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

In order to operate properly, django-filer needs some js and css files. They are located in the static/filer directory in the filer package. Use django.contrib.staticfiles to have them automatically served.

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.

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.