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Using Jinja2 in Django

Simon Sapin,

Jinja2 is a templating language inspired by Django’s, but that I find more powerful and less awkward.  You can just use it a library in a Django application, but then other parts of Django such as generic views still use Django templates.

However, Django 1.2 added the concept of “template loaders”. Though it was not the first reason they were added, these loaders allows us to plug other template languages into Django’s templating system. (This is even documented.)

Below is the Django 1.2+ template loader for Jinja2.

I had also posted it to djangosnippets.org a while ago, and more recently on github.

from django.template.loader import BaseLoader
from django.template.loaders.app_directories import app_template_dirs
from django.template import TemplateDoesNotExist
from django.core import urlresolvers
from django.conf import settings
import jinja2

class Template(jinja2.Template):
    def render(self, context):
        # flatten the Django Context into a single dictionary.
        context_dict = {}
        for d in context.dicts:
            context_dict.update(d)
        return super(Template, self).render(context_dict)

class Loader(BaseLoader):
    is_usable = True

    env = jinja2.Environment(loader=jinja2.FileSystemLoader(app_template_dirs))
    env.template_class = Template

    # These are available to all templates.
    env.globals['url_for'] = urlresolvers.reverse
    env.globals['MEDIA_URL'] = settings.MEDIA_URL
    #env.globals['STATIC_URL'] = settings.STATIC_URL


    def load_template(self, template_name, template_dirs=None):
        try:
            template = self.env.get_template(template_name)
        except jinja2.TemplateNotFound:
            raise TemplateDoesNotExist(template_name)
        return template, template.filename

To use it, add the following to your settings.py file: (The comma is important!)

TEMPLATE_LOADERS = (
    'jinja2_for_django.Loader',
)

… where jinja2_for_django is the name of the module where you saved the loader.

Now django.shortcuts.render_to_response, generic views, and other Django components will use Jinja wherever they use templates.

Django tags and filters won’t be available but you can add functions or other values in the env.globals dict as done above, or filters in env.filters. See Jinja’s documentation for details.

I’ve seen two main differences apart form the syntax:

Use {{ url_for('view_name') }} and
<input type="hidden" name="csrfmiddlewaretoken" value="{{ csrf_token }}">

where in Django templates you use {% url view_name %} and {% csrf_token %}