Calling a Django management command

New in version 0.9.

If you want to call a Django management command programmatically, say from a script outside of your usual Django code, you can use the equivalent of Django’s call_command function with django-configurations, too.

Simply import it from instead:

 from import call_command

 call_command('dumpdata', exclude=['contenttypes', 'auth'])


envdir is an effective way to set a large number of environment variables at once during startup of a command. This is great in combination with django-configuration’s Value subclasses when enabling their ability to check environment variables for override values.

Imagine for example you want to set a few environment variables, all you have to do is to create a directory with files that have capitalized names and contain the values you want to set.


$ tree mysite_env/

0 directories, 3 files
$ cat mysite_env/DJANGO_CACHE_URL

Then, to enable the mysite_env environment variables, simply use the envdir command line tool as a prefix for your program, e.g.:

$ envdir mysite_env python runserver

See envdir documentation for more information, e.g. using envdir from Python instead of from the command line.

Project templates

You can use a special Django project template that is a copy of the one included in Django 1.5.x and 1.6.x. The following examples assumes you’re using pip to install packages.

Django 1.8.x

First install Django 1.8.x and django-configurations:

$ pip install -r

Or Django 1.8:

$ startproject mysite -v2 --template

Now you have a default Django 1.8.x project in the mysite directory that uses django-configurations.

See the repository of the template for more information:


< 3.1

Given Celery’s way to load Django settings in worker processes you should probably just add the following to the beginning of your settings module:

import configurations

That has the same effect as using the or utilities. This will also call django.setup().

>= 3.1

In Celery 3.1 and later the integration between Django and Celery has been simplified to use the standard Celery Python API. Django projects using Celery are now advised to add a file that instantiates an explicit Celery client app.

Here’s how to integrate django-configurations following the example from Celery’s documentation:

 from __future__ import absolute_import

 import os

 from celery import Celery
 from django.conf import settings

 os.environ.setdefault('DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE', 'mysite.settings')
 os.environ.setdefault('DJANGO_CONFIGURATION', 'MySiteConfiguration')

 import configurations

 app = Celery('mysite')
 app.autodiscover_tasks(lambda: settings.INSTALLED_APPS)

 def debug_task(self):
     print('Request: {0!r}'.format(self.request))

iPython notebooks

New in version 0.6.

To use django-configurations with IPython‘s great notebooks, you have to enable an extension in your IPython configuration. See the IPython documentation for how to create and manage your IPython profile correctly.

Here’s a quick how-to in case you don’t have a profile yet. Type in your command line shell:

$ ipython profile create

Then let IPython show you where the configuration file was created:

$ ipython locate profile

That should print a directory path where you can find the configuration file. Now open that file and extend the c.InteractiveShellApp.extensions configuration value. It may be commented out from when IPython created the file or it may not exist in the file at all. In either case make sure it’s not a Python comment anymore and reads like this:

# A list of dotted module names of IPython extensions to load.
c.InteractiveShellApp.extensions = [
    # .. your other extensions if available

That will tell IPython to load django-configurations correctly on startup. It also works with django-extensions’s shell_plus management command.


In case you use FastCGI for deploying Django (you really shouldn’t) and aren’t allowed to use Django’s runfcgi management command (that would automatically handle the setup for your if you’ve followed the quickstart guide above), make sure to use something like the following script:

#!/usr/bin/env python

import os

os.environ.setdefault('DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE', 'mysite.settings')
os.environ.setdefault('DJANGO_CONFIGURATION', 'MySiteConfiguration')

from configurations.fastcgi import runfastcgi

runfastcgi(method='threaded', daemonize='true')

As you can see django-configurations provides a helper module configurations.fastcgi that handles the setup of your configurations.


In case you would like to user the amazing autodoc feature of the documentation tool Sphinx, you need add django-configurations to your extensions config variable and set the environment variable accordingly:

 # My custom Django environment variables
 os.environ.setdefault('DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE', 'mysite.settings')
 os.environ.setdefault('DJANGO_CONFIGURATION', 'Dev')

 # Add any Sphinx extension module names here, as strings. They can be extensions
 # coming with Sphinx (named 'sphinx.ext.*') or your custom ones.
 extensions = [
     # ...

 # ...

Changed in version 2.0.

Please note that the sphinx callable has been moved from configurations to configurations.sphinx.