Installation and Use

Installing Chatter requires several simple steps. While previous exposure to Django Channels would help you, it’s not required.


Chatter only supports Python >= 3.5 and Django >= 2.0.9 as far as the developers are concerned. So, to be able to integrate Chatter, you’re going to need them installed.

Added to that, Chatter uses Redis as its message broker. This means that all the chat messages are communicated between all connected users through the Redis datastore. Given that, you have to have Redis installed on your system. Details on installing Redis can be found on their Downloads page.


  • Chatter is on PyPi now! To install it, run

    pip install django-chatter

    This should install all the required dependencies for Chatter.

  • Once you’re done with that, add it to your settings.INSTALLED_APPS:

  • Since we use Redis as our message broker, you need to enable channel layers for Chatter’s ChatConsumer (see Channels’ Consumers for more details). To enable that, you need to add the following lines to your project’s file:

      'default': {
          'BACKEND': 'channels_redis.core.RedisChannelLayer',
          'CONFIG': {
            'hosts': [('', 6379)],
  • If you haven’t already, create a file named in your project’s configuration folder. This is because Django Channels uses a specification called ASGI for its websocket protocol. To enable Channels on your app, you have to add a file that routes all websocket requests to a Channels app (in this case, Chatter). This should be the same as the folder where your file is located.

    In, add the following lines:

    from channels.auth import AuthMiddlewareStack
    from channels.routing import ProtocolTypeRouter, URLRouter
    import django_chatter.routing
    application = ProtocolTypeRouter({
      'websocket': AuthMiddlewareStack(
        django_chatter.routing.websocket_urlpatterns # send request to chatter's urls

    This routes all websocket requests to Chatter, with the logged in User object. If you are using different django-channels applications other than Chatter, you may already have this file, and can add the appropriate URL for chatter to handle. More details can be found on Django Channels’ Routing page.

    If you know how the middleware wrapping in Channels works, then feel free to replace AuthMiddlewareStack with what you use as your auth middleware for User object processing (if you’re curious to know about this, get in touch! We’d be happy to talk to you about it).

  • Now that you’re done setting up, add the following line in your file to enable routing websocket requests to the appropriate app:

    ASGI_APPLICATION = 'mysite.routing.application'
  • Link django_chatter.urls to the URL you want in your URLConf (<project>/


    from django.urls import path, include
    urlpatterns = [
      path('chat/', include('django_chatter.urls')),
  • Run migrations:

    $ python makeimigrations django_chatter
    $ python migrate
  • Start your app’s development server and go to your '/chat/' URL, and you will see Chatter’s homepage.

Usage Notes

  • Chatter, as of right now, provides a very minimal interface for users to chat with other users.For starters, while group chatting is supported on the model layer, the corresponding templates and front-end logic have not yet been setup.
  • If you’re using chatter as a package in your own app, you have to make sure that you handle user authentication in your app. Chatter, by default, provides views that require user authentication. If you’re developing Chatter on the other hand, the usage will vary a bit. The notes for that can be found in the Get Involved section.