Request and response objects

Quick overview

Django uses request and response objects to pass state through the system.

When a page is requested, Django creates an HttpRequest object that contains metadata about the request. Then Django loads the appropriate view, passing the HttpRequest as the first argument to the view function. Each view is responsible for returning an HttpResponse object.

This document explains the APIs for HttpRequest and HttpResponse objects, which are defined in the django.http module.

HttpRequest objects

class HttpRequest[source]


All attributes should be considered read-only, unless stated otherwise.


A string representing the scheme of the request (http or https usually).


The raw HTTP request body as a bytestring. This is useful for processing data in different ways than conventional HTML forms: binary images, XML payload etc. For processing conventional form data, use HttpRequest.POST.

You can also read from an HttpRequest using a file-like interface. See


A string representing the full path to the requested page, not including the scheme or domain.

Example: "/music/bands/the_beatles/"


Under some Web server configurations, the portion of the URL after the host name is split up into a script prefix portion and a path info portion. The path_info attribute always contains the path info portion of the path, no matter what Web server is being used. Using this instead of path can make your code easier to move between test and deployment servers.

For example, if the WSGIScriptAlias for your application is set to "/minfo", then path might be "/minfo/music/bands/the_beatles/" and path_info would be "/music/bands/the_beatles/".


A string representing the HTTP method used in the request. This is guaranteed to be uppercase. For example:

if request.method == 'GET':
elif request.method == 'POST':

A string representing the current encoding used to decode form submission data (or None, which means the DEFAULT_CHARSET setting is used). You can write to this attribute to change the encoding used when accessing the form data. Any subsequent attribute accesses (such as reading from GET or POST) will use the new encoding value. Useful if you know the form data is not in the DEFAULT_CHARSET encoding.


A string representing the MIME type of the request, parsed from the CONTENT_TYPE header.


A dictionary of key/value parameters included in the CONTENT_TYPE header.


A dictionary-like object containing all given HTTP GET parameters. See the QueryDict documentation below.


A dictionary-like object containing all given HTTP POST parameters, providing that the request contains form data. See the QueryDict documentation below. If you need to access raw or non-form data posted in the request, access this through the HttpRequest.body attribute instead.

It’s possible that a request can come in via POST with an empty POST dictionary – if, say, a form is requested via the POST HTTP method but does not include form data. Therefore, you shouldn’t use if request.POST to check for use of the POST method; instead, use if request.method == "POST" (see HttpRequest.method).

POST does not include file-upload information. See FILES.


A dictionary containing all cookies. Keys and values are strings.


A dictionary-like object containing all uploaded files. Each key in FILES is the name from the <input type="file" name="">. Each value in FILES is an UploadedFile.

See Managing files for more information.

FILES will only contain data if the request method was POST and the <form> that posted to the request had enctype="multipart/form-data". Otherwise, FILES will be a blank dictionary-like object.


A dictionary containing all available HTTP headers. Available headers depend on the client and server, but here are some examples:

  • CONTENT_LENGTH – The length of the request body (as a string).
  • CONTENT_TYPE – The MIME type of the request body.
  • HTTP_ACCEPT – Acceptable content types for the response.
  • HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING – Acceptable encodings for the response.
  • HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE – Acceptable languages for the response.
  • HTTP_HOST – The HTTP Host header sent by the client.
  • HTTP_REFERER – The referring page, if any.
  • HTTP_USER_AGENT – The client’s user-agent string.
  • QUERY_STRING – The query string, as a single (unparsed) string.
  • REMOTE_ADDR – The IP address of the client.
  • REMOTE_HOST – The hostname of the client.
  • REMOTE_USER – The user authenticated by the Web server, if any.
  • REQUEST_METHOD – A string such as "GET" or "POST".
  • SERVER_NAME – The hostname of the server.
  • SERVER_PORT – The port of the server (as a string).

With the exception of CONTENT_LENGTH and CONTENT_TYPE, as given above, any HTTP headers in the request are converted to META keys by converting all characters to uppercase, replacing any hyphens with underscores and adding an HTTP_ prefix to the name. So, for example, a header called X-Bender would be mapped to the META key HTTP_X_BENDER.

Note that runserver strips all headers with underscores in the name, so you won’t see them in META. This prevents header-spoofing based on ambiguity between underscores and dashes both being normalizing to underscores in WSGI environment variables. It matches the behavior of Web servers like Nginx and Apache 2.4+.

HttpRequest.headers is a simpler way to access all HTTP-prefixed headers, plus CONTENT_LENGTH and CONTENT_TYPE.

New in Django 2.2.

A case insensitive, dict-like object that provides access to all HTTP-prefixed headers (plus Content-Length and Content-Type) from the request.

The name of each header is stylized with title-casing (e.g. User-Agent) when it’s displayed. You can access headers case-insensitively:

>>> request.headers
{'User-Agent': 'Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_6', ...}

>>> 'User-Agent' in request.headers
>>> 'user-agent' in request.headers

>>> request.headers['User-Agent']
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_6)
>>> request.headers['user-agent']
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_6)

>>> request.headers.get('User-Agent')
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_6)
>>> request.headers.get('user-agent')
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_6)

An instance of ResolverMatch representing the resolved URL. This attribute is only set after URL resolving took place, which means it’s available in all views but not in middleware which are executed before URL resolving takes place (you can use it in process_view() though).

Attributes set by application code

Django doesn’t set these attributes itself but makes use of them if set by your application.


The url template tag will use its value as the current_app argument to reverse().


This will be used as the root URLconf for the current request, overriding the ROOT_URLCONF setting. See How Django processes a request for details.

urlconf can be set to None to revert any changes made by previous middleware and return to using the ROOT_URLCONF.

Attributes set by middleware

Some of the middleware included in Django’s contrib apps set attributes on the request. If you don’t see the attribute on a request, be sure the appropriate middleware class is listed in MIDDLEWARE.


From the SessionMiddleware: A readable and writable, dictionary-like object that represents the current session.

From the CurrentSiteMiddleware: An instance of Site or RequestSite as returned by get_current_site() representing the current site.


From the AuthenticationMiddleware: An instance of AUTH_USER_MODEL representing the currently logged-in user. If the user isn’t currently logged in, user will be set to an instance of AnonymousUser. You can tell them apart with is_authenticated, like so:

if request.user.is_authenticated:
    ... # Do something for logged-in users.
    ... # Do something for anonymous users.



Returns the originating host of the request using information from the HTTP_X_FORWARDED_HOST (if USE_X_FORWARDED_HOST is enabled) and HTTP_HOST headers, in that order. If they don’t provide a value, the method uses a combination of SERVER_NAME and SERVER_PORT as detailed in PEP 3333.

Example: ""


The get_host() method fails when the host is behind multiple proxies. One solution is to use middleware to rewrite the proxy headers, as in the following example:

class MultipleProxyMiddleware:

    def __init__(self, get_response):
        self.get_response = get_response

    def __call__(self, request):
        Rewrites the proxy headers so that only the most
        recent proxy is used.
        for field in self.FORWARDED_FOR_FIELDS:
            if field in request.META:
                if ',' in request.META[field]:
                    parts = request.META[field].split(',')
                    request.META[field] = parts[-1].strip()
        return self.get_response(request)

This middleware should be positioned before any other middleware that relies on the value of get_host() – for instance, CommonMiddleware or CsrfViewMiddleware.


Returns the originating port of the request using information from the HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PORT (if USE_X_FORWARDED_PORT is enabled) and SERVER_PORT META variables, in that order.


Returns the path, plus an appended query string, if applicable.

Example: "/music/bands/the_beatles/?print=true"

New in Django 2.1.

Like get_full_path(), but uses path_info instead of path.

Example: "/minfo/music/bands/the_beatles/?print=true"


Returns the absolute URI form of location. If no location is provided, the location will be set to request.get_full_path().

If the location is already an absolute URI, it will not be altered. Otherwise the absolute URI is built using the server variables available in this request. For example:

>>> request.build_absolute_uri()
>>> request.build_absolute_uri('/bands/')
>>> request.build_absolute_uri('')


Mixing HTTP and HTTPS on the same site is discouraged, therefore build_absolute_uri() will always generate an absolute URI with the same scheme the current request has. If you need to redirect users to HTTPS, it’s best to let your Web server redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS.

Returns a cookie value for a signed cookie, or raises a django.core.signing.BadSignature exception if the signature is no longer valid. If you provide the default argument the exception will be suppressed and that default value will be returned instead.

The optional salt argument can be used to provide extra protection against brute force attacks on your secret key. If supplied, the max_age argument will be checked against the signed timestamp attached to the cookie value to ensure the cookie is not older than max_age seconds.

For example:

>>> request.get_signed_cookie('name')
>>> request.get_signed_cookie('name', salt='name-salt')
'Tony' # assuming cookie was set using the same salt
>>> request.get_signed_cookie('nonexistent-cookie')
KeyError: 'nonexistent-cookie'
>>> request.get_signed_cookie('nonexistent-cookie', False)
>>> request.get_signed_cookie('cookie-that-was-tampered-with')
BadSignature: ...
>>> request.get_signed_cookie('name', max_age=60)
SignatureExpired: Signature age 1677.3839159 > 60 seconds
>>> request.get_signed_cookie('name', False, max_age=60)

See cryptographic signing for more information.


Returns True if the request is secure; that is, if it was made with HTTPS.


Returns True if the request was made via an XMLHttpRequest, by checking the HTTP_X_REQUESTED_WITH header for the string 'XMLHttpRequest'. Most modern JavaScript libraries send this header. If you write your own XMLHttpRequest call (on the browser side), you’ll have to set this header manually if you want is_ajax() to work.

If a response varies on whether or not it’s requested via AJAX and you are using some form of caching like Django’s cache middleware, you should decorate the view with vary_on_headers('X-Requested-With') so that the responses are properly cached.[source]

Methods implementing a file-like interface for reading from an HttpRequest instance. This makes it possible to consume an incoming request in a streaming fashion. A common use-case would be to process a big XML payload with an iterative parser without constructing a whole XML tree in memory.

Given this standard interface, an HttpRequest instance can be passed directly to an XML parser such as ElementTree:

import xml.etree.ElementTree as ET
for element in ET.iterparse(request):

QueryDict objects

class QueryDict[source]

In an HttpRequest object, the GET and POST attributes are instances of django.http.QueryDict, a dictionary-like class customized to deal with multiple values for the same key. This is necessary because some HTML form elements, notably <select multiple>, pass multiple values for the same key.

The QueryDicts at request.POST and request.GET will be immutable when accessed in a normal request/response cycle. To get a mutable version you need to use QueryDict.copy().


QueryDict implements all the standard dictionary methods because it’s a subclass of dictionary. Exceptions are outlined here:

QueryDict.__init__(query_string=None, mutable=False, encoding=None)[source]

Instantiates a QueryDict object based on query_string.

>>> QueryDict('a=1&a=2&c=3')
<QueryDict: {'a': ['1', '2'], 'c': ['3']}>

If query_string is not passed in, the resulting QueryDict will be empty (it will have no keys or values).

Most QueryDicts you encounter, and in particular those at request.POST and request.GET, will be immutable. If you are instantiating one yourself, you can make it mutable by passing mutable=True to its __init__().

Strings for setting both keys and values will be converted from encoding to str. If encoding is not set, it defaults to DEFAULT_CHARSET.

classmethod QueryDict.fromkeys(iterable, value='', mutable=False, encoding=None)[source]

Creates a new QueryDict with keys from iterable and each value equal to value. For example:

>>> QueryDict.fromkeys(['a', 'a', 'b'], value='val')
<QueryDict: {'a': ['val', 'val'], 'b': ['val']}>

Returns the value for the given key. If the key has more than one value, it returns the last value. Raises django.utils.datastructures.MultiValueDictKeyError if the key does not exist. (This is a subclass of Python’s standard KeyError, so you can stick to catching KeyError.)

QueryDict.__setitem__(key, value)[source]

Sets the given key to [value] (a list whose single element is value). Note that this, as other dictionary functions that have side effects, can only be called on a mutable QueryDict (such as one that was created via QueryDict.copy()).


Returns True if the given key is set. This lets you do, e.g., if "foo" in request.GET.

QueryDict.get(key, default=None)

Uses the same logic as __getitem__(), with a hook for returning a default value if the key doesn’t exist.

QueryDict.setdefault(key, default=None)[source]

Like dict.setdefault(), except it uses __setitem__() internally.


Takes either a QueryDict or a dictionary. Like dict.update(), except it appends to the current dictionary items rather than replacing them. For example:

>>> q = QueryDict('a=1', mutable=True)
>>> q.update({'a': '2'})
>>> q.getlist('a')
['1', '2']
>>> q['a'] # returns the last

Like dict.items(), except this uses the same last-value logic as __getitem__() and returns an iterator object instead of a view object. For example:

>>> q = QueryDict('a=1&a=2&a=3')
>>> list(q.items())
[('a', '3')]

Like dict.values(), except this uses the same last-value logic as __getitem__() and returns an iterator instead of a view object. For example:

>>> q = QueryDict('a=1&a=2&a=3')
>>> list(q.values())

In addition, QueryDict has the following methods:


Returns a copy of the object using copy.deepcopy(). This copy will be mutable even if the original was not.

QueryDict.getlist(key, default=None)

Returns a list of the data with the requested key. Returns an empty list if the key doesn’t exist and a default value wasn’t provided. It’s guaranteed to return a list unless the default value provided isn’t a list.

QueryDict.setlist(key, list_)[source]

Sets the given key to list_ (unlike __setitem__()).

QueryDict.appendlist(key, item)[source]

Appends an item to the internal list associated with key.

QueryDict.setlistdefault(key, default_list=None)[source]

Like setdefault(), except it takes a list of values instead of a single value.


Like items(), except it includes all values, as a list, for each member of the dictionary. For example:

>>> q = QueryDict('a=1&a=2&a=3')
>>> q.lists()
[('a', ['1', '2', '3'])]

Returns a list of values for the given key and removes them from the dictionary. Raises KeyError if the key does not exist. For example:

>>> q = QueryDict('a=1&a=2&a=3', mutable=True)
>>> q.pop('a')
['1', '2', '3']

Removes an arbitrary member of the dictionary (since there’s no concept of ordering), and returns a two value tuple containing the key and a list of all values for the key. Raises KeyError when called on an empty dictionary. For example:

>>> q = QueryDict('a=1&a=2&a=3', mutable=True)
>>> q.popitem()
('a', ['1', '2', '3'])

Returns a dict representation of QueryDict. For every (key, list) pair in QueryDict, dict will have (key, item), where item is one element of the list, using the same logic as QueryDict.__getitem__():

>>> q = QueryDict('a=1&a=3&a=5')
>>> q.dict()
{'a': '5'}

Returns a string of the data in query string format. For example:

>>> q = QueryDict('a=2&b=3&b=5')
>>> q.urlencode()

Use the safe parameter to pass characters which don’t require encoding. For example:

>>> q = QueryDict(mutable=True)
>>> q['next'] = '/a&b/'
>>> q.urlencode(safe='/')

HttpResponse objects

class HttpResponse[source]

In contrast to HttpRequest objects, which are created automatically by Django, HttpResponse objects are your responsibility. Each view you write is responsible for instantiating, populating, and returning an HttpResponse.

The HttpResponse class lives in the django.http module.


Passing strings

Typical usage is to pass the contents of the page, as a string or bytestring, to the HttpResponse constructor:

>>> from django.http import HttpResponse
>>> response = HttpResponse("Here's the text of the Web page.")
>>> response = HttpResponse("Text only, please.", content_type="text/plain")
>>> response = HttpResponse(b'Bytestrings are also accepted.')

But if you want to add content incrementally, you can use response as a file-like object:

>>> response = HttpResponse()
>>> response.write("<p>Here's the text of the Web page.</p>")
>>> response.write("<p>Here's another paragraph.</p>")

Passing iterators

Finally, you can pass HttpResponse an iterator rather than strings. HttpResponse will consume the iterator immediately, store its content as a string, and discard it. Objects with a close() method such as files and generators are immediately closed.

If you need the response to be streamed from the iterator to the client, you must use the StreamingHttpResponse class instead.

Setting header fields

To set or remove a header field in your response, treat it like a dictionary:

>>> response = HttpResponse()
>>> response['Age'] = 120
>>> del response['Age']

Note that unlike a dictionary, del doesn’t raise KeyError if the header field doesn’t exist.

For setting the Cache-Control and Vary header fields, it is recommended to use the patch_cache_control() and patch_vary_headers() methods from django.utils.cache, since these fields can have multiple, comma-separated values. The “patch” methods ensure that other values, e.g. added by a middleware, are not removed.

HTTP header fields cannot contain newlines. An attempt to set a header field containing a newline character (CR or LF) will raise BadHeaderError

Telling the browser to treat the response as a file attachment

To tell the browser to treat the response as a file attachment, use the content_type argument and set the Content-Disposition header. For example, this is how you might return a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet:

>>> response = HttpResponse(my_data, content_type='application/')
>>> response['Content-Disposition'] = 'attachment; filename="foo.xls"'

There’s nothing Django-specific about the Content-Disposition header, but it’s easy to forget the syntax, so we’ve included it here.



A bytestring representing the content, encoded from a string if necessary.


A string denoting the charset in which the response will be encoded. If not given at HttpResponse instantiation time, it will be extracted from content_type and if that is unsuccessful, the DEFAULT_CHARSET setting will be used.


The HTTP status code for the response.

Unless reason_phrase is explicitly set, modifying the value of status_code outside the constructor will also modify the value of reason_phrase.


The HTTP reason phrase for the response. It uses the HTTP standard’s default reason phrases.

Unless explicitly set, reason_phrase is determined by the value of status_code.


This is always False.

This attribute exists so middleware can treat streaming responses differently from regular responses.


True if the response has been closed.


HttpResponse.__init__(content=b'', content_type=None, status=200, reason=None, charset=None)[source]

Instantiates an HttpResponse object with the given page content and content type.

content is most commonly an iterator, bytestring, or string. Other types will be converted to a bytestring by encoding their string representation. Iterators should return strings or bytestrings and those will be joined together to form the content of the response.

content_type is the MIME type optionally completed by a character set encoding and is used to fill the HTTP Content-Type header. If not specified, it is formed by the DEFAULT_CONTENT_TYPE and DEFAULT_CHARSET settings, by default: “text/html; charset=utf-8”.

status is the HTTP status code for the response. You can use Python’s http.HTTPStatus for meaningful aliases, such as HTTPStatus.NO_CONTENT.

reason is the HTTP response phrase. If not provided, a default phrase will be used.

charset is the charset in which the response will be encoded. If not given it will be extracted from content_type, and if that is unsuccessful, the DEFAULT_CHARSET setting will be used.

HttpResponse.__setitem__(header, value)

Sets the given header name to the given value. Both header and value should be strings.


Deletes the header with the given name. Fails silently if the header doesn’t exist. Case-insensitive.


Returns the value for the given header name. Case-insensitive.


Returns True or False based on a case-insensitive check for a header with the given name.

HttpResponse.setdefault(header, value)

Sets a header unless it has already been set.

Sets a cookie. The parameters are the same as in the Morsel cookie object in the Python standard library.

  • max_age should be a number of seconds, or None (default) if the cookie should last only as long as the client’s browser session. If expires is not specified, it will be calculated.

  • expires should either be a string in the format "Wdy, DD-Mon-YY HH:MM:SS GMT" or a datetime.datetime object in UTC. If expires is a datetime object, the max_age will be calculated.

  • Use domain if you want to set a cross-domain cookie. For example, domain="" will set a cookie that is readable by the domains,, etc. Otherwise, a cookie will only be readable by the domain that set it.

  • Use httponly=True if you want to prevent client-side JavaScript from having access to the cookie.

    HttpOnly is a flag included in a Set-Cookie HTTP response header. It’s part of the RFC 6265 standard for cookies and can be a useful way to mitigate the risk of a client-side script accessing the protected cookie data.

  • Use samesite='Strict' or samesite='Lax' to tell the browser not to send this cookie when performing a cross-origin request. SameSite isn’t supported by all browsers, so it’s not a replacement for Django’s CSRF protection, but rather a defense in depth measure.

Changed in Django 2.1:

The samesite argument was added.


RFC 6265 states that user agents should support cookies of at least 4096 bytes. For many browsers this is also the maximum size. Django will not raise an exception if there’s an attempt to store a cookie of more than 4096 bytes, but many browsers will not set the cookie correctly.

Like set_cookie(), but cryptographic signing the cookie before setting it. Use in conjunction with HttpRequest.get_signed_cookie(). You can use the optional salt argument for added key strength, but you will need to remember to pass it to the corresponding HttpRequest.get_signed_cookie() call.

Deletes the cookie with the given key. Fails silently if the key doesn’t exist.

Due to the way cookies work, path and domain should be the same values you used in set_cookie() – otherwise the cookie may not be deleted.

Changed in Django 2.2.15:

The samesite argument was added.


This method is called at the end of the request directly by the WSGI server.


This method makes an HttpResponse instance a file-like object.


This method makes an HttpResponse instance a file-like object.


This method makes an HttpResponse instance a file-like object.


Returns the value of HttpResponse.content. This method makes an HttpResponse instance a stream-like object.


Always False. This method makes an HttpResponse instance a stream-like object.


Always False. This method makes an HttpResponse instance a stream-like object.


Always True. This method makes an HttpResponse instance a stream-like object.


Writes a list of lines to the response. Line separators are not added. This method makes an HttpResponse instance a stream-like object.

HttpResponse subclasses

Django includes a number of HttpResponse subclasses that handle different types of HTTP responses. Like HttpResponse, these subclasses live in django.http.

class HttpResponseRedirect[source]

The first argument to the constructor is required – the path to redirect to. This can be a fully qualified URL (e.g. ''), an absolute path with no domain (e.g. '/search/'), or even a relative path (e.g. 'search/'). In that last case, the client browser will reconstruct the full URL itself according to the current path. See HttpResponse for other optional constructor arguments. Note that this returns an HTTP status code 302.


This read-only attribute represents the URL the response will redirect to (equivalent to the Location response header).

class HttpResponsePermanentRedirect[source]

Like HttpResponseRedirect, but it returns a permanent redirect (HTTP status code 301) instead of a “found” redirect (status code 302).

class HttpResponseNotModified[source]

The constructor doesn’t take any arguments and no content should be added to this response. Use this to designate that a page hasn’t been modified since the user’s last request (status code 304).

class HttpResponseBadRequest[source]

Acts just like HttpResponse but uses a 400 status code.

class HttpResponseNotFound[source]

Acts just like HttpResponse but uses a 404 status code.

class HttpResponseForbidden[source]

Acts just like HttpResponse but uses a 403 status code.

class HttpResponseNotAllowed[source]

Like HttpResponse, but uses a 405 status code. The first argument to the constructor is required: a list of permitted methods (e.g. ['GET', 'POST']).

class HttpResponseGone[source]

Acts just like HttpResponse but uses a 410 status code.

class HttpResponseServerError[source]

Acts just like HttpResponse but uses a 500 status code.


If a custom subclass of HttpResponse implements a render method, Django will treat it as emulating a SimpleTemplateResponse, and the render method must itself return a valid response object.

Custom response classes

If you find yourself needing a response class that Django doesn’t provide, you can create it with the help of http.HTTPStatus. For example:

from http import HTTPStatus
from django.http import HttpResponse

class HttpResponseNoContent(HttpResponse):
    status_code = HTTPStatus.NO_CONTENT

JsonResponse objects

class JsonResponse(data, encoder=DjangoJSONEncoder, safe=True, json_dumps_params=None, **kwargs)[source]

An HttpResponse subclass that helps to create a JSON-encoded response. It inherits most behavior from its superclass with a couple differences:

Its default Content-Type header is set to application/json.

The first parameter, data, should be a dict instance. If the safe parameter is set to False (see below) it can be any JSON-serializable object.

The encoder, which defaults to django.core.serializers.json.DjangoJSONEncoder, will be used to serialize the data. See JSON serialization for more details about this serializer.

The safe boolean parameter defaults to True. If it’s set to False, any object can be passed for serialization (otherwise only dict instances are allowed). If safe is True and a non-dict object is passed as the first argument, a TypeError will be raised.

The json_dumps_params parameter is a dictionary of keyword arguments to pass to the json.dumps() call used to generate the response.


Typical usage could look like:

>>> from django.http import JsonResponse
>>> response = JsonResponse({'foo': 'bar'})
>>> response.content
b'{"foo": "bar"}'

Serializing non-dictionary objects

In order to serialize objects other than dict you must set the safe parameter to False:

>>> response = JsonResponse([1, 2, 3], safe=False)

Without passing safe=False, a TypeError will be raised.


Before the 5th edition of ECMAScript it was possible to poison the JavaScript Array constructor. For this reason, Django does not allow passing non-dict objects to the JsonResponse constructor by default. However, most modern browsers implement EcmaScript 5 which removes this attack vector. Therefore it is possible to disable this security precaution.

Changing the default JSON encoder

If you need to use a different JSON encoder class you can pass the encoder parameter to the constructor method:

>>> response = JsonResponse(data, encoder=MyJSONEncoder)

StreamingHttpResponse objects

class StreamingHttpResponse[source]

The StreamingHttpResponse class is used to stream a response from Django to the browser. You might want to do this if generating the response takes too long or uses too much memory. For instance, it’s useful for generating large CSV files.

Performance considerations

Django is designed for short-lived requests. Streaming responses will tie a worker process for the entire duration of the response. This may result in poor performance.

Generally speaking, you should perform expensive tasks outside of the request-response cycle, rather than resorting to a streamed response.

The StreamingHttpResponse is not a subclass of HttpResponse, because it features a slightly different API. However, it is almost identical, with the following notable differences:

  • It should be given an iterator that yields strings as content.
  • You cannot access its content, except by iterating the response object itself. This should only occur when the response is returned to the client.
  • It has no content attribute. Instead, it has a streaming_content attribute.
  • You cannot use the file-like object tell() or write() methods. Doing so will raise an exception.

StreamingHttpResponse should only be used in situations where it is absolutely required that the whole content isn’t iterated before transferring the data to the client. Because the content can’t be accessed, many middleware can’t function normally. For example the ETag and Content-Length headers can’t be generated for streaming responses.



An iterator of the response content, bytestring encoded according to HttpResponse.charset.


The HTTP status code for the response.

Unless reason_phrase is explicitly set, modifying the value of status_code outside the constructor will also modify the value of reason_phrase.


The HTTP reason phrase for the response. It uses the HTTP standard’s default reason phrases.

Unless explicitly set, reason_phrase is determined by the value of status_code.


This is always True.

FileResponse objects

class FileResponse(open_file, as_attachment=False, filename='', **kwargs)[source]

FileResponse is a subclass of StreamingHttpResponse optimized for binary files. It uses wsgi.file_wrapper if provided by the wsgi server, otherwise it streams the file out in small chunks.

If as_attachment=True, the Content-Disposition header is set, which asks the browser to offer the file to the user as a download.

If open_file doesn’t have a name or if the name of open_file isn’t appropriate, provide a custom file name using the filename parameter. Note that if you pass a file-like object like io.BytesIO, it’s your task to seek() it before passing it to FileResponse.

The Content-Length, Content-Type, and Content-Disposition headers are automatically set when they can be guessed from contents of open_file.

New in Django 2.1:

The as_attachment and filename keywords argument were added. Also, FileResponse sets the Content headers if it can guess them.

FileResponse accepts any file-like object with binary content, for example a file open in binary mode like so:

>>> from django.http import FileResponse
>>> response = FileResponse(open('myfile.png', 'rb'))

The file will be closed automatically, so don’t open it with a context manager.


New in Django 2.1.

This method is automatically called during the response initialization and set various headers (Content-Length, Content-Type, and Content-Disposition) depending on open_file.

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