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Django SystemJS

Django SystemJS brings the Javascript of tomorrow to Django, today.

It leverages JSPM ( to do the heavy lifting for your client side code, while keeping development flow easy and deployment without worries. In DEBUG mode, your Javascript modules are loaded asynchronously. In production, your app is nicely bundled via JSPM and ties in perfectly with django.contrib.staticfiles.


You will need to add 'systemjs' to your INSTALLED_APPS to be able to use the templetag and management command.

JSPM has to be installed and configured correctly - you will need npm for that. Refer to the JSPM installation documentation.

Some notable configuation options:

  • set the base url to your STATIC_URL.
  • set the base path to your STATIC_ROOT.


Template tag

Usually, in your template you would write something like:

<script src="/path/to/system.js"></script>
<script src="/path/to/config.js"></script>

With Django SystemJS you can replace this with:

{% load system_tags %}
<script src="/path/to/system.js"></script>
<script src="/path/to/config.js"></script>
{% systemjs_import 'my/awesome/app' %}

If SYSTEMJS_ENABLED is False (default value is not DEBUG), the tag will output the previous System.import statement. Otherwise, it will output something like:

<script src="/static/SYSTEMJS/my/awesome/app.js"></script>

This url is generated by the configured static files backend, so if you use the CachedStaticFilesStorage, all will be well. Django-storages is untested, if you run into any issues, raise an issue and support will probably be added.

Management command

Django SystemJS comes with a management command to create all the bundles. It does so by checking all your template files and extracting the {% systemjs_import '...' %} template tags.:

python systemjs_bundle

By default it will look at all templates in your app directories, and additionally the additional template dirs for the vanilla Django template engine.


The default bundling mechanism changed in 0.2. Before 0.2, all bundles would by default be created as self-executing (jspm bundle-sfx <app>). This was changed to the default jspm bundle <app> command. Self-executing bundles include the entire SystemJS library and your config.js, leading to 1MB+ bundle files. This is painful if you have multiple bundles.

A better strategy is to leverage the JSPM CDN (see jspm docs), and then don't forget to include your config.js (which you would probably do in development mode anyway).

Self-executing bundles can still be generated with the --sfx management command option:

python systemjs_bundle --sfx

Example workflow

Django SystemJS is designed as a non-intrusive library in development mode, so that it won't sit in your way too much. Simply using the template tag will be all you have to do as long as you're running with DEBUG=True.

Assuming nothing is installed, what follows is an example step-by-step to deploy your application.

Install npm dependencies from package.json. This should pull in jspm:

npm install

Install jspm dependencies from package.json:

jspm install

Run collectstatic so all files can be found by the webserver. This must be done before you run systemjs_bundle, because (with the proposed config.js) jspm will look for the modules in STATIC_ROOT.:

python collectstatic --link --noinput

(Re)generate the bundles:

python systemjs_bundle

That's it! It should work!


If you run into any issues, miss certain features or want to contribute, the central point is the github repo:


License:MIT License


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