Django documentation


This document provides API reference material for the components of Django’s authentication system. For more details on the usage of these components or how to customize authentication and authorization see the authentication topic guide.



class models.User

User objects have the following fields:


Required. 30 characters or fewer. Usernames may contain alphanumeric, _, @, +, . and - characters.


Optional. 30 characters or fewer.


Optional. 30 characters or fewer.


Optional. Email address.


Required. A hash of, and metadata about, the password. (Django doesn’t store the raw password.) Raw passwords can be arbitrarily long and can contain any character. See the password documentation.


Many-to-many relationship to Group


Many-to-many relationship to Permission


Boolean. Designates whether this user can access the admin site.


Boolean. Designates whether this user account should be considered active. We recommend that you set this flag to False instead of deleting accounts; that way, if your applications have any foreign keys to users, the foreign keys won’t break.

This doesn’t necessarily control whether or not the user can log in. Authentication backends aren’t required to check for the is_active flag, and the default backends do not. If you want to reject a login based on is_active being False, it’s up to you to check that in your own login view or a custom authentication backend. However, the AuthenticationForm used by the login() view (which is the default) does perform this check, as do the permission-checking methods such as has_perm() and the authentication in the Django admin. All of those functions/methods will return False for inactive users.


Boolean. Designates that this user has all permissions without explicitly assigning them.


A datetime of the user’s last login. Is set to the current date/time by default.


A datetime designating when the account was created. Is set to the current date/time by default when the account is created.


class models.User

Returns the username for the user. Since the User model can be swapped out, you should use this method instead of referencing the username attribute directly.


Always returns False. This is a way of differentiating User and AnonymousUser objects. Generally, you should prefer using is_authenticated() to this method.


Always returns True (as opposed to AnonymousUser.is_authenticated() which always returns False). This is a way to tell if the user has been authenticated. This does not imply any permissions, and doesn’t check if the user is active or has a valid session. Even though normally you will call this method on request.user to find out whether it has been populated by the AuthenticationMiddleware (representing the currently logged-in user), you should know this method returns True for any User instance.


Returns the first_name plus the last_name, with a space in between.


Returns the first_name.


Sets the user’s password to the given raw string, taking care of the password hashing. Doesn’t save the User object.

When the raw_password is None, the password will be set to an unusable password, as if set_unusable_password() were used.


Returns True if the given raw string is the correct password for the user. (This takes care of the password hashing in making the comparison.)


Marks the user as having no password set. This isn’t the same as having a blank string for a password. check_password() for this user will never return True. Doesn’t save the User object.

You may need this if authentication for your application takes place against an existing external source such as an LDAP directory.


Returns False if set_unusable_password() has been called for this user.


Returns a set of permission strings that the user has, through his/her groups.

If obj is passed in, only returns the group permissions for this specific object.


Returns a set of permission strings that the user has, both through group and user permissions.

If obj is passed in, only returns the permissions for this specific object.

has_perm(perm, obj=None)

Returns True if the user has the specified permission, where perm is in the format "<app label>.<permission codename>". (see documentation on permissions). If the user is inactive, this method will always return False.

If obj is passed in, this method won’t check for a permission for the model, but for this specific object.

has_perms(perm_list, obj=None)

Returns True if the user has each of the specified permissions, where each perm is in the format "<app label>.<permission codename>". If the user is inactive, this method will always return False.

If obj is passed in, this method won’t check for permissions for the model, but for the specific object.


Returns True if the user has any permissions in the given package (the Django app label). If the user is inactive, this method will always return False.

email_user(subject, message, from_email=None, **kwargs)

Sends an email to the user. If from_email is None, Django uses the DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL.

Changed in Django 1.7:

Any **kwargs are passed to the underlying send_mail() call.

Manager methods

class models.UserManager

The User model has a custom manager that has the following helper methods (in addition to the methods provided by BaseUserManager):

create_user(username, email=None, password=None, **extra_fields)

Creates, saves and returns a User.

The username and password are set as given. The domain portion of email is automatically converted to lowercase, and the returned User object will have is_active set to True.

If no password is provided, set_unusable_password() will be called.

The extra_fields keyword arguments are passed through to the User’s __init__ method to allow setting arbitrary fields on a custom User model.

See Creating users for example usage.

create_superuser(username, email, password, **extra_fields)

Same as create_user(), but sets is_staff and is_superuser to True.

Anonymous users

class models.AnonymousUser

django.contrib.auth.models.AnonymousUser is a class that implements the django.contrib.auth.models.User interface, with these differences:

In practice, you probably won’t need to use AnonymousUser objects on your own, but they’re used by Web requests, as explained in the next section.


class models.Permission


Permission objects have the following fields:


Required. 50 characters or fewer. Example: 'Can vote'.


Required. A reference to the django_content_type database table, which contains a record for each installed Django model.


Required. 100 characters or fewer. Example: 'can_vote'.


Permission objects have the standard data-access methods like any other Django model.


class models.Group


Group objects have the following fields:


Required. 80 characters or fewer. Any characters are permitted. Example: 'Awesome Users'.


Many-to-many field to Permission:

group.permissions = [permission_list]
group.permissions.add(permission, permission, ...)
group.permissions.remove(permission, permission, ...)

Login and logout signals

The auth framework uses the following signals that can be used for notification when a user logs in or out.


Sent when a user logs in successfully.

Arguments sent with this signal:

The class of the user that just logged in.
The current HttpRequest instance.
The user instance that just logged in.

Sent when the logout method is called.

As above: the class of the user that just logged out or None if the user was not authenticated.
The current HttpRequest instance.
The user instance that just logged out or None if the user was not authenticated.

Sent when the user failed to login successfully

The name of the module used for authentication.
A dictionary of keyword arguments containing the user credentials that were passed to authenticate() or your own custom authentication backend. Credentials matching a set of ‘sensitive’ patterns, (including password) will not be sent in the clear as part of the signal.

Authentication backends

This section details the authentication backends that come with Django. For information on how to use them and how to write your own authentication backends, see the Other authentication sources section of the User authentication guide.

Available authentication backends

The following backends are available in django.contrib.auth.backends:

class ModelBackend

This is the default authentication backend used by Django. It authenticates using credentials consisting of a user identifier and password. For Django’s default user model, the user identifier is the username, for custom user models it is the field specified by USERNAME_FIELD (see Customizing Users and authentication).

It also handles the default permissions model as defined for User and PermissionsMixin.

class RemoteUserBackend

Use this backend to take advantage of external-to-Django-handled authentication. It authenticates using usernames passed in request.META['REMOTE_USER']. See the Authenticating against REMOTE_USER documentation.

If you need more control, you can create your own authentication backend that inherits from this class and override these attributes or methods:


True or False. Determines whether or not a User object is created if not already in the database. Defaults to True.


The username passed as remote_user is considered trusted. This method simply returns the User object with the given username, creating a new User object if create_unknown_user is True.

Returns None if create_unknown_user is False and a User object with the given username is not found in the database.


Performs any cleaning on the username (e.g. stripping LDAP DN information) prior to using it to get or create a User object. Returns the cleaned username.


Configures a newly created user. This method is called immediately after a new user is created, and can be used to perform custom setup actions, such as setting the user’s groups based on attributes in an LDAP directory. Returns the user object.


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