Fix Python – Django: How to manage development and production settings?


Asked By – Kristian Roebuck

I have been developing a basic app. Now at the deployment stage it has become clear I have need for both a local settings and production settings.

It would be great to know the following:

  • How best to deal with development and production settings.
  • How to keep apps such as django-debug-toolbar only in a development environment.
  • Any other tips and best practices for development and deployment settings.

Now we will see solution for issue: Django: How to manage development and production settings?


The DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE environment variable controls which settings file Django will load.

You therefore create separate configuration files for your respective environments (note that they can of course both import * from a separate, “shared settings” file), and use DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE to control which one to use.

Here’s how:

As noted in the Django documentation:

The value of DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE should be in Python path syntax, e.g. mysite.settings. Note that the settings module should be on the Python import search path.

So, let’s assume you created myapp/ and myapp/ in your source repository.

In that case, you’d respectively set DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=myapp.production_settings to use the former and DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=myapp.test_settings to use the latter.

From here on out, the problem boils down to setting the DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE environment variable.

Setting DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE using a script or a shell

You can then use a bootstrap script or a process manager to load the correct settings (by setting the environment), or just run it from your shell before starting Django: export DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=myapp.production_settings.

Note that you can run this export at any time from a shell — it does not need to live in your .bashrc or anything.

Setting DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE using a Process Manager

If you’re not fond of writing a bootstrap script that sets the environment (and there are very good reasons to feel that way!), I would recommend using a process manager:

Finally, note that you can take advantage of the PYTHONPATH variable to store the settings in a completely different location (e.g. on a production server, storing them in /etc/). This allows for separating configuration from application files. You may or may not want that, it depends on how your app is structured.

This question is answered By – Thomas Orozco

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