back to tutorials

Managing a Django Project with Poetry

Update (02/03/2022): I wrote an updated guide on how to create a django project with poetry for the builtwithdjango site. It focuses on creating a project with poetry. In the future I will also write a guide on how to migrate a project to poetry.

Poetry is relatively new packaging and dependency manager. It makes it very easy to upload libraries to PyPI, manage dependencies visually, and has a couple of handy features. Today, I’m not going to do a deep dive into how Poetry works and all its features. Today I just want to focus on configuring a Django project.

1. Install Poetry

curl -sSL | python -

2. Create a Directory for you Django Project

mkdir django_poetry_example && cd django_poetry_example

3. Initiate a Poetry Project

poetry init

You will be asked to confirm the information about your project. You can skip through most of it.

This command will guide you through creating your pyproject.toml config.

Package name [django_poetry_example]:
Version [0.1.0]:
Description []:
Author [Rasul Kireev <>, n to skip]:
License []:
Compatible Python versions [^3.7]:

Would you like to define your main dependencies interactively? (yes/no) [yes] no
Would you like to define your development dependencies interactively? (yes/no) [yes] no
Generated file

name = "django_poetry_example"
version = "0.1.0"
description = ""
authors = []

python = "^3.7"


requires = ["poetry-core>=1.0.0"]
build-backend = "poetry.core.masonry.api"

Do you confirm generation? (yes/no) [yes]

4. Add the Necessary Dependencies

Run poetry add django in your terminal. Poetry will add django to the pyproject.toml file under the dependencies section. A virtual environment will also be created for you.

5. Start you Django Project

poetry run django-admin startproject django_poetry_example .

6. Working on your Django Project

When you need to run any python function (for example, python createsuperuser) you have two options.

  1. You can leverage poetry run, which will run against the current project’s dependencies. The command will be this: poetry run python createsuperuser.
  2. You can activate the virtual environment with a poetry shell command. Now you can run python commands, as is. They will be run with dependencies you have installed.

I prefer the first method, for an explicit approach.

Bonus. Export dependencies to a requirements.txt

If you need to have the requirements.txt file with all the dependencies, you can run poetry export -f requirements.txt --output requirements.txt. If you have configured a CI/CD job that auto deploys your project, you can add this function as a step, which will generate the updated version on each update.

Bonus II. Video

If you prefer a more visual approach, I have made a video that shows how to start a Django project with Poetry.


Tuesday Letter

Consider signing up for my personal newsletter. I will share the most interesting articles and resources I've encountered during the week.

Discuss on