Fix Python – Having Django serve downloadable files


Asked By – damon

I want users on the site to be able to download files whose paths are obscured so they cannot be directly downloaded.

For instance, I’d like the URL to be something like this:

And on the server, I know that all downloadable files reside in the folder /home/user/files/.

Is there a way to make Django serve that file for download as opposed to trying to find a URL and View to display it?

Now we will see solution for issue: Having Django serve downloadable files


For the “best of both worlds” you could combine S.Lott’s solution with the xsendfile module: django generates the path to the file (or the file itself), but the actual file serving is handled by Apache/Lighttpd. Once you’ve set up mod_xsendfile, integrating with your view takes a few lines of code:

from django.utils.encoding import smart_str

response = HttpResponse(mimetype='application/force-download') # mimetype is replaced by content_type for django 1.7
response['Content-Disposition'] = 'attachment; filename=%s' % smart_str(file_name)
response['X-Sendfile'] = smart_str(path_to_file)
# It's usually a good idea to set the 'Content-Length' header too.
# You can also set any other required headers: Cache-Control, etc.
return response

Of course, this will only work if you have control over your server, or your hosting company has mod_xsendfile already set up.


mimetype is replaced by content_type for django 1.7

response = HttpResponse(content_type='application/force-download')  

For nginx check this, it uses X-Accel-Redirect instead of apache X-Sendfile header.

This question is answered By – elo80ka

This answer is collected from stackoverflow and reviewed by FixPython community admins, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0