Constance - Dynamic Django settings


  • Easily migrate your static settings to dynamic settings.
  • Edit the dynamic settings in the Django admin interface.

Quick Installation

For complete installation instructions, including how to install the database backend, see Backends.


Modify your Add 'constance' to your INSTALLED_APPS, and move each key you want to turn dynamic into the CONSTANCE_CONFIG section, like this:


    'THE_ANSWER': (42, 'Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, '
                       'The Universe, and Everything'),


Add constance before your project apps.


If you use admin extensions like Grapelli, 'constance' should be added in INSTALLED_APPS before those extensions.

Here, 42 is the default value for the key THE_ANSWER if it is not found in the backend. The other member of the tuple is a help text the admin will show.

See the Backends section how to setup the backend and finish the configuration.

django-constance’s hashes generated in different instances of the same application may differ, preventing data from being saved.

Use CONSTANCE_IGNORE_ADMIN_VERSION_CHECK in order to skip hash verification.



Each time a value is changed it will trigger a config_updated signal.

from constance.signals import config_updated

def constance_updated(sender, key, old_value, new_value, **kwargs):
    print(sender, key, old_value, new_value)

The sender is the config object, and the key and new_value are the changed settings.

Custom fields

You can set the field type with the third value in the CONSTANCE_CONFIG tuple.

The value can be one of the supported types or a string matching a key in your :setting:CONSTANCE_ADDITIONAL_FIELDS

The supported types are:

  • bool
  • int
  • float
  • Decimal
  • str
  • datetime
  • date
  • time

For example, to force a value to be handled as a string:

'THE_ANSWER': (42, 'Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, '
                           'The Universe, and Everything', str),

Custom field types are supported using the dictionary :setting:CONSTANCE_ADDITIONAL_FIELDS.

This is a mapping between a field label and a sequence (list or tuple). The first item in the sequence is the string path of a field class, and the (optional) second item is a dictionary used to configure the field.

The widget and widget_kwargs keys in the field config dictionary can be used to configure the widget used in admin, the other values will be passed as kwargs to the field’s __init__()

Note: Use later evaluated strings instead of direct classes for the field and widget classes:

    'yes_no_null_select': ['django.forms.fields.ChoiceField', {
        'widget': 'django.forms.Select',
        'choices': ((None, "-----"), ("yes", "Yes"), ("no", "No"))

    'MY_SELECT_KEY': ('yes', 'select yes or no', 'yes_no_null_select'),

If you want to work with images or files you can use this configuration:

    'image_field': ['django.forms.ImageField', {}]

    'LOGO_IMAGE': ('default.png', 'Company logo', 'image_field'),

When used in a template you probably need to use:

{% load static %}

{% get_media_prefix as MEDIA_URL %}
<img src="{{ MEDIA_URL }}{{ config.LOGO_IMAGE }}">

Images and files are uploaded to MEDIA_ROOT by default. You can specify a subdirectory of MEDIA_ROOT to use instead by adding the CONSTANCE_FILE_ROOT setting. E.g.:

MEDIA_ROOT = os.path.join(BASE_DIR, 'media')

This will result in files being placed in media/constance within your BASE_DIR. You can use deeper nesting in this setting (e.g. constance/images) but other relative path components (e.g. ../) will be rejected.

Ordered Fields in Django Admin

To sort the fields, you can use an OrderedDict:

from collections import OrderedDict

    ('SITE_NAME', ('My Title', 'Website title')),
    ('SITE_DESCRIPTION', ('', 'Website description')),
    ('THEME', ('light-blue', 'Website theme')),


You can define fieldsets to group settings together:

    'SITE_NAME': ('My Title', 'Website title'),
    'SITE_DESCRIPTION': ('', 'Website description'),
    'THEME': ('light-blue', 'Website theme'),

    'General Options': ('SITE_NAME', 'SITE_DESCRIPTION'),
    'Theme Options': ('THEME',),




Fieldsets collapsing

To make some fieldsets collapsing you can use new format in CONSTANCE_CONFIG_FIELDSETS. Here’s an example:

    'SITE_NAME': ('My Title', 'Website title'),
    'SITE_DESCRIPTION': ('', 'Website description'),
    'THEME': ('light-blue', 'Website theme'),

    'General Options': {
        'fields': ('SITE_NAME', 'SITE_DESCRIPTION'),
        'collapse': True
    'Theme Options': ('THEME',),

Field internationalization

Field description and fieldset headers can be integrated into Django’s internationalization using the gettext_lazy function. Note that the CONSTANCE_CONFIG_FIELDSETS must be converted to a tuple instead of dict as it is not possible to have lazy proxy objects as dictionary keys in the settings file. Example:

from django.utils.translation import gettext_lazy as _

    'SITE_NAME': ('My Title', _('Website title')),
    'SITE_DESCRIPTION': ('', _('Website description')),
    'THEME': ('light-blue', _('Website theme')),

        _('General Options'),
            'fields': ('SITE_NAME', 'SITE_DESCRIPTION'),
            'collapse': True,
    (_('Theme Options'), ('THEME',)),


Constance can be used from your Python code and from your Django templates.


Accessing the config variables is as easy as importing the config object and accessing the variables with attribute lookups:

from constance import config

# ...

if config.THE_ANSWER == 42:

Django templates

To access the config object from your template you can pass the object to the template context:

from django.shortcuts import render
from constance import config

def myview(request):
    return render(request, 'my_template.html', {'config': config})

You can also use the included context processor.

Insert 'constance.context_processors.config' at the top of your TEMPLATES['OPTIONS']['context_processors'] list. See the Django documentation for details.

This will add the config instance to the context of any template rendered with a RequestContext.

Then, in your template you can refer to the config values just as any other variable, e.g.:

<h1>Welcome on {{ config.SITE_NAME }}</h1>
{% if config.BETA_LAUNCHED %}
    Woohoo! Head over <a href="/sekrit/">here</a> to use the beta.
{% else %}
    Sadly we haven't launched yet, click <a href="/newsletter/">here</a>
    to signup for our newletter.
{% endif %}

Command Line

Constance settings can be get/set on the command line with the manage command constance

Available options are:

list - output all values in a tab-separated format:

$ ./ constance list

get KEY - output a single values:

$ ./ constance get THE_ANSWER

set KEY VALUE - set a single value:

$ ./ constance set SITE_NAME "Another Title"

If the value contains spaces it should be wrapped in quotes.


Set values are validated as per in admin, an error will be raised if validation fails:

E.g., given this config as per the example app:

    'DATE_ESTABLISHED': (date(1972, 11, 30), "the shop's first opening"),

Setting an invalid date will fail as follow:

$ ./ constance set DATE_ESTABLISHED '1999-12-00'
CommandError: Enter a valid date.


If the admin field is a MultiValueField, then the separate field values need to be provided as separate arguments.

E.g., a datetime using SplitDateTimeField:

    'DATETIME_VALUE': (datetime(2010, 8, 23, 11, 29, 24), 'time of the first commit'),

Then this works (and the quotes are optional):

./ constance set DATETIME_VALUE '2011-09-24' '12:30:25'

This doesn’t work:

./ constance set DATETIME_VALUE '2011-09-24 12:30:25'
CommandError: Enter a list of values.

remove_stale_keys - delete all stale records in database:

$ ./ constance remove_stale_keys

Record is considered stale if it exists in database but absent in config


Fire up your admin and you should see a new app called Constance with THE_ANSWER in the Config pseudo model.

By default, changing the settings via the admin is only allowed for superusers. To change this, feel free to set the CONSTANCE_SUPERUSER_ONLY setting to False and give users or user groups access to the constance.change_config permission.


The virtual application Constance among your regular applications.

Custom settings form

If you aim at creating a custom settings form this is possible in the following way: You can inherit from ConstanceAdmin and set the form property on your custom admin to use your custom form. This allows you to define your own formsets and layouts, similar to defining a custom form on a standard Django ModelAdmin. This way you can fully style your settings form and group settings the way you like.

from constance.admin import ConstanceAdmin, Config
from constance.forms import ConstanceForm
class CustomConfigForm(ConstanceForm):
      def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super().__init__(*args, **kwargs)
        #... do stuff to make your settings form nice ...

class ConfigAdmin(ConstanceAdmin):
    change_list_form = CustomConfigForm
    change_list_template = 'admin/config/settings.html'[Config])[Config], ConfigAdmin)

You can also override the get_changelist_form method which is called in changelist_view to get the actual form used to change the settings. This allows you to pick a different form according to the user that makes the request. For example:

class SuperuserForm(ConstanceForm):
    # Do some stuff here

class MyConstanceAdmin(ConstanceAdmin):
    def get_changelist_form(self, request):
        if request.user.is_superuser:
          return SuperuserForm:
          return super().get_changelist_form(request)

Note that the default method returns self.change_list_form.

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