django-masquerade /

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django-masquerade Documentation

Masquerade is a simple app to allow site administrators (IE, any user with is_staff = True) to browse the site as a different user.

It is implemented via a middleware that looks for a specific key in the user's session -- the user to masquerade as. Also included are views and templates to allow the staff user to enter a username to masquerade and turn off masquerading as well as a template tag that provides links to these views for staff users.


  • pip install django-masquerade (or clone/fork)
  • Add "masquerade" to your INSTALLED_APPS setting
  • Include masquerade.urls from your project's root urls module
  • Optionally load and use the masquerade template tag library in your templates.
  • Add "masquerade.middleware.MasqueradeMiddleware" to your MIDDLEWARE setting. (MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES for django pre-1.10) Note this must come after Session and Authentication middleware classes.

Note that there is one template supplied by this app, masquerade/mask_form.html, which does not inherit from any other template. I recommend you simply copy this into your own template directory and edit as needed to match your site's look and feel.


masquerade depends on django's SessionMiddleware and, obviously, django.contrib.auth.

The unit tests depend on the mock library.

Template Tags

The masquerade template tag library provides the following tags:

  • masquerade_link creates a link to either the "Masquerade as user" URL (if masquerading is not active) or the "Turn off masquerading" URL (if masquerading is active).
  • masquerade_status displays the name of the (other) user that the currently logged in user is masquerading as.

Note: These template tags require that the request object be in the template context, so use RequestContext to render the template and make sure the django.core.context_processors.request context processor is used.

User Attributes

Two attributes are added to the request.user object by the masquerade middleware:

  • is_masked. True if masquerading is in use and this user is not actually the original user.
  • original_user. The non-masked user that initiated the masquerade. Set to None

if no masquerading is happening.


The following settings can be set in your project's settings file.

  • MASQUERADE_REDIRECT_URL (default: "/"). The URL to redirect the user to after masquerading is activated.
  • MASQUERADE_REQUIRE_SUPERUSER (default: False). If set to true, only users with both is_staff and is_superuser set to True will be allowed to use this feature.
  • MASQUERADE_REQUIRE_COMMON_GROUP (default: False). If set to true, only users with that have at least one common Group (django auth Group) with the masqueraded user will be allowed to masquerade as that user. If user is a superuser, this requirement is ignored.
  • MASQUERADE_USER_SEARCH_FIELDS (default: ['username', 'email']). The list of fields on the User object that will be searched in the masquerade form.

Additionally, masquerade respects the USERNAME_FIELD value of custom user classes implementing AbstractBaseUser, although you must manually add the name of your username field to the MASQUERADE_USER_SEARCH_FIELDS setting as well.


masquerade.signals defines two signals that can be attached to:

  • masquerade.signals.mask_on is sent when the user successfully masquerades as another user. It is sent one argument, mask_username, the username of the user being masqueraded as. The sender argument is an instance of masquerade.forms.MaskForm.
  • masquerade.signals.mask_off is sent when a masqueraded user visits the unmask view. It also receives a mask_username argument. The sender argument is an empty object.


masquerade ships with a test runner. To run the unit tests, simply python