Vitamin C

Django Extending or Substituting User Model

Custom user model with email as primary login field. :

from __future__ import unicode_literals
from django.db import models
from django.contrib.auth.models import (
        AbstractBaseUser, BaseUserManager, PermissionsMixin)
from django.utils import timezone
from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _

class UserManager(BaseUserManager):
    def _create_user(self, email,password, is_staff, is_superuser, **extra_fields):
        now =
        if not email:
            raise ValueError('users must have an email address')
        email = self.normalize_email(email)
        user = self.model(email = email,
                            is_staff = is_staff,
                            is_superuser = is_superuser,
                            last_login = now,
                            date_joined = now,
        user.set_password(password) = self._db)
        return user

    def create_user(self, email, password=None, **extra_fields):
        user = self._create_user(email, password, False, False, **extra_fields)
        return user

    def create_superuser(self, email, password, **extra_fields):
        user = self._create_user(email, password, True, True, **extra_fields)
        return user

class User(AbstractBaseUser,PermissionsMixin):
    """My own custom user class"""

    email = models.EmailField(max_length=255, unique=True, db_index=True, verbose_name=_('email address'))
    date_joined = models.DateTimeField(auto_now_add=True)
    is_active = models.BooleanField(default=True)
    is_staff = models.BooleanField(default=False)

    objects = UserManager()

    USERNAME_FIELD = 'email'

    class Meta:
        verbose_name = _('user')
        verbose_name_plural = _('users')

    def get_full_name(self):
    """Return the email."""

    def get_short_name(self):
    """Return the email."""
        return :

from django import forms
from django.contrib.auth.forms import UserCreationForm
from .models import User

class RegistrationForm(UserCreationForm):
    email = forms.EmailField(widget=forms.TextInput(
        attrs={'class': 'form-control','type':'text','name': 'email'}),
    password1 = forms.CharField(widget=forms.PasswordInput(
        attrs={'class':'form-control','type':'password', 'name':'password1'}),
    password2 = forms.CharField(widget=forms.PasswordInput(
        attrs={'class':'form-control','type':'password', 'name': 'password2'}),
        label="Password (again)")

    '''added attributes so as to customise for styling, like bootstrap'''
    class Meta:
        model = User
        fields = ['email','password1','password2']
        field_order = ['email','password1','password2']

    def clean(self):
    Verifies that the values entered into the password fields match
    NOTE : errors here will appear in 'non_field_errors()'
        cleaned_data = super(RegistrationForm, self).clean()
        if 'password1' in self.cleaned_data and 'password2' in self.cleaned_data:
            if self.cleaned_data['password1'] != self.cleaned_data['password2']:
                raise forms.ValidationError("Passwords don't match. Please try again!")
        return self.cleaned_data

    def save(self, commit=True):
        user = super(RegistrationForm,self).save(commit=False)
        if commit:
        return user

#The save(commit=False) tells Django to save the new record, but dont commit it to the database yet

class AuthenticationForm(forms.Form): # Note: forms.Form NOT forms.ModelForm
    email = forms.EmailField(widget=forms.TextInput(
        attrs={'class': 'form-control','type':'text','name': 'email','placeholder':'Email'}), 
    password = forms.CharField(widget=forms.PasswordInput(
        attrs={'class':'form-control','type':'password', 'name': 'password','placeholder':'Password'}),

    class Meta:
        fields = ['email', 'password'] :

from django.shortcuts import redirect, render, HttpResponse
from django.contrib.auth import login as django_login, logout as django_logout, authenticate as django_authenticate
#importing as such so that it doesn't create a confusion with our methods and django's default methods

from django.contrib.auth.decorators import login_required
from .forms import AuthenticationForm, RegistrationForm

def login(request):
    if request.method == 'POST':
        form = AuthenticationForm(data = request.POST)
        if form.is_valid():
            email = request.POST['email']
            password = request.POST['password']
            user = django_authenticate(email=email, password=password)
            if user is not None:
                if user.is_active:
                    return redirect('/dashboard') #user is redirected to dashboard
        form = AuthenticationForm()

    return render(request,'login.html',{'form':form,})

def register(request):
    if request.method == 'POST':
        form = RegistrationForm(data = request.POST)
        if form.is_valid():
            user =
            u = django_authenticate( = user, user.password = password)
            return redirect('/dashboard')
        form = RegistrationForm()

    return render(request,'register.html',{'form':form,})

def logout(request):
    return redirect('/')

@login_required(login_url ="/")
def dashboard(request):
    return render(request, 'dashboard.html',{}) :

AUTH_USER_MODEL = 'myapp.User'

from django.contrib import admin
from django.contrib.auth.admin import UserAdmin as BaseUserAdmin
from django.contrib.auth.models import Group
from .models import User

class UserAdmin(BaseUserAdmin):
    list_display = ('email','is_staff')
    list_filter = ('is_staff',)
    fieldsets = ((None, 
                  {'fields':('email','password')}), ('Permissions',{'fields':('is_staff',)}),)
    add_fieldsets = ((None, {'classes': ('wide',), 'fields': ('email', 'password1', 'password2')}),)
    search_fields =('email',)
    ordering = ('email',)
    filter_horizontal = (), UserAdmin)

Use the `email` as username and get rid of the `username` field

If you want to get rid of the username field and use email as unique user identifier, you will have to create a custom User model extending AbstractBaseUser instead of AbstractUser. Indeed, username and email are defined in AbstractUser and you can't override them. This means you will also have to redefine all fields you want that are defined in AbstractUser.

from django.contrib.auth.models import (
    AbstractBaseUser, PermissionsMixin, BaseUserManager,
from django.db import models
from django.utils import timezone
from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _

class UserManager(BaseUserManager):

    use_in_migrations = True

    def _create_user(self, email, password, **extra_fields):
        if not email:
            raise ValueError('The given email must be set')
        email = self.normalize_email(email)
        user = self.model(email=email, **extra_fields)
        return user

    def create_user(self, email, password=None, **extra_fields):
        extra_fields.setdefault('is_staff', False)
        extra_fields.setdefault('is_superuser', False)
        return self._create_user(email, password, **extra_fields)

    def create_superuser(self, email, password, **extra_fields):
        extra_fields.setdefault('is_staff', True)
        extra_fields.setdefault('is_superuser', True)

        if extra_fields.get('is_staff') is not True:
            raise ValueError('Superuser must have is_staff=True.')
        if extra_fields.get('is_superuser') is not True:
            raise ValueError('Superuser must have is_superuser=True.')

    return self._create_user(email, password, **extra_fields)

class User(AbstractBaseUser, PermissionsMixin):
    """PermissionsMixin contains the following fields:
        - `is_superuser`
        - `groups`
        - `user_permissions`
     You can omit this mix-in if you don't want to use permissions or
     if you want to implement your own permissions logic.

    class Meta:
        verbose_name = _("user")
        verbose_name_plural = _("users")
        db_table = 'auth_user'
        # `db_table` is only needed if you move from the existing default
        # User model to a custom one. This enables to keep the existing data.

    USERNAME_FIELD = 'email'
    """Use the email as unique username."""

    REQUIRED_FIELDS = ['first_name', 'last_name']

        (GENDER_MALE, _("Male")),
        (GENDER_FEMALE, _("Female")),

    email = models.EmailField(
        verbose_name=_("email address"), unique=True,
            'unique': _(
                "A user is already registered with this email address"),
    gender = models.CharField(
        max_length=1, blank=True, choices=GENDER_CHOICES,
    first_name = models.CharField(
        max_length=30, verbose_name=_("first name"),
    last_name = models.CharField(
        max_length=30, verbose_name=_("last name"),
    is_staff = models.BooleanField(
        verbose_name=_("staff status"),
            "Designates whether the user can log into this admin site."
    is_active = models.BooleanField(
            "Designates whether this user should be treated as active. "
            "Unselect this instead of deleting accounts."
    date_joined = models.DateTimeField(
        verbose_name=_("date joined"),,

    objects = UserManager()

Extend Django User Model Easily

Our UserProfile class

Create a UserProfile model class with the relationship of OneToOne to the default User model:

from django.db import models
from django.contrib.auth.models import User
from django.db.models.signals import post_save

class UserProfile(models.Model):
    user = models.OneToOneField(User, related_name='user')
    photo = FileField(verbose_name=_("Profile Picture"),
                      upload_to=upload_to("", "profiles"),
                      format="Image", max_length=255, null=True, blank=True)
    website = models.URLField(default='', blank=True)
    bio = models.TextField(default='', blank=True)
    phone = models.CharField(max_length=20, blank=True, default='')
    city = models.CharField(max_length=100, default='', blank=True)
    country = models.CharField(max_length=100, default='', blank=True)
    organization = models.CharField(max_length=100, default='', blank=True)

Django Signals at work

Using Django Signals, create a new UserProfile immediately a User object is created. This function can be tucked beneath the UserProfile model class in the same file, or place it wherever you like. I don't care, as along as you reference it properly.

def create_profile(sender, **kwargs):
    user = kwargs["instance"]
    if kwargs["created"]:
        user_profile = UserProfile(user=user)
post_save.connect(create_profile, sender=User)

inlineformset_factory to the rescue

Now for your, you might have something like this:

from django.shortcuts import render, HttpResponseRedirect
from django.contrib.auth.decorators import login_required
from django.contrib.auth.models import User
from .models import UserProfile
from .forms import UserForm
from django.forms.models import inlineformset_factory
from django.core.exceptions import PermissionDenied
@login_required() # only logged in users should access this
def edit_user(request, pk):
    # querying the User object with pk from url
    user = User.objects.get(pk=pk)

    # prepopulate UserProfileForm with retrieved user values from above.
    user_form = UserForm(instance=user)

    # The sorcery begins from here, see explanation
    ProfileInlineFormset = inlineformset_factory(User, UserProfile, fields=('website', 'bio', 'phone', 'city', 'country', 'organization'))
    formset = ProfileInlineFormset(instance=user)

    if request.user.is_authenticated() and ==
        if request.method == "POST":
            user_form = UserForm(request.POST, request.FILES, instance=user)
            formset = ProfileInlineFormset(request.POST, request.FILES, instance=user)

            if user_form.is_valid():
                created_user =
                formset = ProfileInlineFormset(request.POST, request.FILES, instance=created_user)

                if formset.is_valid():
                    return HttpResponseRedirect('/accounts/profile/')

        return render(request, "account/account_update.html", {
            "noodle": pk,
            "noodle_form": user_form,
            "formset": formset,
        raise PermissionDenied

Our Template

Then spit everything to your template account_update.html as so:

{% load material_form %}
<!-- Material form is just a materialize thing for django forms -->
<div class="col s12 m8 offset-m2">
      <div class="card">
        <div class="card-content">
        <h2 class="flow-text">Update your information</h2>
          <form action="." method="POST" class="padding">
            {% csrf_token %} {{ noodle_form.as_p }}
            <div class="divider"></div>
            {{ formset.management_form }}
                {{ formset.as_p }}
            <button type="submit" class="btn-floating btn-large waves-light waves-effect"><i class="large material-icons">done</i></button>
            <a href="#" onclick="window.history.back(); return false;" title="Cancel" class="btn-floating waves-effect waves-light red"><i class="material-icons">history</i></a>

Above snippet taken from Extending Django UserProfile like a Pro

Specifing a custom User model

Django's built-in User model is not always appropiate for some kinds of projects. On some sites it might make more sense to use an email address instead of a username for instance.

You can override the default User model adding your customized User model to the AUTH_USER_MODEL setting, in your projects settings file:

AUTH_USER_MODEL = 'myapp.MyUser'

Note that it's highly adviced to create the AUTH_USER_MODEL before creating any migrations or running migrate for the first time. Due to limitations of Django's synamic dependecy feature.

For example on your blog you might want other authors to be able to sign-in with an email address instead of the regular username, so we create a custom User model with an email address as USERNAME_FIELD:

from django.contrib.auth.models import AbstractBaseUser

class CustomUser(AbstractBaseUser):
     email = models.EmailField(unique=True)
     USERNAME_FIELD = 'email'

By inherinting the AbstractBaseUser we can construct a compliant User model. AbstractBaseUser provides the core implementation of a User model.

In order to let the Django createsuperuser command know which other fields al required we can specify a REQUIRED_FIELDS. This value has no effect in other parts of Django!

class CustomUser(AbstractBaseUser):
    first_name = models.CharField(max_length=254)
    last_name = models.CharField(max_length=254)
    REQUIRED_FIELDS = ['first_name', 'last_name']

To be compliant with other part of Django we still have to specify the value is_active, the functions get_full_name() and get_short_name():

class CustomUser(AbstractBaseUser):
    is_active = models.BooleanField(default=False)
    def get_full_name(self):
        full_name = "{0} {1}".format(self.first_name, self.last_name)
        return full_name.strip()

    def get_short_name(self):
        return self.first_name

You should also create a custom UserManager for your User model, which allows Django to use the create_user() and create_superuser() functions:

from django.contrib.auth.models import BaseUserManager

class CustomUserManager(BaseUserManager):
    def create_user(self, email, first_name, last_name, password=None):
        if not email:
            raise ValueError('Users must have an email address')

        user = self.model(

        user.first_name = first_name
        user.last_name = last_name
        return user

    def create_superuser(self, email, first_name, last_name, password):
        user = self.create_user(

        user.is_admin = True
        user.is_active = True
        return user

Referencing the User model

Your code will not work in projects where you reference the User model (and where the AUTH_USER_MODEL setting has been changed) directly.

For example: if you want to create Post model for a blog with a customized User model, you should specify the custom User model like this:

from django.conf import settings
from django.db import models

class Post(models.Model):
    author = models.ForeignKey(settings.AUTH_USER_MODEL, on_delete=models.CASCADE)

Got any Django Question?