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An improved django-admin-tools dashboard for Django projects

Project description


The fluent_dashboard module offers a custom admin dashboard, built on top of django-admin-tools (docs).

The django-admin-tools package provides a default mechanism to replace the standard Django admin homepage with a widget based dashboard. The fluent_dashboard module extends this, by providing additional widgets (called “modules”) such as:

  • a “icon list” module for the admin homepage.
  • a “welcome” module for the admin homepage.
  • a configurable module layout for the admin homepage, through
  • a “return to site” link.
  • an optional “cache statistics” module.

Documentation can be found at:


django-fluent-dashboard preview


First install the module, preferably in a virtual environment. It can be installed from PyPI:

pip install django-fluent-dashboard

Or the current folder can be installed:

pip install .


Next, create a project which uses the CMS:

cd .. startproject fluentdemo

It should have the following settings:


    # enable the admin

ADMIN_TOOLS_INDEX_DASHBOARD = 'fluent_dashboard.dashboard.FluentIndexDashboard'
ADMIN_TOOLS_APP_INDEX_DASHBOARD = 'fluent_dashboard.dashboard.FluentAppIndexDashboard'

For Django 1.3 the following setting is also required:

ADMIN_MEDIA_PREFIX = '/static/admin/'

Note that some admin_tools applications are optional, yet recommended to have the full experience of the module.


urlpatterns += patterns('',
    url(r'^admintools/', include('admin_tools.urls')),

The database tables for admin_tools can be created afterwards:

./ syncdb
./ migrate    # If South is installed

Customizing the dashboard

Adding extra icons

The FLUENT_DASHBOARD_APP_ICONS setting is a dictionary that allows you to define extra icons for your own modules, and overwrite default settings. For example:

    'auth/user': "user.png"

The icon is expected to be 48x48 pixels. The icon name is treated in 3 different formats:

  • Absolute URLs are passed as-is.
  • Icon names with a / character, are relative to the STATIC_URL (or MEDIA_URL for Django 1.2).
  • Icon names without any path information, are relative to the current theme folder, e.g. STATIC_URL/fluent_dashboard/themename/

Organizing the application groups

The FLUENT_DASHBOARD_APP_GROUPS setting defines which applications are grouped. For example:

    (_('CMS'), {
        'models': (
        'module': 'CmsAppIconList',
        'collapsible': False,
    (_('Interactivity'), {
        'models': (
    (_('Administration'), {
        'models': (
    (_('Applications'), {
        'models': ('*',),
        'module': 'AppList',
        'collapsible': True,

Details about these options, and additional settings are explained in the documentation.

Displaying cache status

This application features optional support for the dashboardmods package, which can display cache statistics. It can be installed using:

pip install dashboardmods

The application requires the cache backends to be configured, for example:


# Example Memcache configuration:
    'default': {
        'BACKEND': 'django.core.cache.backends.memcached.MemcachedCache',
        'KEY_PREFIX': 'mysite.production',
        'LOCATION': '',
        'TIMEOUT': 24*3600,

# Optional, example Varnish configuration:

When a cache is not configured, it will simply not be displayed by the module.


This module is designed to be generic. In case there is anything you didn’t like about it, or think it’s not flexible enough, please let us know. We’d love to improve it!

If you have any other valuable contribution, suggestion or idea, please let us know as well because we will look into it. Pull requests are welcome too. :-)

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