[Fixed]-Moving django apps into subfolder and url.py error


I don’t know why the previous answer got -1 aside from maybe a few redundant lines that can be corrected. Anyway, I found a slightly different method that doesn’t involve adding anything to the python path.

This is my final directory structure, I will explain in a moment:

├── mysite
│   ├── __init__.py
│   ├── settings.py
│   ├── urls.py
│   └── wsgi.py
├── apps
│   ├── __init__.py
│   └── myfirstapp
│       ├── __init__.py
│       ├── admin.py
│       ├── models.py
│       ├── tests.py
│       └── views.py
└── manage.py

No matter if you have just created your project or if you want to move your apps, create the apps subdirectory that should contain your apps. The trick is to add an __init__.py to that directory.

mkdir apps
touch apps/__init__.py

Now you can move your existing apps into the apps subdirectory. If you would like to create a new one instead here are the commands:

python manage.py mysecondapp
mv mysecondapp apps/

Warning: Don’t be tempted to call python manage.py ./apps/mysecondapp. For some reason this deletes all other apps in that directory. I just lost a day of work this way.

Next, you will need to fix a few imports. Your settings.py should be prefixed with apps:


Lastly, fix your project’s urls.py to prefix apps:

urlpatterns = patterns('', 
  url(r'^myfirstapp', include('apps.myfirstapp.urls')),

Depending on how you wrote them, you might also have to fix a few imports inside your app. Either just use from models import MyFirstModel or also prefix it using from apps.myfirstapp.models import MyFirstModel.

In short, if you make your apps directory a python package (by adding __init__.py), you can use it as part of the import path. This should work regardless of the deployment method with no extra configuration.


Use BASE_DIR variable from the settings.py. It should be already defined:

BASE_DIR = os.path.dirname(os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__)))

Better not use the __file__ attribute in manage.py and wsgi.py, as they are located in different directories.

So, just add the following to manage.py and wsgi.py (and to the celery.py if you use Celery):

    from django.conf import settings
    sys.path.append(os.path.join(settings.BASE_DIR, "apps"))

You will end up with the following project structure:

├── project
│   ├── __init__.py
│   ├── celery.py
│   ├── settings.py
│   ├── urls.py
│   └── wsgi.py
├── apps
│   ├── app1
│   └── app2
└── manage.py


To keep your Django applications in a subfolder (such as apps/), first add the following to your settings.py:

import os

PROJECT_ROOT = os.path.dirname(__file__)

Then in manage.py:

Right under #!/usr/bin/env python add:

import sys

from os.path import abspath, dirname, join

from site import addsitedir

Right before if __name__ == “__main__” : add:

sys.path.insert(0, join(settings.PROJECT_ROOT, "apps"))


@Radu Gheorghiu’s answer; It is not necessary to edit settings.py, and the insert path line can be condensed to 1 line of code.

sys.path.insert(0, os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__), "apps"))

I sourced this answer from http://obroll.com/nested-application-inside-apps-sub-folder-in-django-1-3/


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