When you're running a public site you should always turn off the
:setting:`DEBUG` setting. That will make your server run much faster, and will
also prevent malicious users from seeing details of your application that can be
revealed by the error pages.
However, running with :setting:`DEBUG` set to ``False`` means you'll never see
errors generated by your site -- everyone will just see your public error pages.
You need to keep track of errors that occur in deployed sites, so Django can be
configured to create reports with details about those errors.
When :setting:`DEBUG` is ``False``, Django will email the users listed in the
:setting:`ADMINS` setting whenever your code raises an unhandled exception and
results in an internal server error (HTTP status code 500). This gives the
administrators immediate notification of any errors. The :setting:`ADMINS` will
get a description of the error, a complete Python traceback, and details about
the HTTP request that caused the error.
In order to send email, Django requires a few settings telling it
how to connect to your mail server. At the very least, you'll need
to specify :setting:`EMAIL_HOST` and possibly
:setting:`EMAIL_HOST_USER` and :setting:`EMAIL_HOST_PASSWORD`,
though other settings may be also required depending on your mail
server's configuration. Consult :doc:`the Django settings
documentation </ref/settings>` for a full list of email-related
By default, Django will send email from root@localhost. However, some mail
providers reject all email from this address. To use a different sender
address, modify the :setting:`SERVER_EMAIL` setting.
To disable this behavior, just remove all entries from the :setting:`ADMINS`
.. versionadded:: 1.3
Server error emails are sent using the logging framework, so you can
customize this behavior by :doc:`customizing your logging configuration
Django can also be configured to email errors about broken links (404 "page
not found" errors). Django sends emails about 404 errors when:
* :setting:`DEBUG` is ``False``
* :setting:`SEND_BROKEN_LINK_EMAILS` is ``True``
* Your :setting:`MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES` setting includes ``CommonMiddleware``
(which it does by default).
If those conditions are met, Django will email the users listed in the
:setting:`MANAGERS` setting whenever your code raises a 404 and the request has
a referer. (It doesn't bother to email for 404s that don't have a referer --
those are usually just people typing in broken URLs or broken Web 'bots).
You can tell Django to stop reporting particular 404s by tweaking the
:setting:`IGNORABLE_404_URLS` setting. It should be a tuple of compiled
regular expression objects. For example::
IGNORABLE_404_URLS = (
In this example, a 404 to any URL ending with ``.php`` or ``.cgi`` will *not* be
reported. Neither will any URL starting with ``/phpmyadmin/``.
The following example shows how to exclude some conventional URLs that browsers and
crawlers often request::
IGNORABLE_404_URLS = (
(Note that these are regular expressions, so we put a backslash in front of
periods to escape them.)
The best way to disable this behavior is to set
:setting:`SEND_BROKEN_LINK_EMAILS` to ``False``.
.. versionadded:: 1.3
404 errors are logged using the logging framework. By default, these log
records are ignored, but you can use them for error reporting by writing a
handler and :doc:`configuring logging </topics/logging>` appropriately.
.. versionchanged:: 1.4
Previously, two settings were used to control which URLs not to report:
:setting:`IGNORABLE_404_STARTS` and :setting:`IGNORABLE_404_ENDS`. They
were replaced by :setting:`IGNORABLE_404_URLS`.
Filtering error reports
.. versionadded:: 1.4
Filtering sensitive information
Error reports are really helpful for debugging errors, so it is generally
useful to record as much relevant information about those errors as possible.
For example, by default Django records the `full traceback`_ for the
exception raised, each `traceback frame`_'s local variables, and the
However, sometimes certain types of information may be too sensitive and thus
may not be appropriate to be kept track of, for example a user's password or
credit card number. So Django offers a set of function decorators to help you
control which information should be filtered out of error reports in a
production environment (that is, where :setting:`DEBUG` is set to ``False``):
:func:`sensitive_variables` and :func:`sensitive_post_parameters`.
.. _`full traceback`: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stack_trace
.. _`traceback frame`: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stack_frame
.. function:: sensitive_variables(*variables)
If a function (either a view or any regular callback) in your code uses
local variables susceptible to contain sensitive information, you may
prevent the values of those variables from being included in error reports
using the ``sensitive_variables`` decorator::
from django.views.decorators.debug import sensitive_variables
@sensitive_variables('user', 'pw', 'cc')
pw = user.pass_word
cc = user.credit_card_number
name = user.name
In the above example, the values for the ``user``, ``pw`` and ``cc``
variables will be hidden and replaced with stars (`**********`) in the
error reports, whereas the value of the ``name`` variable will be
To systematically hide all local variables of a function from error logs,
do not provide any argument to the ``sensitive_variables`` decorator::
.. function:: sensitive_post_parameters(*parameters)
If one of your views receives an :class:`HttpRequest` object with
:attr:`POST parameters<HttpRequest.POST>` susceptible to contain sensitive
information, you may prevent the values of those parameters from being
included in the error reports using the ``sensitive_post_parameters``
from django.views.decorators.debug import sensitive_post_parameters
In the above example, the values for the ``pass_word`` and
``credit_card_number`` POST parameters will be hidden and replaced with
stars (`**********`) in the request's representation inside the error
reports, whereas the value of the ``name`` parameter will be disclosed.
To systematically hide all POST parameters of a request in error reports,
do not provide any argument to the ``sensitive_post_parameters`` decorator::
.. versionchanged:: 1.4
Since version 1.4, all POST parameters are systematically filtered out of
error reports for certain :mod:`contrib.views.auth` views (``login``,
``password_reset_confirm``, ``password_change``, and ``add_view`` and
``user_change_password`` in the ``auth`` admin) to prevent the leaking of
sensitive information such as user passwords.
Custom error reports
All :func:`sensitive_variables` and :func:`sensitive_post_parameters` do is,
respectively, annotate the decorated function with the names of sensitive
variables and annotate the ``HttpRequest`` object with the names of sensitive
POST parameters, so that this sensitive information can later be filtered out
of reports when an error occurs. The actual filtering is done by Django's
default error reporter filter:
:class:`django.views.debug.SafeExceptionReporterFilter`. This filter uses the
decorators' annotations to replace the corresponding values with stars
(`**********`) when the error reports are produced. If you wish to override or
customize this default behavior for your entire site, you need to define your
own filter class and tell Django to use it via the
DEFAULT_EXCEPTION_REPORTER_FILTER = 'path.to.your.CustomExceptionReporterFilter'
You may also control in a more granular way which filter to use within any
given view by setting the ``HttpRequest``'s ``exception_reporter_filter``
request.exception_reporter_filter = CustomExceptionReporterFilter()
Your custom filter class needs to inherit from
:class:`django.views.debug.SafeExceptionReporterFilter` and may override the
.. class:: django.views.debug.SafeExceptionReporterFilter
.. method:: SafeExceptionReporterFilter.is_active(self, request)
Returns ``True`` to activate the filtering operated in the other methods.
By default the filter is active if :setting:`DEBUG` is ``False``.
.. method:: SafeExceptionReporterFilter.get_request_repr(self, request)
Returns the representation string of the request object, that is, the
value that would be returned by ``repr(request)``, except it uses the
filtered dictionary of POST parameters as determined by
.. method:: SafeExceptionReporterFilter.get_post_parameters(self, request)
Returns the filtered dictionary of POST parameters. By default it replaces
the values of sensitive parameters with stars (`**********`).
.. method:: SafeExceptionReporterFilter.get_traceback_frame_variables(self, request, tb_frame)
Returns the filtered dictionary of local variables for the given traceback
frame. By default it replaces the values of sensitive variables with stars
You can also set up custom error reporting by writing a custom piece of
:ref:`exception middleware <exception-middleware>`. If you do write custom
error handling, it's a good idea to emulate Django's built-in error handling
and only report/log errors if :setting:`DEBUG` is ``False``.