Django-avatar is a reusable application for handling user avatars. It has the ability to default to Gravatar if no avatar is found for a certain user. Django-avatar automatically generates thumbnails and stores them to your default file storage backend for retrieval later.


If you have pip installed, you can simply run the following command to install django-avatar:

pip install django-avatar

Included with this application is a file named It’s possible to use this file to install this application to your system, by invoking the following command:

python install

Once that’s done, you should be able to begin using django-avatar at will.


To integrate django-avatar with your site, there are relatively few things that are required. A minimal integration can work like this:

  1. List this application in the INSTALLED_APPS portion of your settings file. Your settings file will look something like:

        # ...
  2. Add the avatar urls to the end of your root urlconf. Your urlconf will look something like:

    urlpatterns = patterns('',
        # ...
        (r'^avatar/', include('avatar.urls')),
  3. Somewhere in your template navigation scheme, link to the change avatar page:

    <a href="{% url 'avatar_change' %}">Change your avatar</a>
  4. Wherever you want to display an avatar for a user, first load the avatar template tags:

    {% load avatar_tags %}

    Then, use the avatar tag to display an avatar of a default size:

    {% avatar user %}

    Or specify a size (in pixels) explicitly:

    {% avatar user 65 %}

Template tags and filter

To begin using these template tags, you must first load the tags into the template rendering system:

{% load avatar_tags %}
{% avatar_url user [size in pixels] %}
Renders the URL of the avatar for the given user. User can be either a django.contrib.auth.models.User object instance or a username.
{% avatar user [size in pixels] %}
Renders an HTML img tag for the given user for the specified size. User can be either a django.contrib.auth.models.User object instance or a username.
{% render_avatar avatar [size in pixels] %}
Given an actual avatar.models.Avatar object instance, renders an HTML img tag to represent that avatar at the requested size.
{{ request.user|has_avatar }}
Given a user object returns a boolean if the user has an avatar.

Global Settings

There are a number of settings available to easily customize the avatars that appear on the site. Listed below are those settings:

An iterable of integers representing the sizes of avatars to generate on upload. This can save rendering time later on if you pre-generate the resized versions. Defaults to (80,)
The method to use when resizing images, based on the options available in PIL. Defaults to Image.ANTIALIAS.
The directory under MEDIA_ROOT to store the images. If using a non-filesystem storage device, this will simply be appended to the beginning of the file name.
A boolean determining whether to default to the Gravatar service if no Avatar instance is found in the system for the given user. Defaults to True.
The default URL to default to if AVATAR_GRAVATAR_BACKUP is set to False and there is no Avatar instance found in the system for the given user.

Management Commands

This application does include one management command: rebuild_avatars. It takes no arguments and, when run, re-renders all of the thumbnails for all of the avatars for the pixel sizes specified in the AUTO_GENERATE_AVATAR_SIZES setting.

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