Before install django-userena, you’ll need to have a copy of Django 1.5 or newer installed. django-userena is tested under Python 2.6, 2.7, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 (all versions on which Django 1.5 and higher is declared to work)

For further information, consult the Django download page, which offers convenient packaged downloads and installation instructions.

Support for Django versions below 1.7

Starting from version 2.0.0 django-userena supports Django 1.9 release and drops the support for Django 1.4. It is tested and works for all releases from 1.5 to 1.9 but some older versions of Django require some additional work in order to ensure full compatibility:

  • Django versions below 1.7 require South for data migrations. django-userena provides new-style migrations for built-in Django schema migrations engine (available starting from Django 1.7) but provides old South migrations in userena.south_migrations and userena.contrib.umessages.south_migrations subpackages. South (starting from version 1.0.0) should be able to pick them easily if you still use it even for Django versions 1.7 or greater. Anyway, South support in django-userena is deprecated and will be removed in some future major release (3.0.0 or 4.0.0 version).
  • django-guardian is one of the main dependecies of django-userena and every release of this package seems to drop some bacwards compatibility without resonable versioning scheme. This is why for Django 1.5 and 1.6 you need to fix django-guardian on version 1.3.2 or lower manually.

Installing django-userena.

You can install django-userena automagically with pip. Or by manually placing it on on your PYTHON_PATH. The recommended way is the shown in Automatic installation with pip..

It is also recommended to use virtualenv to have an isolated python environment. This way it’s possible to create a tailored environment for each project.

Automatic installation with pip.

Automatic install with pip. All you have to do is run the following command:

pip install django-userena

If you want to have a specific version of userena, you can do so by adding the following:

pip install django-userena==1.0.1

Manual installation with easy_install.

Clone the Git repository from Github. Then you can direct easy_install to the file. For ex.:

git clone git://
cd django-userena

Automatic installation of development version with pip.

You can tell pip to install django-userena by supplying it with the git repository on Github. Do this by typing the following in your terminal:

pip install -e git+git://

Manual installation of development version with git.

Clone userena with:

git clone git://

You now have a directory django-userena which contains the userena application. You can add userena to your $PYTHONPATH by symlinking it. For example:

ln -s ~/src/django-userena/userena userena

Now userena is available to your project.

Required settings

You need to make some changes Django settings if you want to use Userena in your project. This means modifying AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS, INSTALLED_APPS and optionally MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES.

Begin by adding userena, guardian and easy_thumbnails to the INSTALLED_APPS in your file of your project. django.contrib.sites must also be present if it is not already (see Django docs.).

Next add UserenaAuthenticationBackend and ObjectPermissionBackend also in your file, from django-guardian, at the top of AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS. If you only have Django’s default backend, adding django-guardian and that of userena will get the following:


Start New App

Next, you need to create a new app on your Django project. In your Command Prompt shell, type: python startapp accounts. We are creating a new app for Userena titled ‘accounts’.

Next, add accounts to the INSTALLED_APPS in your file.

Email Backend

Userena uses the Django email facilities to send mail to users, for example after user signup for email verification. By default Django uses the SMTP backend, which may cause issues in development and/or if the default SMTP settings are not suitable for your environment. It is recommended to explicitly set the email backend provider in your For example:

EMAIL_BACKEND = 'django.core.mail.backends.dummy.EmailBackend'

To use GMail SMTP, you may use the following code in your

EMAIL_HOST_PASSWORD = 'yourgmailpassword'

See: Django Email Documentation


Userena needs you to define the profile that is used by supplying Django’s AUTH_PROFILE_MODULE setting. Userena supplies the following two base profiles for you that you should use for your own profile model by inheriting from them:

Basic profile that supplies your user with mugshots and the necessary fields for privacy settings.
Adds an extra field that lets the user define its preferred language after logging in to your site.

IMPORTANT: The above profiles are abstract models. This means that you cannot use them directly in AUTH_PROFILE_MODULE but you must create your own profile model which inherits from one of the above models. This models must also connect itself to the User model of Django.

from django.contrib.auth.models import User
from django.utils.translation import ugettext as _
from userena.models import UserenaBaseProfile

class MyProfile(UserenaBaseProfile):
    user = models.OneToOneField(User,
    favourite_snack = models.CharField(_('favourite snack'),

If you want the user have the ability to choose their default language in their profile, you must add userena.middleware.UserenaLocaleMiddleware at the end of MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES in your Django settings. This does require a profile model which has a language field. You can use the UserenaLanguageBaseProfile class of userena that does this for you.

The URI’s

Userena has a URLconf which sets all the urls and views for you. This should be included in your project’s root URLconf.

For example, to place the URIs under the prefix /accounts/, you could add the following to your project’s root URLconf. Add this code under urlpatterns in your file.

(r'^accounts/', include('userena.urls')),

This should have you a working accounts application for your project. See the settings for further configuration options.

Required settings

Django-guardian requires you to set the ANONYMOUS_USER_ID setting. I always set this to -1. As noted before, you are also required to set the AUTH_PROFILE_MODULE to your custom defined profile.

For example, add the following into your file:


AUTH_PROFILE_MODULE = 'accounts.MyProfile'

To integrate Django with userena you should alter the following three settings to reflect the URI you have chosen for userena. For example, if userena lives under accounts:

USERENA_SIGNIN_REDIRECT_URL = '/accounts/%(username)s/'
LOGIN_URL = '/accounts/signin/'
LOGOUT_URL = '/accounts/signout/'

The above should supply you with a fully functional account management app for your project. You can look into the next chapter to fully customize userena to your likings.

To integrate Userena with your domain you must create a Site for it in the Django admin screen (e.g. http://<>/admin/sites/ ) and then put the id for that site in the SITE_ID setting variable.:

To look up your site_id open a shell in ( shell) and:

Set SITE_ID to the id of the desired name.

Permission check

Sometimes Django decides to skip installing the default permissions for a model. To check if all permissions are there, run the check_permissions in the management Commands..