Installation and Configuration


upgrading from 0.8.7? Checkout Upgrading.

Getting the latest release

The easiest way to get django-filer is simply install it with pip:

$ pip install django-filer

If you are feeling adventurous you can get the latest sourcecode from github or add to find-links for the latest alpha and beta releases.


django.contrib.staticfiles is required.

Django >= 1.6 is supported together with django-polymorphic >= 0.5.4

Please make sure you install Pillow with JPEG and ZLIB support installed; for further information on Pillow installation and its binary dependencies, check Pillow doc.


Add "filer" and related apps to your project’s INSTALLED_APPS setting and run syncdb (or migrate if you’re using South).:


Note that easy_thumbnails also has database tables and needs a syncdb or migrate.

For easy_thumbnails to support retina displays (recent MacBooks, iOS) add to


If you forget this, you may not see thumbnails for your uploaded files. Adding this line and refreshing the admin page will create the missing thumbnails.

Static media

django-filer javascript and css files are managed by django.contrib.staticfiles; please see staticfiles documentation to know how to deploy filer static files in your environment.

subject location aware cropping

It is possible to define the important part of an image (the subject location) in the admin interface for django-filer images. This is very useful when later resizing and cropping images with easy_thumbnails. The image can then be cropped automatically in a way, that the important part of the image is always visible.

To enable automatic subject location aware cropping of images replace easy_thumbnails.processors.scale_and_crop with filer.thumbnail_processors.scale_and_crop_with_subject_location in the THUMBNAIL_PROCESSORS setting:


To crop an image and respect the subject location:

{% load thumbnail %}
{% thumbnail obj.img 200x300 crop upscale subject_location=obj.img.subject_location %}



File permissions are an experimental feature. The api may change at any time.

See Permissions section.

secure downloads


File download permissions are an experimental feature. The api may change at any time.

See Secure Downloads section.

Canonical URLs

You can configure your project to generate canonical URLs for your public files. Just include django-filer’s URLConf in your project’s

urlpatterns = [
    url(r'^filer/', include('filer.urls')),

Contrary to the file’s actual URL, the canonical URL does not change if you upload a new version of the file. Thus, you can safely share the canonical URL. As long as the file exists, people will be redirected to its latest version.

The canonical URL is displayed in the “advanced” panel on the file’s admin page. It has the form:


The “filer” part of the URL is configured in the project’s URLconf as described above. The “canonical” part can be changed with the setting FILER_CANONICAL_URL, which defaults to 'canonical/'. Example:



debugging and logging

While by default django-filer usually silently skips icon/thumbnail generation errors, two options are provided to help when working with django-filer:

  • FILER_DEBUG: Boolean, controls whether bubbling up any easy-thumbnails exception (typically if an image file doesn’t exists); is False by default;
  • FILER_ENABLE_LOGGING: Boolean, controls whether logging the above exceptions. It requires proper django logging configuration for default logger or filer logger. Please see for further information about Django’s logging configuration.