Before you use this, you should probably read the documentation about custom User models.


  1. Install the package:

    $ pip install django-authtools

    Or you can install it from source:

    $ pip install -e git+
  2. Run the authtools migrations:

    $ python migrate

Quick Setup

If you want to use the User model provided by authtools (a sensible choice), there are three short steps.

  1. Add authtools to your INSTALLED_APPS.

  2. Add the following to your

    AUTH_USER_MODEL = 'authtools.User'
  3. Add authtools.urls to your URL patterns:

    urlpatterns = patterns('',
        # ...
        url(r'^accounts/', include('authtools.urls')),
        # ...

This will set you up with a custom user that

It also gives you a registered admin class that has a less intimidating ReadOnlyPasswordHashWidget and the standard auth views (see Views).

But it’s supposed to be a custom User model!

Making a User model that only concerns itself with authentication and authorization just might be a good idea. I recommend you read these:

Also, please read this quote from the Django documentation:


Think carefully before handling information not directly related to authentication in your custom User Model.

It may be better to store app-specific user information in a model that has a relation with the User model. That allows each app to specify its own user data requirements without risking conflicts with other apps. On the other hand, queries to retrieve this related information will involve a database join, which may have an effect on performance.

However, there are many valid reasons for wanting a User model that you can change things on. django-authtools allows you to do that too. django-authtools provides a couple of abstract classes for subclassing.

class authtools.models.AbstractEmailUser

A no-frills email as username model that satisifes the User contract and the permissions API needed for the Admin site.

class authtools.models.AbstractNamedUser

A subclass of AbstractEmailUser that adds a name field.

If want to make your custom User model, you can use one of these base classes.


If you are just adding some methods to the User model, but not changing the database fields, you should consider using a proxy model.

If you wanted a User model that had full_name and preferred_name fields instead of just name, you could do this:

from authtools.models import AbstractEmailUser

class User(AbstractEmailUser):
    full_name = models.CharField('full name', max_length=255, blank=True)
    preferred_name = models.CharField('preferred name',
        max_length=255, blank=True)

    def get_full_name(self):
        return self.full_name

    def get_short_name(self):
        return self.preferred_name