django-admin-tools / docs / quickstart.rst

Quick start guide

Before installing django-admin-tools, you'll need to have a copy of Django already installed. For the |version| release, Django 1.1 or newer is required.

Installing django-admin-tools

django-admin-tools requires Django version 1.1 or superior, optionally, if you want to display feed modules, you'll also need the Universal Feed Parser module.

There are several ways to install django-admin-tools, this is explained in :ref:`the installation section <installation>`.

For the impatient, the easiest method is to install django-admin-tools via easy_install or pip.

Using easy_install, type:

easy_install -Z django-admin-tools

Note that the -Z flag is required, to tell easy_install not to create a zipped package; zipped packages prevent certain features of Django from working properly.

Using pip, type:

pip install django-admin-tools

Basic configuration

For a more detailed guide on how to configure django-admin-tools, please consult :ref:`the configuration section <configuration>`.


In order to use django-admin-tools you obviously need to have configured your Django admin site. If you didn't, please refer to the relevant Django documentation.


It is required that you use the Django 1.1 syntax to declare the Django admin urls, e.g.:

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    (r'^admin/', include(,

The old url style (r'^admin/(.*)', won't work.

Required settings

First make sure you have the following template context processors installed:

    # default template context processors

    # django 1.2 only

    # required by django-admin-tools

Then, add admin_tools and its modules to the INSTALLED_APPS like this:

    # ...other installed applications...


it is very important that you put the admin_tools modules before the django.contrib.admin module, because django-admin-tools overrides the default Django admin templates, and this will not work otherwise.

django-admin-tools is modular, so if you want to disable a particular module, just remove or comment it out in your INSTALLED_APPS, note that admin_tools is required for i18n.

Setting up the database

To set up the tables that django-admin-tools uses you'll need to type:

python syncdb

django-admin-tools supports South, so if you have South installed, make sure you run the following commands:

python migrate admin_tools.dashboard
python migrate

Adding django-admin-tools to your file

You'll need to add django-admin-tools to your file:

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    url(r'^admin_tools/', include('admin_tools.urls')),
    #...other url patterns...

Setting up the django-admin-tools media files

To do this you have three options:

  • use the staticfiles contrib application in Django 1.3. For Django 1.2 or lower you'll have to install django-staticfiles from PyPi.

  • create a symbolic link to the django-admin-tools media files to your MEDIA_ROOT directory, for example:

    ln -s /usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/admin_tools/media/admin_tools /path/to/yourproject/media/
  • copy the django-admin-tools media files to your MEDIA_ROOT directory, for example:

    cp -r /usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/admin_tools/media/admin_tools /path/to/yourproject/media/

Testing your new shiny admin interface

Congrats! At this point you should have a working installation of django-admin-tools. Now you can just login to your admin site and see what changed.

django-admin-tools is fully customizable, but this is out of the scope of this quickstart. To learn how to customize django-admin-tools modules please read :ref:`the customization section<customization>`.

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