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SASS processor to compile SCSS files into *.css, while rendering, or offline.

Project description


Annoyed having to run a Compass, Grunt or Gulp daemon while developing Django projects?

Well, then this app is for you! Compile SASS/SCSS files on the fly without having to manage third party services nor special IDE plugins.

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Other good reasons for using this library

  • Refer SASS/SCSS files directly from your sources, instead of referring a compiled CSS file, having to rely on another utility which creates them from SASS/SCSS files, hidden in your source tree.
  • Use Django's for the configuration of paths, box sizes etc., instead of having another SCSS specific file (typically _variables.scss), to hold these.
  • Extend your SASS functions by calling Python functions directly out of your Django project.
  • View SCSS errors directly in the debug console of your Django's development server.

django-sass-processor converts *.scss or *.sass files into *.css while rendering templates. For performance reasons this is done only once, since the preprocessor keeps track on the timestamps and only recompiles, if any of the imported SASS/SCSS files is younger than the corresponding generated CSS file.


This Django app provides a templatetag {% sass_src 'path/to/file.scss' %}, which can be used instead of the built-in templatetag static. This templatetag also works inside Jinja2 templates.

If SASS/SCSS files shall be referenced through the Media class, or media property, the SASS processor can be used directly.

Additionally, django-sass-processor is shipped with a management command, which can convert the content of all occurrences inside the templatetag sass_src as an offline operation. Hence the libsass compiler is not required in a production environment.

During development, a sourcemap is generated along side with the compiled *.css file. This allows to debug style sheet errors much easier.

With this tool, you can safely remove your Ruby installations "Compass" and "SASS" from your Django projects. You neither need any directory "watching" daemons based on node.js.

Project's Home

On GitHub:

Please use the issue tracker to report bugs or propose new features.


pip install libsass django-compressor django-sass-processor

django-compressor is required only for offline compilation, when using the command compilescss.

libsass is not required on the production environment, if SASS/SCSS files have been precompiled and deployed using offline compilation.


In add to:


django-sass-processor is shipped with a special finder, to locate the generated *.css files in the directory referred by STORAGES['sass_processor']['ROOT'] (for Django >= 4.2.) or SASS_PROCESSOR_ROOT (for Django <= 4.1.), or, if unset STATIC_ROOT. Just add it to your If there is no STATICFILES_FINDERS in your don't forget to include the Django default finders.


Optionally, add a list of additional search paths, the SASS compiler may examine when using the @import "..."; statement in SASS/SCSS files:

import os

    os.path.join(PROJECT_PATH, 'extra-styles/scss'),
    os.path.join(PROJECT_PATH, 'node_modules'),

Additionally, django-sass-processor will traverse all installed Django apps (INSTALLED_APPS) and look into their static folders. If any of them contain a file matching the regular expression pattern ^_.+\.(scss|sass)$ (read: filename starts with an underscore and is of type scss or sass), then that app specific static folder is added to the libsass include dirs. This feature can be disabled in your settings with:


If inside of your SASS/SCSS files, you also want to import (using @import "path/to/scssfile";) files which do not start with an underscore, then you can configure another Regex pattern in your settings, for instance:


will look for all files of type scss. Remember that SASS/SCSS files which start with an underscore, are intended to be imported by other SASS/SCSS files, while files starting with a letter or number are intended to be included by the HTML tag <link href="{% sass_src 'path/to/file.scss' %}" ...>.

During development, or when SASS_PROCESSOR_ENABLED = True, the compiled file is placed into the folder referenced by STORAGES['sass_processor']['ROOT'] (for Django >= 4.2.) or SASS_PROCESSOR_ROOT (for Django <= 4.1.). If unset, this setting defaults to STATIC_ROOT. Having a location outside of the working directory prevents to pollute your local static/css/... directories with auto-generated files. Therefore assure, that this directory is writable by the Django runserver.

Fine tune SASS compiler parameters in

Integer SASS_PRECISION sets floating point precision for output css. libsass' default is 5. Note: bootstrap-sass requires 8, otherwise various layout problems will occur.


SASS_OUTPUT_STYLE sets coding style of the compiled result, one of compact, compressed, expanded, or nested. Default is nested for DEBUG and compressed in production.

Note: libsass-python 0.8.3 has problem encoding result while saving on Windows, the issue is already fixed and will be included in future pip package release, in the meanwhile avoid compressed output style.


Jinja2 support

sass_processor.jinja2.ext.SassSrc is a Jinja2 extension. Add it to your Jinja2 environment to enable the tag sass_src, there is no need for a load tag. Example of how to add your Jinja2 environment to Django:


    'BACKEND': 'django.template.backends.jinja2.Jinja2',
    'DIRS': [],
    'APP_DIRS': True,
    'OPTIONS': {
        'environment': 'yourapp.jinja2.environment'

Make sure to add the default template backend, if you're still using Django templates elsewhere. This is covered in the Upgrading templates documentation.

In yourapp/

# Include this for Python 2.
from __future__ import absolute_import

from jinja2 import Environment

def environment(**kwargs):
    extensions = [] if 'extensions' not in kwargs else kwargs['extensions']
    kwargs['extensions'] = extensions

    return Environment(**kwargs)

If you want to make use of the compilescss command, then you will also have to add the following to your settings:

from yourapp.jinja2 import environment



In your Django templates

{% load sass_tags %}

<link href="{% sass_src 'myapp/css/mystyle.scss' %}" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />

The above template code will be rendered as HTML

<link href="/static/myapp/css/mystyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />

You can safely use this templatetag inside a Sekizai's {% addtoblock "css" %} statement.

In Media classes or properties

In Python code, you can access the API of the SASS processor directly. This for instance is useful in Django's admin or form framework.

from sass_processor.processor import sass_processor

class SomeAdminOrFormClass(...):
    class Media:
        css = {
            'all': [sass_processor('myapp/css/mystyle.scss')],

Add vendor prefixes to CSS rules using values from

Writing SCSS shall be fast and easy and you should not have to care, whether to add vendor specific prefixes to your CSS directives. Unfortunately there is no pure Python package to solve this, but with a few node modules, we can add this to our process chain.

As superuser install

npm install -g npx

and inside your project root, install

npm install postcss-cli autoprefixer

Check that the path of node_modules corresponds to its entry in the settings directive STATICFILES_DIRS (see below).

In case npx can not be found in your system path, use the settings directive NODE_NPX_PATH = /path/to/npx to point to that executable.

If everything is setup correctly, django-sass-processor adds all required vendor prefixes to the compiled CSS files. For further information, refer to the Autoprefixer package.

To disable autoprefixing, set NODE_NPX_PATH = None.

Important note: If npx is installed, but postcss and/or autoprefixer are missing in the local node_modules, setting NODE_NPX_PATH to None is manadatory, otherwise django-sass-processor does not know how to postprocess the generated CSS files.

Offline compilation

If you want to precompile all occurrences of your SASS/SCSS files for the whole project, on the command line invoke:

./ compilescss

This is useful for preparing production environments, where SASS/SCSS files can't be compiled on the fly.

To simplify the deployment, the compiled *.css files are stored side-by-side with their corresponding SASS/SCSS files. After compiling the files run

./ collectstatic

as you would in a normal deployment.

In case you don't want to expose the SASS/SCSS files in a production environment, deploy with:

./ collectstatic --ignore=*.scss

To get rid of the compiled *.css files in your local static directories, simply reverse the above command:

./ compilescss --delete-files

This will remove all occurrences of previously generated *.css files.

Or you may compile results to the STORAGES['sass_processor']['ROOT'] [Django >= 4.2.] or SASS_PROCESSOR_ROOT [Django <= 4.1.] directory directy (if not specified - to STATIC_ROOT):

./ compilescss --use-storage

Combine with --delete-files switch to purge results from there.

If you use an alternative templating engine set its name in --engine argument. Currently django and jinja2 are supported, see django-compressor documentation on how to set up COMPRESS_JINJA2_GET_ENVIRONMENT to configure jinja2 engine support.

During offline compilation django-sass-processor parses all Python files and looks for invocations of sass_processor('path/to/sassfile.scss'). Therefore the string specifying the filename must be hard coded and shall not be concatenated or being somehow generated.

Alternative templates

By default, django-sass-processor will locate SASS/SCSS files from .html templates, but you can extend or override this behavior in your settings with:

SASS_TEMPLATE_EXTS = ['.html','.jade']

Configure SASS variables through

In SASS, a nasty problem is to set the correct include paths for icons and fonts. Normally this is done through a _variables.scss file, but this inhibits a configuration through your projects

To avoid the need for duplicate configuration settings, django-sass-processor offers a SASS function to fetch any arbitrary configuration directive from the project's This is specially handy to set the include path of your Glyphicons font directory. Assume, Bootstrap-SASS has been installed using:

npm install bootstrap-sass

then locate the directory named node_modules and add it to your settings, so that your fonts are accessible through the Django's django.contrib.staticfiles.finders.FileSystemFinder:

    ('node_modules', '/path/to/your/project/node_modules/'),

NODE_MODULES_URL = STATIC_URL + 'node_modules/'

With the SASS function get-setting, it is possible to override any SASS variable with a value configured in the project's For the Glyphicons font search path, add this to your _variables.scss:

$icon-font-path: unquote(get-setting(NODE_MODULES_URL) + "bootstrap-sass/assets/fonts/bootstrap/");

and @import "variables"; whenever you need Glyphicons. You then can safely remove any font references, such as <link href="/path/to/your/fonts/bootstrap/glyphicons-whatever.ttf" ...> from you HTML templates.

Configure SASS variables through Python functions

It is even possible to call Python functions from inside any module. Do this by adding SASS_PROCESSOR_CUSTOM_FUNCTIONS to the project's This shall contain a mapping of SASS function names pointing to a Python function name.


    'get-color': 'myproject.utils.get_color',

This allows to invoke Python functions out of any *.scss file.

$color: get-color(250, 10, 120);

Here we pass the parameters '250, 10, 120' into the function def get_color(red, green, blue) in Python module myproject.utils. Note that this function receives the values as sass.Number, hence extract values using red.value, etc.

If one of these customoized functions returns a value, which is not a string, then convert it either to a Python string or to a value of type sass.SassNumber. For other types, refer to their documentation.

Such customized functions must accept parameters explicilty, otherwise sass_processor does not know how to map them. Variable argument lists therefore can not be used.

Error reporting

Whenever django-sass-processor runs in debug mode and fails to compile a SASS/SCSS file, it raises a sass.CompileError exception. This shows the location of the error directly on the Django debug console and is very useful during development.

This behaviour can be overridden using the settings variable SASS_PROCESSOR_FAIL_SILENTLY. If it is set to True, instead of raising that exception, the compilation error message is send to the Django logger.

Using other storage backends for compiled CSS files

Under the hood, SASS processor will use any storage configured in your settings as STORAGES['staticfiles']. This means you can use anything you normally use for serving static files, e.g. S3.

A custom Storage class can be used if your deployment needs to serve generated CSS files from elsewhere, e.g. when your static files storage is not writable at runtime and you nede to re-compile CSS in production. To use a custom storage, configure it in STORAGES['sass_processor']['BACKEND']. You can also configure a dictionary with options that will be passed to the storage class as keyword arguments in STORAGES['sass_processor']['OPTIONS'] [Django >= 4.2.] or SASS_PROCESSOR_STORAGE_OPTIONS [Django <= 4.1.>] (e.g. if you want to use FileSystemStorage, but with a different location or base_url:

# For Django >= 4.2.*
STORAGES['sass_processor'] = {
    'BACKEND': '',
    'OPTIONS': {
        'location': '/srv/media/generated',
        'base_url': ''

# For Django <= 4.1.*
    'location': '/srv/media/generated',
    'base_url': ''

Amazon's S3 Storage

Using the S3 storage backend from django-storages with its regular configuration (if you do not otherwise use it for service static files):

# For Django >= 4.2.*
STORAGES['sass_processor'] = {
    'BACKEND': 'storages.backends.s3boto3.S3Boto3Storage'

# For Django <= 4.1.*
SASS_PROCESSOR_STORAGE = 'storages.backends.s3boto3.S3Boto3Storage'


If you are deploying to Heroku, use the heroku-buildpack-django-sass buildpack to automatically compile scss for you.


To run the tests locally, clone the repository, and, in your local copy, create a new virtualenv. these commands:

python -m pip install --upgrade pip
pip install Django
pip install -r tests/requirements.txt
python -m pytest tests

Third Party Documentation

Brian wrote a nice artice on how to easily use SASS/SCSS with Django.

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