Zamphatta Zamphatta - 1 year ago 85
Python Question

Django DB Settings 'Improperly Configured' Error

Django (1.5) is workin' fine for me, but when I fire up the Python interpreter (Python 3) to check some things, I get the weirdest error when I try importing -

from django.contrib.auth.models import User

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.2/dist-packages/django/conf/", line 36, in _setup
settings_module = os.environ[ENVIRONMENT_VARIABLE]
File "/usr/lib/python3.2/", line 450, in __getitem__
value = self._data[self.encodekey(key)]

During handling of the above exception, another exception occurred:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.2/dist-packages/django/contrib/auth/", line 8, in <module>
from django.db import models
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.2/dist-packages/django/db/", line 11, in <module>
if settings.DATABASES and DEFAULT_DB_ALIAS not in settings.DATABASES:
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.2/dist-packages/django/conf/", line 52, in __getattr__
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.2/dist-packages/django/conf/", line 45, in _setup

django.core.exceptions.ImproperlyConfigured: Requested setting DATABASES,
but settings are not configured. You must either define the environment
variable DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE or call settings.configure()
before accessing settings.

How could it be improperly configured, when it works fine outside the Python interpreter? In my Django settings, the
settings are:

'default': {
'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.postgresql_psycopg2', # Add 'postgresql_psycopg2', 'mysql', 'sqlite3' or 'oracle'.
'NAME': 'django_db', # Or path to database file if using sqlite3.
# The following settings are not used with sqlite3:
'USER': 'zamphatta',
'PASSWORD': 'mypassword91',
'HOST': '', # Empty for localhost through domain sockets or '' for localhost through TCP.
'PORT': '', # Set to empty string for default.
} is this improperly configured?

Answer Source

You can't just fire up python and check things, django doesn't know what project you want to work on. You have to do one of these things:

  • Use python shell
  • Use shell --settings=mysite.settings (or whatever settings module you use)
  • Set DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE environment variable in your OS to mysite.settings
  • (This is removed in django 1.6) Use setup_environ in the python interpreter:

    from import setup_environ
    from mysite import settings

Naturally, the first way is the easiest.

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