A storage system for Django that stores uploaded files in the database.

Django Binary Database Files

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This is a storage system for Django that stores uploaded files in binary fields in the database. Files can be served from the database (usually a bad idea), the file system, or a CDN.

WARNING: It is generally a bad idea to serve static files from Django, but there are some valid use cases. If your Django app is behind a caching reverse proxy and you need to scale your application servers, it may be simpler to store files in the database.

Based upon django-database-files by Kimetrica, rhunwicks, chrisspen, bfirsh but updated to work with Django 2.2-4.0, Python 3.6+ and to use a binary field for storage.


  • Django 2.2 - 4.0


Simply install via pip with:

pip install django-binary-database-files


In, add binary_database_files to your INSTALLED_APPS and add this line:


Note, the upload_to parameter is still used to synchronize the files stored in the database with those on the file system, so new and existing fields should still have a value that makes sense from your base media directory.

If you are adding the package to an existing Django installation with pre-existing files, run:

python database_files_load

Additionally, if you want to export all files in the database back to the file system, run:

python database_files_dump

Note, that when a field referencing a file is cleared, the corresponding file in the database and on the file system will not be automatically deleted. To delete all files in the database and file system not referenced by any model fields, run:

python database_files_cleanup


  • DB_FILES_AUTO_EXPORT_DB_TO_FS = True|False (default True)

    If true, when a file is uploaded or read from the database, a copy will be exported to your media directory corresponding to the FileField's upload_to path, just as it would with the default Django file storage.

    If false, the file will only exist in the database.


    Defines the method to use when rendering the web-accessible URL for a file.

    If URL_METHOD_1, assumes all files have been exported to the filesystem and uses the path corresponding to your settings.MEDIA_URL.

    If URL_METHOD_2, uses the URL bound to the database_file view to dynamically lookup and serve files from the filesystem or database.

    In this case, you will also need to updates your to include the view that serves the files:

    urlpatterns = [
        # ... the rest of your URLconf goes here ...
        # Serve Database Files directly
        path(r"", include("binary_database_files.urls")),

    Allows the url method of the storage backend to return an absolute URL if provided.


Code should be linted with:


Tests require the Python development headers to be installed, which you can install on Ubuntu with:

sudo apt-get install python3.12-minimal python3.12-dev

To run unittests across multiple Python versions, install:

sudo apt-get install python3.10-minimal python3.10-dev python3.11-minimal python3.11-dev python3.12-minimal python3.12-dev

To run all tests:

export TESTNAME=; tox

To run tests for a specific environment (e.g. Python 3.12 with Django 5.0):

export TESTNAME=; tox -e py312-django50

To run a specific test:

export TESTNAME=.test_adding_file; tox -e py312-django50

To build and deploy a versioned package to PyPI, verify all unittests are passing, then increase (and commit) the version number in binary_database_files/ and then run:

python sdist bdist_wheel
twine check dist/*
twine upload dist/*
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