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Define Django application settings with Django ORM models and edit them in the admin area.

Project description


This Django application allows to define Django application settings with Django ORM models and edit them in the admin area.

Please check the other alternatives at This project started because I tried them all and I was not really happy with any of them.

Key points

  1. The settings are stored in the database, in normalized tables with proper field types and constraints. In particular, it is possible to have a setting which is a ForeignKey to another model (e.g. “Default account”), and it will properly validate and/or update when the corresponding model is deleted.

  2. The settings are described using standard Django ORM classes (like EmailField or SmallPositiveIntegerField) with all the bells and whistles (e.g. validators). There is no parallel hierarchy of classes for different types of data.

  3. Each application may have any number of settings groups, however there is no fancy and complex syntax for that. The developer may simply add more Settings classes if he decides so.

  4. The settings are lazy and effective. The database is not hit until the settings are actually accessed, and then it takes exactly one SQL query to fetch all settings for all apps.

  5. The system behaves correctly when there is no corresponding data in the database (if the settings have never been saved yet, or have been saved partly).

  6. Programmatically, all settings from all application are accessible via a single object.

  7. There is a page for Django Admin.


The latest version supports Django 1.7-1.9.


pip install django-modelsettings

Migration from 0.1.x

django-modelsettings 0.1.x had a different API and supported Django 1.4-1.8. To migrate from 0.1.x, run migrate dbsettings --fake.


Add dbsettings to INSTALLED_APPS:



Add Settings class in your application:

# blog/

from dbsettings.models import AppSettings

class Settings(AppSettings):
        contact_email = models.EmailField(default="info@localhost")
        update_interval = models.PositiveIntegerField(null=True, default=10, help_text="Update interval in seconds")
        facebook_app_id = models.CharField("Facebook App ID", max_length=32, blank=True)

Create the corresponding database tables:

./ makemigrations && ./ migrate

In your business logic code, access settings via django.conf.settings.db:

from django.conf import settings

print( = 60

or directly:

from dbsettings import settings

print( = 60

print(settings.django.SECRET_KEY)  # shortcut to django.conf.settings

Admin area

The settings editor will be automatically added at Django Admin > Settings.

You can also add a direct link (e.g. in your admin/base_site.html overrides):

<a href="{% url 'admin:dbsettings_root_changelist' %}">{% trans "Settings" %}</a>

Customizing admin area form

To provide a custom admin form for your settings model, create a ModelAdmin class and register it:

# blog/

from blog.models import Settings
from dbsettings.admin import RootSettingsAdmin

class SettingsAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        def formfield_for_dbfield(self, db_field, **kwargs):
                if == 'welcome_text':
                        kwargs['widget'] = SummernoteWidget()
                return super().formfield_for_dbfield(db_field, **kwargs)

Several groups of settings per application

It is possible to split settings into several groups within one application.

# blog/

from dbsettings.models import AppSettings

class Settings(AppSettings):
        option1 = models.IntegerField()

class Foo(AppSettings):
        option2 = models.IntegerField()

class Bar(AppSettings):
        option3 = models.IntegerField()
from dbsettings import settings


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