Django package that provides Cloudinary storages for both media and static files as well as management commands for removing unnecessary files.


Django Cloudinary Storage

Django Cloudinary Storage is a Django package that facilitates integration with Cloudinary by implementing Django Storage API. With several lines of configuration, you can start using Cloudinary for both media and static files. Also, it provides management commands for removing unnecessary files, so any cleanup will be a breeze. It uses pycloudinary package under the hood.

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The package requires Python 3.4+ and Django 1.8+. It has been tested on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.


To install the package, just run:

$ pip install django-cloudinary-storage

If you need to upload any video files, run:

$ pip install django-cloudinary-storage[video]

which will additionally install python-magic for uploaded video validation.

Also, in case you use Django ImageField, make sure you have Pillow installed:

$ pip install Pillow

Once you have done that, add cloudinary and cloudinary_storage to you installed apps in your settings.py. If you are going to use this package for static and/or media files, make sure that cloudinary_storage is before django.contrib.staticfiles:

    # ...
    # ...

because django-cloudinary-storage overwrites Django collectstatic command. If you are going to use it only for media files though, it is django.contrib.staticfiles which has to be first:

    # ...
    # ...

Next, you need to add Cloudinary credentials to settings.py:

    'CLOUD_NAME': 'your_cloud_name',
    'API_KEY': 'your_api_key',
    'API_SECRET': 'your_api_secret'

Instead of putting credentials in settings.py, you can provide them as CLOUDINARY_CLOUD_NAME, CLOUDINARY_API_SECRET and CLOUDINARY_API_KEY environment variables. It is possible as well to set only CLOUDINARY_URL variable, combining all the information, for example:

$ export CLOUDINARY_URL=cloudinary://your_api_key:your_api_secret@your_cloud_name

For those of you who use Heroku, that's a very good news, because you won't need to set it yourself, as Heroku sets CLOUDINARY_URL environment variable for you (provided you use Cloudinary as Heroku addon).

Also, be aware that settings.py takes precedence over environment variables.

Usage with media files

The package provides three media storages:

  • cloudinary_storage.storage.MediaCloudinaryStorage for images
  • cloudinary_storage.storage.RawMediaCloudinaryStorage for raw files, like txt, pdf
  • cloudinary_storage.storage.VideoMediaCloudinaryStorage for videos

Above distinction if necessary as Cloudinary API needs to know resource type in many of its methods.

Now, let's consider the most probable scenario that you will use Cloudinary for images uploaded by users of your website. Let's say you created a following Django model:

class TestModel(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    image = models.ImageField(upload_to='images/', blank=True)

All you need to do is to add two lines to settings.py:

MEDIA_URL = '/media/'  # or any prefix you choose
DEFAULT_FILE_STORAGE = 'cloudinary_storage.storage.MediaCloudinaryStorage'

And that's it! All your models with ImageField will be connected to Cloudinary.

Now, in order to put this image into your template, you can just type:

<img src="{{ test_model_instance.image.url }}" alt="{{ test_model_instance.image.name }}">

However, doing that in this way, the image will be downloaded with its original size, as uploaded by a user. To have more control, you can use Cloudinary image transformations. For example, to change the image's size, use below code:

{% load cloudinary %}
{% cloudinary test_model_instance.image.name width=100 height=100 %}

Of course, this only scratched the surface. Cloudinary is extremely powerful and I highly recommend you to check pycloudinary documentation.

Now, if you only need to use Cloudinary for images, you can skip the rest of this subsection. However, if you are going to use it for videos and/or raw files, let's continue.

Usage with raw files

If your users can upload text or other raw files, but not images, you would just use different default storage in settings.py:

DEFAULT_FILE_STORAGE = 'cloudinary_storage.storage.RawMediaCloudinaryStorage'

But what if they could upload both types? Well, not a problem! Just set DEFAULT_FILE_STORAGE setting to the most common resource type, and for fields of different type, you will need to set a correct storage individually, like this:

from django.db import models

from cloudinary_storage.storage import RawMediaCloudinaryStorage

class TestModelWithRawFileAndImage(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    raw_file = models.ImageField(upload_to='raw/', blank=True, storage=RawMediaCloudinaryStorage())
    image = models.ImageField(upload_to='images/', blank=True)  # no need to set storage, field will use the default one

In above example we assumed DEFAULT_FILE_STORAGE = 'cloudinary_storage.storage.MediaCloudinaryStorage', that's why we set storage explicitly only for raw_file.

Usage with video files

Usage with video files is analogous to raw files, but you will need to use validate_video validator for video fields to validate user's uploaded videos. If not, Cloudinary will raise an error if a user tries to upload non-video file, which will crash your website. Of course, you could use your own validator, but if you want to use built-in one, do it like this:

from django.db import models

from cloudinary_storage.storage import VideoMediaCloudinaryStorage
from cloudinary_storage.validators import validate_video

class TestModelWithVideoAndImage(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    video = models.ImageField(upload_to='videos/', blank=True, storage=VideoMediaCloudinaryStorage(),
    image = models.ImageField(upload_to='images/', blank=True)  # no need to set storage, field will use the default one

Usage with static files

In order to move your static files to Cloudinary, update your settings.py:

STATIC_URL = '/static/'
STATICFILES_STORAGE = 'cloudinary_storage.storage.StaticHashedCloudinaryStorage'

After that, run Django collectstatic command:

$ python manage.py collectstatic

Please note that only files with hashed name will be uploaded by default - this behavior can be changed by adding --upload-unhashed-files argument to collectstatic command. If you are not sure why it is useful to add hash to file names, shortly speaking, it allows static files to be safely cached by Cloudinary CDN and web browsers. Without it files' modification would become very problematic, because your website's users would use their private older copies. Hashing prevents this issue as any file change will change its url as well, which would force a browser to download a new version of a file.

Also, be aware that collectstatic will create a JSON file, which shows mapping of unhashed file names to their hashed versions. This file will be available at ./manifest/staticfiles.json by default - you could change that in your settings.py, for example:

import os

BASE_DIR = os.path.dirname(os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__)))

    # other settings, like credentials
    'STATICFILES_MANIFEST_ROOT': os.path.join(BASE_DIR, 'my-manifest-directory')

It is highly recommended to keep up-to-date version of this file in your version control system.

In order to use static files from Cloudinary, make sure you write your templates in below style:

{% load static %}
<link rel="stylesheet" href="{% static 'css/style.css' %}">
<img src="{% static 'images/dummy-static-image.jpg' %}" alt="dummy static image">

In Django 1.10 and later, you could use {% load static %} instead of {% load static from staticfiles %}.

If you would like to apply Cloudinary transformations for static images or videos, please use cloudinary_static template tag as follows:

{% load cloudinary_static %}
{% cloudinary_static 'images/dummy-static-image.jpg' width=50 height=50 %}

You can adjust STATIC_IMAGES_EXTENSIONS and STATIC_VIDEOS_EXTENSIONS to set rules which file extensions are treated as image or video files. Files with different extensions will be uploaded as Cloudinary raw files and no transformations could be applied for those files. Also, please note that cloudinary_static is just a thin wrapper around cloudinary tag from pycloudinary library, so please go to its documentation to see what transformations are possible.

Please note that you must set DEBUG to False to fetch static files from Cloudinary. With DEBUG equal to True, Django staticfiles app will use your local files for easier and faster development (unless you use cloudinary_static template tag).

Management commands

The package provides three management commands:

  • collectstatic
  • deleteorphanedmedia
  • deleteredundantstatic


Adds minor modifications to Django collectstatic to improve upload performance. It uploads only hashed files as the default. Also, it uploads a file only when necessary, namely it won't upload the file if a file with the same name and content will be already uploaded to Cloudinary, which will save both time and bandwidth.

Optional arguments:

  • --upload-unhashed-files - uploads files without hash added to their name along with hashed ones, use it only when it is really necessary
  • --noinput - non-interactive mode, the command won't ask you to do any confirmations


Deletes needless media files, which are not connected to any model. It is possible to provide paths to prevent deletion of given files in EXCLUDE_DELETE_ORPHANED_MEDIA_PATHS in settings.py, for example:

    # other settings
    'EXCLUDE_DELETE_ORPHANED_MEDIA_PATHS': ('path/', 'second-path/')

Optional arguments:

  • --noinput - non-interactive mode, the command won't ask you to do any confirmations


Deletes needless static files.

Optional arguments:

  • --keep-unhashed-files - use it if you use collectstatic with --upload-unhashed-files argument, without it this command will always delete all unhashed files
  • --noinput - non-interactive mode, the command won't ask you to do any confirmations


Below you can see all available settings with default values:

import os

from django.conf import settings

BASE_DIR = os.path.dirname(os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__)))

    'CLOUD_NAME': None,  # required
    'API_KEY': None,  # required
    'API_SECRET': None,  # required
    'SECURE': True,
    'MEDIA_TAG': 'media',
    'INVALID_VIDEO_ERROR_MESSAGE': 'Please upload a valid video file.',
    'STATIC_TAG': 'static',
    'STATICFILES_MANIFEST_ROOT': os.path.join(BASE_DIR, 'manifest'),
    'STATIC_IMAGES_EXTENSIONS': ['jpg', 'jpe', 'jpeg', 'jpc', 'jp2', 'j2k', 'wdp', 'jxr',
                                 'hdp', 'png', 'gif', 'webp', 'bmp', 'tif', 'tiff', 'ico'],
    'STATIC_VIDEOS_EXTENSIONS': ['mp4', 'webm', 'flv', 'mov', 'ogv' ,'3gp' ,'3g2' ,'wmv' ,
                                 'mpeg' ,'flv' ,'mkv' ,'avi'],
    'MAGIC_FILE_PATH': 'magic',
    'PREFIX': settings.MEDIA_URL

CLOUD_NAME, API_KEY and API_SECRET are mandatory and you need to define them in CLOUDINARY_STORAGE dictionary in settings.py, the rest could be overwritten if required, as described below:

  • SECURE - whether your Cloudinary files should be server over HTTP or HTTPS, HTTPS is the default, set it to False to switch to HTTP
  • MEDIA_TAG - name assigned to your all media files, it has to be different than STATIC_TAG, usually you don't need to worry about this setting, it is useful when you have several websites which use the same Cloudinary account, when you should set it unique to distinguish it from other websites,
  • INVALID_VIDEO_ERROR_MESSAGE - error message which will be displayed in user's form when one tries to upload non-video file in video field
  • EXCLUDE_DELETE_ORPHANED_MEDIA_PATHS - looked by deleteorphanedmedia command, you can provide here tuple of paths which will never be deleted
  • STATIC_TAG - name assigned to your all static files, it has to be different than MEDIA_TAG, please see MEDIA_TAG setting to see when it is useful
  • STATICFILES_MANIFEST_ROOT - path where staticfiles.json will be saved after collectstatic command, ./manifest is the default location
  • STATIC_IMAGES_EXTENSIONS - list of file extensions with which static files will be treated as Cloudinary images
  • STATIC_VIDEOS_EXTENSIONS - list of file extensions with which static files will be uploaded as Cloudinary videos
  • MAGIC_FILE_PATH: applicable only for Windows, needed for python-magic library for movie validation, please see python-magic for reference
  • PREFIX - prefix to your all files uploaded by MediaCloudinaryStorage, default MEDIA_URL, it can be useful when you use FileSystemStorage as default and MediaCloudinaryStorage for some models fields

How to run tests

First, install tox:

$ pip install tox

After that, edit tox.ini file and input your Cloudinary credentials in setenv.

Then, just run:

$ tox

which will execute tests for Python 2.7, 3.4 - 3,5 and Django 1.8 - 1.11 (and additionally for Python 3.6 and Django 1.11). At the end you will see coverage report in your console. HTML version of this report will be available in ./htmlcov/index.html file.

If you only need to run tests for your environment, add -e argument to tox command in {py34,py35}-dj{18,19,110,111} format (plus py36-dj111), for example:

$ tox -e py34-dj110

which will run tests for Python 3.4 and Django 1.10.

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