconf. Therefore you can extend them as documented in URL dispatcher:

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def get_urls(self):
        urls = super(MyModelAdmin, self).get_urls()
        my_urls = patterns('',
            (r'^my_view/$', self.my_view)
        return my_urls + urls

    def my_view(self, request):
        # custom view which should return an HttpResponse


Notice that the custom patterns are included before the regular admin URLs: the admin URL patterns are very permissive and will match nearly anything, so you’ll usually want to prepend your custom URLs to the built-in ones.

In this example, my_view will be accessed at /admin/myapp/mymodel/my_view/ (assuming the admin URLs are included at /admin/.)

However, the self.my_view function registered above suffers from two problems:

  • It will not perform any permission checks, so it will be accessible to the general public.
  • It will not provide any header details to prevent caching. This means if the page retrieves data from the database, and caching middleware is active, the page could show outdated information.

Since this is usually not what you want, Django provides a convenience wrapper to check permissions and mark the view as non-cacheable. This wrapper is AdminSite.admin_view() (i.e. self.admin_site.admin_view inside a ModelAdmin instance); use it like so:

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def get_urls(self):
        urls = super(MyModelAdmin, self).get_urls()
        my_urls = patterns('',
            (r'^my_view/$', self.admin_site.admin_view(self.my_view))
        return my_urls + urls

Notice the wrapped view in the fifth line above:

(r'^my_view/$', self.admin_site.admin_view(self.my_view))

This wrapping will protect self.my_view from unauthorized access and will apply the django.views.decorators.cache.never_cache decorator to make sure it is not cached if the cache middleware is active.

If the page is cacheable, but you still want the permission check to be performed, you can pass a cacheable=True argument to AdminSite.admin_view():

(r'^my_view/$', self.admin_site.admin_view(self.my_view, cacheable=True))
ModelAdmin.get_form(request, obj=None, **kwargs)

Returns a ModelForm class for use in the admin add and change views, see add_view() and change_view().

If you wanted to hide a field from non-superusers, for example, you could override get_form as follows:

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def get_form(self, request, obj=None, **kwargs):
        self.exclude = []
        if not request.user.is_superuser:
        return super(MyModelAdmin, self).get_form(request, obj, **kwargs)
ModelAdmin.get_formsets(request, obj=None)

Yields InlineModelAdmins for use in admin add and change views.

For example if you wanted to display a particular inline only in the change view, you could override get_formsets as follows:

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    inlines = [MyInline, SomeOtherInline]

    def get_formsets(self, request, obj=None):
        for inline in self.get_inline_instances(request, obj):
            # hide MyInline in the add view
            if isinstance(inline, MyInline) and obj is None:
            yield inline.get_formset(request, obj)
ModelAdmin.formfield_for_foreignkey(db_field, request, **kwargs)

The formfield_for_foreignkey method on a ModelAdmin allows you to override the default formfield for a foreign keys field. For example, to return a subset of objects for this foreign key field based on the user:

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def formfield_for_foreignkey(self, db_field, request, **kwargs):
        if == "car":
            kwargs["queryset"] = Car.objects.filter(owner=request.user)
        return super(MyModelAdmin, self).formfield_for_foreignkey(db_field, request, **kwargs)

This uses the HttpRequest instance to filter the Car foreign key field to only display the cars owned by the User instance.

ModelAdmin.formfield_for_manytomany(db_field, request, **kwargs)

Like the formfield_for_foreignkey method, the formfield_for_manytomany method can be overridden to change the default formfield for a many to many field. For example, if an owner can own multiple cars and cars can belong to multiple owners – a many to many relationship – you could filter the Car foreign key field to only display the cars owned by the User:

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def formfield_for_manytomany(self, db_field, request, **kwargs):
        if == "cars":
            kwargs["queryset"] = Car.objects.filter(owner=request.user)
        return super(MyModelAdmin, self).formfield_for_manytomany(db_field, request, **kwargs)
ModelAdmin.formfield_for_choice_field(db_field, request, **kwargs)

Like the formfield_for_foreignkey and formfield_for_manytomany methods, the formfield_for_choice_field method can be overridden to change the default formfield for a field that has declared choices. For example, if the choices available to a superuser should be different than those available to regular staff, you could proceed as follows:

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def formfield_for_choice_field(self, db_field, request, **kwargs):
        if == "status":
            kwargs['choices'] = (
                ('accepted', 'Accepted'),
                ('denied', 'Denied'),
            if request.user.is_superuser:
                kwargs['choices'] += (('ready', 'Ready for deployment'),)
        return super(MyModelAdmin, self).formfield_for_choice_field(db_field, request, **kwargs)
ModelAdmin.get_changelist(request, **kwargs)

Returns the Changelist class to be used for listing. By default, django.contrib.admin.views.main.ChangeList is used. By inheriting this class you can change the behavior of the listing.

ModelAdmin.get_changelist_form(request, **kwargs)

Returns a ModelForm class for use in the Formset on the changelist page. To use a custom form, for example:

class MyForm(forms.ModelForm):
    class Meta:
        model = MyModel

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def get_changelist_form(self, request, **kwargs):
        return MyForm
ModelAdmin.get_changelist_formset(request, **kwargs)

Returns a ModelFormSet class for use on the changelist page if list_editable is used. To use a custom formset, for example:

from django.forms.models import BaseModelFormSet

class MyAdminFormSet(BaseModelFormSet):

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def get_changelist_formset(self, request, **kwargs):
        kwargs['formset'] = MyAdminFormSet
        return super(MyModelAdmin, self).get_changelist_formset(request, **kwargs)

Should return True if adding an object is permitted, False otherwise.

ModelAdmin.has_change_permission(request, obj=None)

Should return True if editing obj is permitted, False otherwise. If obj is None, should return True or False to indicate whether editing of objects of this type is permitted in general (e.g., False will be interpreted as meaning that the current user is not permitted to edit any object of this type).

ModelAdmin.has_delete_permission(request, obj=None)

Should return True if deleting obj is permitted, False otherwise. If obj is None, should return True or False to indicate whether deleting objects of this type is permitted in general (e.g., False will be interpreted as meaning that the current user is not permitted to delete any object of this type).


The queryset method on a ModelAdmin returns a QuerySet of all model instances that can be edited by the admin site. One use case for overriding this method is to show objects owned by the logged-in user:

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    def queryset(self, request):
        qs = super(MyModelAdmin, self).queryset(request)
        if request.user.is_superuser:
            return qs
        return qs.filter(author=request.user)
ModelAdmin.message_user(request, message, level=messages.INFO, extra_tags='', fail_silently=False)

Sends a message to the user using the django.contrib.messages backend. See the custom ModelAdmin example.

Keyword arguments allow you to change the message level, add extra CSS tags, or fail silently if the contrib.messages framework is not installed. These keyword arguments match those for django.contrib.messages.add_message(), see that function’s documentation for more details. One difference is that the level may be passed as a string label in addition to integer/constant.

ModelAdmin.get_paginator(queryset, per_page, orphans=0, allow_empty_first_page=True)

Returns an instance of the paginator to use for this view. By default, instantiates an instance of paginator.

Other methods

ModelAdmin.add_view(request, form_url='', extra_context=None)

Django view for the model instance addition page. See note below.

ModelAdmin.change_view(request, object_id, form_url='', extra_context=None)

Django view for the model instance edition page. See note below.

The form_url parameter was added.

ModelAdmin.changelist_view(request, extra_context=None)

Django view for the model instances change list/actions page. See note below.

ModelAdmin.delete_view(request, object_id, extra_context=None)

Django view for the model instance(s) deletion confirmation page. See note below.

ModelAdmin.history_view(request, object_id, extra_context=None)

Django view for the page that shows the modification history for a given model instance.

Unlike the hook-type ModelAdmin methods detailed in the previous section, these five methods are in reality designed to be invoked as Django views from the admin application URL dispatching handler to render the pages that deal with model instances CRUD operations. As a result, completely overriding these methods will significantly change the behavior of the admin application.

One common reason for overriding these methods is to augment the context data that is provided to the template that renders the view. In the following example, the change view is overridden so that the rendered template is provided some extra mapping data that would not otherwise be available:

class MyModelAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):

    # A template for a very customized change view:
    change_form_template = 'admin/myapp/extras/openstreetmap_change_form.html'

    def get_osm_info(self):
        # ...

    def change_view(self, request, object_id, form_url='', extra_context=None):
        extra_context = extra_context or {}
        extra_context['osm_data'] = self.get_osm_info()
        return super(MyModelAdmin, self).change_view(request, object_id,
            form_url, extra_context=extra_context)

These views now return TemplateResponse instances which allow you to easily customize the response data before rendering. For more details, see the TemplateResponse documentation.

ModelAdmin media definitions

There are times where you would like add a bit of CSS and/or JavaScript to the add/change views. This can be accomplished by using a Media inner class on your ModelAdmin:

class ArticleAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    class Media:
        css = {
            "all": ("my_styles.css",)
        js = ("my_code.js",)

The staticfiles app prepends STATIC_URL (or MEDIA_URL if STATIC_URL is None) to any media paths. The same rules apply as regular media definitions on forms.


Django admin Javascript makes use of the jQuery library.

To avoid conflicts with user-supplied scripts or libraries, Django’s jQuery (version 1.4.2) is namespaced as django.jQuery. If you want to use jQuery in your own admin JavaScript without including a second copy, you can use the django.jQuery object on changelist and add/edit views.

The ModelAdmin class requires jQuery by default, so there is no need to add jQuery to your ModelAdmin‘s list of media resources unless you have a specifc need. For example, if you require the jQuery library to be in the global namespace (for example when using third-party jQuery plugins) or if you need a newer version of jQuery, you will have to include your own copy.

Django provides both uncompressed and ‘minified’ versions of jQuery, as jquery.js and jquery.min.js respectively.

ModelAdmin and InlineModelAdmin have a media property that returns a list of Media objects which store paths to the JavaScript files for the forms and/or formsets. If DEBUG is True it will return the uncompressed versions of the various JavaScript files, including jquery.js; if not, it will return the ‘minified’ versions.

Adding custom validation to the admin

Adding custom validation of data in the admin is quite easy. The automatic admin interface reuses django.forms, and the ModelAdmin class gives you the ability define your own form:

class ArticleAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    form = MyArticleAdminForm

MyArticleAdminForm can be defined anywhere as long as you import where needed. Now within your form you can add your own custom validation for any field:

class MyArticleAdminForm(forms.ModelForm):
    class Meta:
        model = Article

    def clean_name(self):
        # do something that validates your data
        return self.cleaned_data["name"]

It is important you use a ModelForm here otherwise things can break. See the forms documentation on custom validation and, more specifically, the model form validation notes for more information.

InlineModelAdmin objects

class InlineModelAdmin
class TabularInline
class StackedInline

The admin interface has the ability to edit models on the same page as a parent model. These are called inlines. Suppose you have these two models:

class Author(models.Model):
   name = models.CharField(max_length=100)

class Book(models.Model):
   author = models.ForeignKey(Author)
   title = models.CharField(max_length=100)

You can edit the books authored by an author on the author page. You add inlines to a model by specifying them in a ModelAdmin.inlines:

class BookInline(admin.TabularInline):
    model = Book

class AuthorAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    inlines = [

Django provides two subclasses of InlineModelAdmin and they are:

The difference between these two is merely the template used to render them.

InlineModelAdmin options

InlineModelAdmin shares many of the same features as ModelAdmin, and adds some of its own (the shared features are actually defined in the BaseModelAdmin superclass). The shared features are:

The InlineModelAdmin class adds:


The model which the inline is using. This is required.


The name of the foreign key on the model. In most cases this will be dealt with automatically, but fk_name must be specified explicitly if there are more than one foreign key to the same parent model.


This defaults to BaseInlineFormSet. Using your own formset can give you many possibilities of customization. Inlines are built around model formsets.


The value for form defaults to ModelForm. This is what is passed through to inlineformset_factory() when creating the formset for this inline.


This controls the number of extra forms the formset will display in addition to the initial forms. See the formsets documentation for more information.

For users with JavaScript-enabled browsers, an “Add another” link is provided to enable any number of additional inlines to be added in addition to those provided as a result of the extra argument.

The dynamic link will not appear if the number of currently displayed forms exceeds max_num, or if the user does not have JavaScript enabled.


This controls the maximum number of forms to show in the inline. This doesn’t directly correlate to the number of objects, but can if the value is small enough. See Limiting the number of editable objects for more information.


By default, Django’s admin uses a select-box interface (<select>) for fields that are ForeignKey. Sometimes you don’t want to incur the overhead of having to select all the related instances to display in the drop-down.

raw_id_fields is a list of fields you would like to change into a Input widget for either a ForeignKey or ManyToManyField:

class BookInline(admin.TabularInline):
    model = Book
    raw_id_fields = ("pages",)

The template used to render the inline on the page.


An override to the verbose_name found in the model’s inner Meta class.


An override to the verbose_name_plural found in the model’s inner Meta class.


Specifies whether or not inline objects can be deleted in the inline. Defaults to True.

InlineModelAdmin.get_formset(request, obj=None, **kwargs)

Returns a BaseInlineFormSet class for use in admin add/change views. See the example for ModelAdmin.get_formsets.

Working with a model with two or more foreign keys to the same parent model

It is sometimes possible to have more than one foreign key to the same model. Take this model for instance:

class Friendship(models.Model):
    to_person = models.ForeignKey(Person, related_name="friends")
    from_person = models.ForeignKey(Person, related_name="from_friends")

If you wanted to display an inline on the Person admin add/change pages you need to explicitly define the foreign key since it is unable to do so automatically:

class FriendshipInline(admin.TabularInline):
    model = Friendship
    fk_name = "to_person"

class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    inlines = [

Working with many-to-many models

By default, admin widgets for many-to-many relations will be displayed on whichever model contains the actual reference to the ManyToManyField. Depending on your ModelAdmin definition, each many-to-many field in your model will be represented by a standard HTML <select multiple>, a horizontal or vertical filter, or a raw_id_admin widget. However, it is also possible to replace these widgets with inlines.

Suppose we have the following models:

class Person(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=128)

class Group(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=128)
    members = models.ManyToManyField(Person, related_name='groups')

If you want to display many-to-many relations using an inline, you can do so by defining an InlineModelAdmin object for the relationship:

class MembershipInline(admin.TabularInline):
    model = Group.members.through

class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    inlines = [

class GroupAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    inlines = [
    exclude = ('members',)

There are two features worth noting in this example.

Firstly - the MembershipInline class references Group.members.through. The through attribute is a reference to the model that manages the many-to-many relation. This model is automatically created by Django when you define a many-to-many field.

Secondly, the GroupAdmin must manually exclude the members field. Django displays an admin widget for a many-to-many field on the model that defines the relation (in this case, Group). If you want to use an inline model to represent the many-to-many relationship, you must tell Django’s admin to not display this widget - otherwise you will end up with two widgets on your admin page for managing the relation.

In all other respects, the InlineModelAdmin is exactly the same as any other. You can customize the appearance using any of the normal ModelAdmin properties.

Working with many-to-many intermediary models

When you specify an intermediary model using the through argument to a ManyToManyField, the admin will not display a widget by default. This is because each instance of that intermediary model requires more information than could be displayed in a single widget, and the layout required for multiple widgets will vary depending on the intermediate model.

However, we still want to be able to edit that information inline. Fortunately, this is easy to do with inline admin models. Suppose we have the following models:

class Person(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=128)

class Group(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=128)
    members = models.ManyToManyField(Person, through='Membership')

class Membership(models.Model):
    person = models.ForeignKey(Person)
    group = models.ForeignKey(Group)
    date_joined = models.DateField()
    invite_reason = models.CharField(max_length=64)

The first step in displaying this intermediate model in the admin is to define an inline class for the Membership model:

class MembershipInline(admin.TabularInline):
    model = Membership
    extra = 1

This simple example uses the default InlineModelAdmin values for the Membership model, and limits the extra add forms to one. This could be customized using any of the options available to InlineModelAdmin classes.

Now create admin views for the Person and Group models:

class PersonAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    inlines = (MembershipInline,)

class GroupAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    inlines = (MembershipInline,)

Finally, register your Person and Group models with the admin site:, PersonAdmin), GroupAdmin)

Now your admin site is set up to edit Membership objects inline from either the Person or the Group detail pages.

Using generic relations as an inline

It is possible to use an inline with generically related objects. Let’s say you have the following models:

class Image(models.Model):
    image = models.ImageField(upload_to="images")
    content_type = models.ForeignKey(ContentType)
    object_id = models.PositiveIntegerField()
    content_object = generic.GenericForeignKey("content_type", "object_id")

class Product(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)

If you want to allow editing and creating Image instance on the Product add/change views you can use GenericTabularInline or GenericStackedInline (both subclasses of GenericInlineModelAdmin) provided by django.contrib.contenttypes.generic, they implement tabular and stacked visual layouts for the forms representing the inline objects respectively just like their non-generic counterparts and behave just like any other inline. In your for this example app:

from django.contrib import admin
from django.contrib.contenttypes import generic

from myproject.myapp.models import Image, Product

class ImageInline(generic.GenericTabularInline):
    model = Image

class ProductAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    inlines = [
    ], ProductAdmin)

See the contenttypes documentation for more specific information.

Overriding admin templates

It is relatively easy to override many of the templates which the admin module uses to generate the various pages of an admin site. You can even override a few of these templates for a specific app, or a specific model.

Set up your projects admin template directories

The admin template files are located in the contrib/admin/templates/admin directory.

In order to override one or more of them, first create an admin directory in your project’s templates directory. This can be any of the directories you specified in TEMPLATE_DIRS.

Within this admin directory, create sub-directories named after your app. Within these app subdirectories create sub-directories named after your models. Note, that the admin app will lowercase the model name when looking for the directory, so make sure you name the directory in all lowercase if you are going to run your app on a case-sensitive filesystem.

To override an admin template for a specific app, copy and edit the template from the django/contrib/admin/templates/admin directory, and save it to one of the directories you just created.

For example, if we wanted to add a tool to the change list view for all the models in an app named my_app, we would copy contrib/admin/templates/admin/change_list.html to the templates/admin/my_app/ directory of our project, and make any necessary changes.

If we wanted to add a tool to the change list view for only a specific model named ‘Page’, we would copy that same file to the templates/admin/my_app/page directory of our project.

Overriding vs. replacing an admin template

Because of the modular design of the admin templates, it is usually neither necessary nor advisable to replace an entire template. It is almost always better to override only the section of the template which you need to change.

To continue the example above, we want to add a new link next to the History tool for the Page model. After looking at change_form.html we determine that we only need to override the object-tools-items block. Therefore here is our new change_form.html :

{% extends "admin/change_form.html" %}
{% load i18n admin_urls %}
{% block object-tools-items %}
        <a href="{% url opts|admin_urlname:'history'|admin_urlquote %}" class="historylink">{% trans "History" %}</a>
        <a href="mylink/" class="historylink">My Link</a>
    {% if has_absolute_url %}
            <a href="{% url 'admin:view_on_site' content_type_id %}" class="viewsitelink">{% trans "View on site" %}</a>
    {% endif%}
{% endblock %}

And that’s it! If we placed this file in the templates/admin/my_app directory, our link would appear on the change form for all models within my_app.

Templates which may be overridden per app or model

Not every template in contrib/admin/templates/admin may be overridden per app or per model. The following can:

  • app_index.html
  • change_form.html
  • change_list.html
  • delete_confirmation.html
  • object_history.html

For those templates that cannot be overridden in this way, you may still override them for your entire project. Just place the new version in your templates/admin directory. This is particularly useful to create custom 404 and 500 pages.


Some of the admin templates, such as change_list_results.html are used to render custom inclusion tags. These may be overridden, but in such cases you are probably better off creating your own version of the tag in question and giving it a different name. That way you can use it selectively.

Root and login templates

If you wish to change the index, login or logout templates, you are better off creating your own AdminSite instance (see below), and changing the AdminSite.index_template , AdminSite.login_template or AdminSite.logout_template properties.

AdminSite objects

class AdminSite(name='admin')

A Django administrative site is represented by an instance of django.contrib.admin.sites.AdminSite; by default, an instance of this class is created as and you can register your models and ModelAdmin instances with it.

If you’d like to set up your own administrative site with custom behavior, however, you’re free to subclass AdminSite and override or add anything you like. Then, simply create an instance of your AdminSite subclass (the same way you’d instantiate any other Python class), and register your models and ModelAdmin subclasses with it instead of using the default.

When constructing an instance of an AdminSite, you are able to provide a unique instance name using the name argument to the constructor. This instance name is used to identify the instance, especially when reversing admin URLs. If no instance name is provided, a default instance name of admin will be used.

AdminSite attributes

Templates can override or extend base admin templates as described in Overriding Admin Templates.


Path to a custom template that will be used by the admin site main index view.


Path to a custom template that will be used by the admin site app index view.


Path to a custom template that will be used by the admin site login view.


Subclass of AuthenticationForm that will be used by the admin site login view.


Path to a custom template that will be used by the admin site logout view.


Path to a custom template that will be used by the admin site password change view.


Path to a custom template that will be used by the admin site password change done view.

Hooking AdminSite instances into your URLconf

The last step in setting up the Django admin is to hook your AdminSite instance into your URLconf. Do this by pointing a given URL at the AdminSite.urls method.

In this example, we register the default AdminSite instance at the URL /admin/

from django.conf.urls import patterns, include
from django.contrib import admin


urlpatterns = patterns('',
    (r'^admin/', include(,

Above we used admin.autodiscover() to automatically load the INSTALLED_APPS modules.

In this example, we register the AdminSite instance myproject.admin.admin_site at the URL /myadmin/

from django.conf.urls import patterns, include
from myproject.admin import admin_site

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    (r'^myadmin/', include(admin_site.urls)),

There is really no need to use autodiscover when using your own AdminSite instance since you will likely be importing all the per-app modules in your myproject.admin module.

Multiple admin sites in the same URLconf

It’s easy to create multiple instances of the admin site on the same Django-powered Web site. Just create multiple instances of AdminSite and root each one at a different URL.

In this example, the URLs /basic-admin/ and /advanced-admin/ feature separate versions of the admin site – using the AdminSite instances myproject.admin.basic_site and myproject.admin.advanced_site, respectively:

from django.conf.urls import patterns, include
from myproject.admin import basic_site, advanced_site

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    (r'^basic-admin/', include(basic_site.urls)),
    (r'^advanced-admin/', include(advanced_site.urls)),

AdminSite instances take a single argument to their constructor, their name, which can be anything you like. This argument becomes the prefix to the URL names for the purposes of reversing them. This is only necessary if you are using more than one AdminSite.

Adding views to admin sites

Just like ModelAdmin, AdminSite provides a get_urls() method that can be overridden to define additional views for the site. To add a new view to your admin site, extend the base get_urls() method to include a pattern for your new view.


Any view you render that uses the admin templates, or extends the base admin template, should provide the current_app argument to RequestContext or Context when rendering the template. It should be set to either if your view is on an AdminSite or if your view is on a ModelAdmin.

Adding a password-reset feature

You can add a password-reset feature to the admin site by adding a few lines to your URLconf. Specifically, add these four patterns:

url(r'^admin/password_reset/$', 'django.contrib.auth.views.password_reset', name='admin_password_reset'),
(r'^admin/password_reset/done/$', 'django.contrib.auth.views.password_reset_done'),
(r'^reset/(?P<uidb36>[0-9A-Za-z]+)-(?P<token>.+)/$', 'django.contrib.auth.views.password_reset_confirm'),
(r'^reset/done/$', 'django.contrib.auth.views.password_reset_complete'),

(This assumes you’ve added the admin at admin/ and requires that you put the URLs starting with ^admin/ before the line that includes the admin app itself).

The presence of the admin_password_reset named URL will cause a “forgotten your password?” link to appear on the default admin log-in page under the password box.

Reversing admin URLs

When an AdminSite is deployed, the views provided by that site are accessible using Django’s URL reversing system.

The AdminSite provides the following named URL patterns:

Page URL name Parameters
Index index  
Logout logout  
Password change password_change  
Password change done password_change_done  
i18n javascript jsi18n  
Application index page app_list app_label
Redirect to object’s page view_on_site content_type_id, object_id

Each ModelAdmin instance provides an additional set of named URLs:

Page URL name Parameters
Changelist {{ app_label }}_{{ model_name }}_changelist  
Add {{ app_label }}_{{ model_name }}_add  
History {{ app_label }}_{{ model_name }}_history object_id
Delete {{ app_label }}_{{ model_name }}_delete object_id
Change {{ app_label }}_{{ model_name }}_change object_id

These named URLs are registered with the application namespace admin, and with an instance namespace corresponding to the name of the Site instance.

So - if you wanted to get a reference to the Change view for a particular Choice object (from the polls application) in the default admin, you would call:

>>> from django.core import urlresolvers
>>> c = Choice.objects.get(...)
>>> change_url = urlresolvers.reverse('admin:polls_choice_change', args=(,))

This will find the first registered instance of the admin application (whatever the instance name), and resolve to the view for changing poll.Choice instances in that instance.

If you want to find a URL in a specific admin instance, provide the name of that instance as a current_app hint to the reverse call. For example, if you specifically wanted the admin view from the admin instance named custom, you would need to call:

>>> change_url = urlresolvers.reverse('admin:polls_choice_change',
...                                   args=(,), current_app='custom')

For more details, see the documentation on reversing namespaced URLs.

To allow easier reversing of the admin urls in templates, Django provides an admin_urlname filter which takes an action as argument:

{% load admin_urls %}
<a href="{% url opts|admin_urlname:'add' %}">Add user</a>
<a href="{% url opts|admin_urlname:'delete' %}">Delete this user</a>

The action in the examples above match the last part of the URL names for ModelAdmin instances described above. The opts variable can be any object which has an app_label and module_name and is usually supplied by the admin views for the current model.