Debugging Django in Production Environments

Nick had a nice post about setting DEBUG based on the hostname of the server that you’re site is running on. This allows you to set DEBUG to True for your staging site, and False for your production site.

I do something along those lines, but a little bit differently. I can’t take credit for this idea, because it came from this snippet. It is a really neat trick, that I have expanded on a little bit.

from django.views.debug import technical_500_response
import sys
from django.conf import settings

class UserBasedExceptionMiddleware(object):
    def process_exception(self, request, exception):
        if request.user.is_superuser or request.META.get('REMOTE_ADDR') in settings.INTERNAL_IPS:
            return technical_500_response(request, *sys.exc_info())

Now simply save this in a file somewhere. Add it to your MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES, and you are good to go. For example, mine looks like:


This is a pretty simple middleware that is crazy useful. When you throw this inside of your site, it will give you a normal Django error page if you’re a superuser, or if your IP is in INTERNAL_IPS.

This makes it really nice, because you can get an error message on your production servers, where your normal users get your normal pretty 500 pages. This makes debugging things that are showing up in production, but won’t be reproduced on the staging server possible. Caching behavior is a big one that I know isn’t tested when you are using DEBUG = True. This lets you keep DEBUG = False on, but gives you some nice error pages.

Hope this tip is useful.

Hey there! I'm Eric and I work on communities in the world of software documentation. Feel free to email me if you have comments on this post!