Migrate Django 1.4 to 1.11

Migrate Django 1.4 to 1.11

I thought these rough notes might be useful to anyone migrating from Django 1.4 (and possibly 1.3) to Django 1.11.

Moving from South to Django Migrations

1. Update your settings files:

Remove ‘south’ from your INSTALLED_APPS

2. Remove migrations.

Remove all app/migrations files except for __initi__.py . Remove any *.py[c|o] files.

Make sure there’s no migrations specific code in your app/migrations/__init__.py files


3. Run new Migrations

python manage.py makemigrations;

python manage.py migrate;

Moving from Django 1.3/1.4 -> 1.11

This is a 1.3 app migrated to 1.4 and now is being migrated to 1.11.

Will probably need a new manage.py file. Create a dummy project and copy manage.py over your existing manage.py file or diff the two). Rename your settings directory to match the name of your project. In my case the project is portal, settings renamed to portal.

URLS files:

django.conf.urls.defaults is replaced by django.conf.urls

patterns() is gone, see:




django.views.generic.simple is gone, removed in 1.5.

Replace django.views.generic.simple.direct_to_template with TemplateView:

from django.views.generic import TemplateView


from django.shortcuts import RequestContext

Replaced with:

from django.template import RequestContext


django.contrib.databrowse is gone. See:


This error:

django.core.exceptions.ImproperlyConfigured: Creating a ModelForm without either the 'fields' attribute or the 'exclude' attribute is prohibited; form BlahForm needs updating.

Change in Django 1.8. See:

Quick fix is:

fields = '__all__'

But you will need to confirm that you want the form to expose all fields.


Removal of django.contrib.formtools:

Is now separate package, install with pip:

pip install django-formtools

Change imports from django.contrib.formtools to formtools. For example:

from django.contrib.formtools.preview import FormPreview


from formtools.preview import FormPreview


model._meta.get_all_field_names() is gone.



This is verbatim from the docs:

MyModel._meta.get_all_field_names() becomes:

from itertools import chain
    (field.name, field.attname) if hasattr(field, 'attname') else (field.name,)
    for field in MyModel._meta.get_fields()
    # For complete backwards compatibility, you may want to exclude
    # GenericForeignKey from the results.
    if not (field.many_to_one and field.related_model is None)

This provides a 100% backwards compatible replacement, ensuring that both field names and attribute names ForeignKeys are included, but fields associated with GenericForeignKeys are not. A simpler version would be:

[f.name for f in MyModel._meta.get_fields()]

While this isn’t 100% backwards compatible, it may be sufficient in many situations.



BaseCommand.option_list is gone.

See https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.11/releases/1.8/#extending-management-command-arguments-through-command-option-list .


See here for how to add arguments:


These custom options can be added in the add_arguments() method like this:

class Command(BaseCommand):

    def add_arguments(self, parser):

        # Positional arguments

        parser.add_argument(‘poll_id’, nargs=‘+’, type=int)

        # Named (optional) arguments






            help=‘Delete poll instead of closing it’,


Move from MySQL to Postgres

Bigger or more complex databases may want to do a manual migration where the database is migration using django models.


I’ll update this as I have time.

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