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A reusable app to graceously handle files that your users might upload, such as profile pictures, foto albums etc...

Project description

Almost all modern web apps allow their users to upload content such as audio, video or images. This raises a number of issues if that content should not be visible to the whole world by default.

If you have a UserProfile model and add an ImageField to it, you need to come up with a good idea on how to save those images. It is probably not a good idea to keep the original filenames as they might disturb your server’s file system and open doors for hackers, who might try to brute-force against your /media/user_profiles/ in the hope to steal some valuable files.

Since it seems inevitable to implement a function for Django’s FileField’s upload_to attribute I thought that this might be a candidate for a reusable app.

This project is experimental. We are using it on two completely different live projects and will hopefully come up with an implementation that is so generic that it can safely be used by anyone.

Since we are dealing with files here and not only with a database, backwards incompatible changes might turn out to be a pain in the ass to deploy on your production sites. You have been warned.


You need at least the following packages in your virtualenv:

  • Django 1.4
  • South

TODO: Test if this really is all we need


To get the latest stable release from PyPi:

$ pip install django-user-media

To get the latest commit from GitHub:

$ pip install -e git://

Add the app to your INSTALLED_APPS:


Hook the app into your main

urlpatterns += patterns('',
    url(r'^umedia/', include('user_media.urls')),

Run the south migrations to create the app’s database tables:

$ ./ migrate user_media


Add generic relation

Let’s assume that you have a UserProfile model and you want to add an avatar field to that model.

First you might want to add a GenericRelation to your UserProfile model:

from django.contrib.contenttypes import generic

class UserProfile(models.Model):
    user = models.ForeignKey('auth.User')

    avatar = generic.GenericRelation(

Add property

Now you will be able to get all uploaded images that belong to a UserProfile by doing this:

profile = UserProfile.objects.get(pk=1)
images = profile.avatar.all()

It makes sense to add a convenience method to your UserProfile model:

class UserProfile(models.Model):
    def avatar(self):
            return self.avatar.all()[0]
        except IndexError:
            return None

Display images

Now you should have all building blocks that you need to add links or buttons to your templates that call the views of this application. On your UserProfile detail view you could display the avatar, if available:

{% if object.avatar %}
    <img src="{{ MEDIA_URL }}{{ object.avatar.image }}" />
{% endif %}

Delete and edit images

Or in your UserProfile update view you could display a link to upload a new image or to delete the existing image:

{% if form.instance.get_avatar %}
    <p><img src="{{ MEDIA_URL }}{{ form.instance.avatar.image }}" /></p>
    <a href="{% url "user_media_image_delete" %}">Delete picture</a>
{% else %}
    <a href="{% url "user_media_image_create" content_type="userprofile" %}">Add profile picture</a>
{% endif %}

The delete link in this example will render the user_media/usermediaimage_confirm_delete.html template, which you might want to override in your project.

A link for editing an existing image would look like this:

<a href="{% url "user_media_image_edit" %}">Edit picture</a>

Upload from your own model form

Often you might not want to provide a dedicated form for uploading images but you might want to have an image field right on the model form of your content object. In this case you can inherit from UserMediaImageFormMixin:

from django import forms
from user_media.forms import UserMediaImageFormMixin
from yourapp.models import UserProfile

class UserProfileForm(UserMediaImageFormMixin, forms.ModelForm):
    image_label = _('Image')
    require_user_media_image = False

    # your form implementation

The mixin will dynamically add a forms.ImageField with the name user_media_image to your form. You can control the label of that field by setting the image_label attribute on your form class. You can also make the field mandatory by setting the require_user_media_image attribute to True.

AJAX calls

You might want to call the CreateImageView from an AJAX call, i.e. when displaying the form in a jQuery modal. To make life easier the view will return a different template when the request is an AJAX call.

The names of the alternative templates are user_media/partials/ajax_usermediaimage_form.html and user_media/partials/ajax_usermediaimage_confirm_delete.html.

AJAX multi image upload

If you want to upload multiple images at once, only prepare the following templates:


Then add styles and jQuery scripts. We’ve used blueimp’s file upload, so you make it work by adding jQuery & jQuery-UI plus the scripts in:


Now include the form:

{% include "user_media/partials/image_upload.html" with object=request.user.get_profile maximum='5' mode="multiple" c_type="profile" %}

You can limit the maximum upload by using the following setting:


AJAX single image upload

You can also combine single and multiple uploads. Just use the templates and add the wanted variables:

{% include "user_media/partials/image_upload.html" with object=request.user.get_profile field='logo' mode="single" show_main_thumb="True" %}

jQuery image cropping

You can easily add a frontend image cropping. First of all, add a new thumbnail processor user_media.processors.crop_box:


Then add the cropping template and the relevant js libraries:

{% include "user_media/partials/crop.html" %}

<script src="{% static "django_libs/js/getcookie.js" %}"></script>
<script src="{% static "user_media/js/libs/jquery.Jcrop.js" %}"></script>

You can modify the settings by overwriting the input fields in crop.html.

Check out:

Now, if a user clicks on Select another cutout, the original image will be pushed into the crop area, where the user is able to select a frame. If she then saves the cropped area, the coordinates will be saved to the UserMediaImage instance.

By using the new thumbnail processor it’s easy to use this coordinates to generate thumbnails:

{% thumbnail image.image image.small_size box=image.box_coordinates %}



Default: (95, 95)

Size of the small auto-generated thumbnails, which are processed after upload/cropping.


Default: (150, 150)

Size of the large auto-generated thumbnails, which are processed after upload/cropping.


If you want to contribute to this project, please perform the following steps:

# Fork this repository
# Clone your fork
$ mkvirtualenv -p python2.7 django-user-media
$ pip install -r requirements.txt

$ git co -b feature_branch master
# Implement your feature and tests
$ git add . && git commit
$ git push -u origin feature_branch
# Send us a pull request for your feature branch


If you want to contribute to this project you can run the tests without setting up a Django project. Just clone this repository and execute the

$ ./user_media/tests/

Sometimes a new feature needs new South migrations, in this case you should do the following:

$ rm db.sqlite
$ ./ syncdb --migrate
$ ./ schemamigration user_media --auto


If you have questions or issues, please open an issue on GitHub.

If we don’t react quickly, please don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter (@mbrochh)

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