This page contains some advice about errors and problems commonly encountered during the development of Django applications.

Problems running django-admin

command not found: django-admin

django-admin should be on your system path if you installed Django via pip. If it’s not in your path, ensure you have your virtual environment activated and you can try running the equivalent command python -m django.

macOS permissions

If you’re using macOS, you may see the message “permission denied” when you try to run django-admin. This is because, on Unix-based systems like macOS, a file must be marked as “executable” before it can be run as a program. To do this, open and navigate (using the cd command) to the directory where django-admin is installed, then run the command sudo chmod +x django-admin.


I’m getting a UnicodeDecodeError. What am I doing wrong?

This class of errors happen when a bytestring containing non-ASCII sequences is transformed into a Unicode string and the specified encoding is incorrect. The output generally looks like this:

UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte 0x?? in position ?:
ordinal not in range(128)

The resolution mostly depends on the context, however here are two common pitfalls producing this error:

  • Your system locale may be a default ASCII locale, like the “C” locale on UNIX-like systems (can be checked by the locale command). If it’s the case, please refer to your system documentation to learn how you can change this to a UTF-8 locale.

Related resources:

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