The staticfiles app

django.contrib.staticfiles collects static files from each of your applications (and any other places you specify) into a single location that can easily be served in production.

See also

For an introduction to the static files app and some usage examples, see Managing static files (e.g. images, JavaScript, CSS). For guidelines on deploying static files, see Deploying static files.

Management Commands

django.contrib.staticfiles exposes three management commands.


django-admin collectstatic

Collects the static files into STATIC_ROOT.

Duplicate file names are by default resolved in a similar way to how template resolution works: the file that is first found in one of the specified locations will be used. If you’re confused, the findstatic command can help show you which files are found.

On subsequent collectstatic runs (if STATIC_ROOT isn’t empty), files are copied only if they have a modified timestamp greater than the timestamp of the file in STATIC_ROOT. Therefore if you remove an application from INSTALLED_APPS, it’s a good idea to use the collectstatic --clear option in order to remove stale static files.

Files are searched by using the enabled finders. The default is to look in all locations defined in STATICFILES_DIRS and in the 'static' directory of apps specified by the INSTALLED_APPS setting.

The collectstatic management command calls the post_process() method of the STATICFILES_STORAGE after each run and passes a list of paths that have been found by the management command. It also receives all command line options of collectstatic. This is used by the ManifestStaticFilesStorage by default.

By default, collected files receive permissions from FILE_UPLOAD_PERMISSIONS and collected directories receive permissions from FILE_UPLOAD_DIRECTORY_PERMISSIONS. If you would like different permissions for these files and/or directories, you can subclass either of the static files storage classes and specify the file_permissions_mode and/or directory_permissions_mode parameters, respectively. For example:

from django.contrib.staticfiles import storage

class MyStaticFilesStorage(storage.StaticFilesStorage):
    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        kwargs['file_permissions_mode'] = 0o640
        kwargs['directory_permissions_mode'] = 0o760
        super().__init__(*args, **kwargs)

Then set the STATICFILES_STORAGE setting to ''.

Some commonly used options are:

--noinput, --no-input

Do NOT prompt the user for input of any kind.

--ignore PATTERN, -i PATTERN

Ignore files, directories, or paths matching this glob-style pattern. Use multiple times to ignore more. When specifying a path, always use forward slashes, even on Windows.

Changed in Django 2.2:

Path matching was added.

--dry-run, -n

Do everything except modify the filesystem.

--clear, -c

Clear the existing files before trying to copy or link the original file.

Create a symbolic link to each file instead of copying.


Don’t call the post_process() method of the configured STATICFILES_STORAGE storage backend.


Don’t ignore the common private glob-style patterns 'CVS', '.*' and '*~'.

For a full list of options, refer to the commands own help by running:

$ python collectstatic --help
...\> py collectstatic --help

Customizing the ignored pattern list

The default ignored pattern list, ['CVS', '.*', '*~'], can be customized in a more persistent way than providing the --ignore command option at each collectstatic invocation. Provide a custom AppConfig class, override the ignore_patterns attribute of this class and replace 'django.contrib.staticfiles' with that class path in your INSTALLED_APPS setting:

from django.contrib.staticfiles.apps import StaticFilesConfig

class MyStaticFilesConfig(StaticFilesConfig):
    ignore_patterns = [...]  # your custom ignore list


django-admin findstatic staticfile [staticfile ...]

Searches for one or more relative paths with the enabled finders.

For example:

$ python findstatic css/base.css admin/js/core.js
Found 'css/base.css' here:
Found 'admin/js/core.js' here:
...\> py findstatic css\base.css admin\js\core.js
Found 'css/base.css' here:
Found 'admin/js/core.js' here:
findstatic --first

By default, all matching locations are found. To only return the first match for each relative path, use the --first option:

$ python findstatic css/base.css --first
Found 'css/base.css' here:
...\> py findstatic css\base.css --first
Found 'css/base.css' here:

This is a debugging aid; it’ll show you exactly which static file will be collected for a given path.

By setting the --verbosity flag to 0, you can suppress the extra output and just get the path names:

$ python findstatic css/base.css --verbosity 0
...\> py findstatic css\base.css --verbosity 0

On the other hand, by setting the --verbosity flag to 2, you can get all the directories which were searched:

$ python findstatic css/base.css --verbosity 2
Found 'css/base.css' here:
Looking in the following locations:
...\> py findstatic css\base.css --verbosity 2
Found 'css/base.css' here:
Looking in the following locations:


django-admin runserver [addrport]

Overrides the core runserver command if the staticfiles app is installed and adds automatic serving of static files. File serving doesn’t run through MIDDLEWARE.

The command adds these options:


Use the --nostatic option to disable serving of static files with the staticfiles app entirely. This option is only available if the staticfiles app is in your project’s INSTALLED_APPS setting.

Example usage:

$ django-admin runserver --nostatic
...\> django-admin runserver --nostatic

Use the --insecure option to force serving of static files with the staticfiles app even if the DEBUG setting is False. By using this you acknowledge the fact that it’s grossly inefficient and probably insecure. This is only intended for local development, should never be used in production and is only available if the staticfiles app is in your project’s INSTALLED_APPS setting.

--insecure doesn’t work with ManifestStaticFilesStorage.

Example usage:

$ django-admin runserver --insecure
...\> django-admin runserver --insecure



class storage.StaticFilesStorage

A subclass of the FileSystemStorage storage backend that uses the STATIC_ROOT setting as the base file system location and the STATIC_URL setting respectively as the base URL.

storage.StaticFilesStorage.post_process(paths, **options)

If this method is defined on a storage, it’s called by the collectstatic management command after each run and gets passed the local storages and paths of found files as a dictionary, as well as the command line options. It yields tuples of three values: original_path, processed_path, processed. The path values are strings and processed is a boolean indicating whether or not the value was post-processed, or an exception if post-processing failed.

The ManifestStaticFilesStorage uses this behind the scenes to replace the paths with their hashed counterparts and update the cache appropriately.


class storage.ManifestStaticFilesStorage

A subclass of the StaticFilesStorage storage backend which stores the file names it handles by appending the MD5 hash of the file’s content to the filename. For example, the file css/styles.css would also be saved as css/styles.55e7cbb9ba48.css.

The purpose of this storage is to keep serving the old files in case some pages still refer to those files, e.g. because they are cached by you or a 3rd party proxy server. Additionally, it’s very helpful if you want to apply far future Expires headers to the deployed files to speed up the load time for subsequent page visits.

The storage backend automatically replaces the paths found in the saved files matching other saved files with the path of the cached copy (using the post_process() method). The regular expressions used to find those paths ( by default covers the @import rule and url() statement of Cascading Style Sheets. For example, the 'css/styles.css' file with the content

@import url("../admin/css/base.css");

would be replaced by calling the url() method of the ManifestStaticFilesStorage storage backend, ultimately saving a 'css/styles.55e7cbb9ba48.css' file with the following content:

@import url("../admin/css/base.27e20196a850.css");

Since static files might reference other static files that need to have their paths replaced, multiple passes of replacing paths may be needed until the file hashes converge. To prevent an infinite loop due to hashes not converging (for example, if 'foo.css' references 'bar.css' which references 'foo.css') there is a maximum number of passes before post-processing is abandoned. In cases with a large number of references, a higher number of passes might be needed. Increase the maximum number of passes by subclassing ManifestStaticFilesStorage and setting the max_post_process_passes attribute. It defaults to 5.

To enable the ManifestStaticFilesStorage you have to make sure the following requirements are met:

  • the STATICFILES_STORAGE setting is set to ''
  • the DEBUG setting is set to False
  • you’ve collected all your static files by using the collectstatic management command

Since creating the MD5 hash can be a performance burden to your website during runtime, staticfiles will automatically store the mapping with hashed names for all processed files in a file called staticfiles.json. This happens once when you run the collectstatic management command.


If a file isn’t found in the staticfiles.json manifest at runtime, a ValueError is raised. This behavior can be disabled by subclassing ManifestStaticFilesStorage and setting the manifest_strict attribute to False – nonexistent paths will remain unchanged.

Due to the requirement of running collectstatic, this storage typically shouldn’t be used when running tests as collectstatic isn’t run as part of the normal test setup. During testing, ensure that the STATICFILES_STORAGE setting is set to something else like '' (the default).

storage.ManifestStaticFilesStorage.file_hash(name, content=None)

The method that is used when creating the hashed name of a file. Needs to return a hash for the given file name and content. By default it calculates a MD5 hash from the content’s chunks as mentioned above. Feel free to override this method to use your own hashing algorithm.


class storage.CachedStaticFilesStorage

Deprecated since version 2.2: CachedStaticFilesStorage is deprecated as it has some intractable problems, some of which are outlined below. Use ManifestStaticFilesStorage or a third-party cloud storage instead.

CachedStaticFilesStorage is a similar class like the ManifestStaticFilesStorage class but uses Django’s caching framework for storing the hashed names of processed files instead of a static manifest file called staticfiles.json. This is mostly useful for situations in which you don’t have access to the file system.

If you want to override certain options of the cache backend the storage uses, simply specify a custom entry in the CACHES setting named 'staticfiles'. It falls back to using the 'default' cache backend.


CachedStaticFilesStorage isn’t recommended – in almost all cases ManifestStaticFilesStorage is a better choice. There are several performance penalties when using CachedStaticFilesStorage since a cache miss requires hashing files at runtime. Remote file storage require several round-trips to hash a file on a cache miss, as several file accesses are required to ensure that the file hash is correct in the case of nested file paths.


class storage.ManifestFilesMixin

Use this mixin with a custom storage to append the MD5 hash of the file’s content to the filename as ManifestStaticFilesStorage does.

Finders Module

staticfiles finders has a searched_locations attribute which is a list of directory paths in which the finders searched. Example usage:

from django.contrib.staticfiles import finders

result = finders.find('css/base.css')
searched_locations = finders.searched_locations

Other Helpers

There are a few other helpers outside of the staticfiles app to work with static files:

Static file development view

The static files tools are mostly designed to help with getting static files successfully deployed into production. This usually means a separate, dedicated static file server, which is a lot of overhead to mess with when developing locally. Thus, the staticfiles app ships with a quick and dirty helper view that you can use to serve files locally in development.

views.serve(request, path)

This view function serves static files in development.


This view will only work if DEBUG is True.

That’s because this view is grossly inefficient and probably insecure. This is only intended for local development, and should never be used in production.


To guess the served files’ content types, this view relies on the mimetypes module from the Python standard library, which itself relies on the underlying platform’s map files. If you find that this view doesn’t return proper content types for certain files, it is most likely that the platform’s map files need to be updated. This can be achieved, for example, by installing or updating the mailcap package on a Red Hat distribution, or mime-support on a Debian distribution.

This view is automatically enabled by runserver (with a DEBUG setting set to True). To use the view with a different local development server, add the following snippet to the end of your primary URL configuration:

from django.conf import settings
from django.contrib.staticfiles import views
from django.urls import re_path

if settings.DEBUG:
    urlpatterns += [
        re_path(r'^static/(?P<path>.*)$', views.serve),

Note, the beginning of the pattern (r'^static/') should be your STATIC_URL setting.

Since this is a bit finicky, there’s also a helper function that’ll do this for you:


This will return the proper URL pattern for serving static files to your already defined pattern list. Use it like this:

from django.contrib.staticfiles.urls import staticfiles_urlpatterns

# ... the rest of your URLconf here ...

urlpatterns += staticfiles_urlpatterns()

This will inspect your STATIC_URL setting and wire up the view to serve static files accordingly. Don’t forget to set the STATICFILES_DIRS setting appropriately to let django.contrib.staticfiles know where to look for files in addition to files in app directories.


This helper function will only work if DEBUG is True and your STATIC_URL setting is neither empty nor a full URL such as

That’s because this view is grossly inefficient and probably insecure. This is only intended for local development, and should never be used in production.

Specialized test case to support ‘live testing’

class testing.StaticLiveServerTestCase

This unittest TestCase subclass extends django.test.LiveServerTestCase.

Just like its parent, you can use it to write tests that involve running the code under test and consuming it with testing tools through HTTP (e.g. Selenium, PhantomJS, etc.), because of which it’s needed that the static assets are also published.

But given the fact that it makes use of the django.contrib.staticfiles.views.serve() view described above, it can transparently overlay at test execution-time the assets provided by the staticfiles finders. This means you don’t need to run collectstatic before or as a part of your tests setup.

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