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Lazy signup for Django

Project description


django-lazysignup is a package designed to allow users to interact with a site as if they were authenticated users, but without signing up. At any time, they can convert their temporary user account to a real user account.

django-lazysignup is alpha software. Bug reports, patches and extensions are welcomed.


Tested on Django 1.2alpha1, though should work on Django 1.0 and later (although you will need to customise one of the templates.) It requires django.contrib.auth to be in the INSTALLED_APPS list.


Install the django-lazysignup egg as you would any other development egg from a source control system. For example, with pip:

pip install -e git://

Once that’s done, you need to add lazysignup to your INSTALLED_APPS. You will also need to add lazysignup’s authentication backend to your site’s AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS setting:


You’ll also need the middleware installed. It should come between the session and auth backends:


If you are using Django prior to 1.2, you should override the lazysignup/convert.html template to remove the {% csrf_token %} template tag. This may be handled more elegantly in a future release.

Finally, you need to add lazysignup to your URLConf, using something like this:

urlpatterns += (''
    (r'^convert/', include('lazysignup.urls')),


The package works by creating temporary user accounts based on a user’s session key whenever a flagged view is requested. You can specify which views trigger this behaviour using the lazysignup.decorators.allow_lazy decorator.

When an anonymous user requests such a view, a temporary user account will be created for them, and they will be logged in. The user account will have an unusable password set, so that it can’t be used to log in as a regular user. Hence, the way to tell a regular use from a temporary user is to call the user.has_usable_password() method. If this returns False, then the user is temporary. Note that user.is_anonymous() will return False and user.is_authenticated() will return True.

A view is provided to allow such users to convert their temporary account into a real user account by providing a username and a password.

A Django management command is provided to clear out stale, uncoverted user accounts.

The allow_lazy decorator

Use this decorator to indicate that accessing the view should cause anonymous users to have temporary accounts created for them. It’s probably unwise to put this on your homepage view!

For example:

from django.http import HttpResponse
from lazysignup.decorators import allow_lazy

def my_view(request):
  return HttpResponse(request.user.username)

When accessing the above view, a very simple response containing the generated username will be displayed.

Using the convert view

Users will be able to visit the /convert/ view. This provides a form with a username, password and password confirmation. As long as they fill in valid details, their temporary user account will be converted into a real user account that they can log in with as usual.


Over time, a number of user accounts that haven’t been converted will build up. To avoid performance problems from an excessive number of user accounts, it’s recommended that the remove_expired_users management command is run on a regular basis. It runs from the command line:

python remove_expired_users

In a production environment, this should be run from cron or similar.

This works be removing user accounts from the system whose associated sessions are no longer in the session table. user.delete() is called for each user, so related data will be removed as well.

Helping Out

If you want to add a feature or fix a bug, please go ahead! Fork the project on GitHub, and when you’re done with your changes, let me know. Fixes and features with tests have a greater chance of being merged. To run the tests, do:

python test --settings=lazysignup.test_settings lazysignup

Note that the tests require the mock package. Changelog =========


  • Initial release

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