The oso Django integration adopts Django conventions and provides middleware, view decorators and ORM integrations to make it easier to use oso with Django.


The oso Django integration is available on PyPI and can be installed using pip:

$ pip install django-oso


The django_oso django plugin contains a reusable django app that makes authorization with oso and django easy. To use, ensure django_oso is in INSTALLED_APPS:

By default, django_oso will consider policy files as source code and restart the server on any changes. To prevent this, add the configuration option: OSO_RELOAD_SERVER = False to your application’s file.

To reload policies on each request in DEBUG mode without restarting the server, you can use the ReloadPolicyMiddleware as a complement to the above configuration change.

Loading policies

django_oso expects policy files to be included in the policy directory of each installed app. Upon startup, all .polar files found in that directory (or sub-directories) will be loaded using oso.Oso.load_file(). To load additional files outside of these directories, call load_file() on django_oso.oso.Oso.

Registering classes & models

Often, authorization rules will be expressed over django models. Therefore, django_oso will register every model for each installed app upon startup as a class with oso. The django.http.HttpRequest is also registered under HttpRequest. Django models are referenced in a Polar file using the syntax app_name::ModelName. If an app name contains ., for example django.contrib.auth, it will be referenced in oso as django::contrib::auth.

Additional classes can be registered as needed using oso.Oso.register_class() on django_oso.oso.Oso.

Performing authorization

To authorize a request, use the django_oso.auth.authorize() function. It calls is_allowed(), but provides sensible defaults for working with Django. The actor defaults to request.user. The action defaults to the method of the request. resource must be provided.


If you aren’t familiar with how oso uses actors, actions, and resources to express authorization decisions, see Glossary or Quickstart.

django_oso.auth.authorize() can be used within route handlers, or in the data access layer, depending upon how you want to express authorization.

Here’s a basic example in a route:

def get_expense(request, id):
        expense = Expense.objects.get(pk=id)
    except Expense.DoesNotExist:
        return HttpResponseNotFound()

    authorize(request, expense, action="read")
    return HttpResponse(expense.json())

Requiring authorization on every request

Since authorize() is just a function call, it can be forgotten. To enforce authorization on every request, use the RequireAuthorization() middleware. Any view that does not call authorize() or skip_authorization() will raise an exception.

Route authorization

One common usage of django_oso.auth.authorize() is to perform authorization based on the request object. The authorize_request() decorator does this:

from django_oso.decorators import authorize_request

def auth_route(request):

Rules can then be written using request attributes, like the path:

# Allow any actor to make a GET request to "/".
allow(_user: User, "GET", http_request: HttpRequest) if
    http_request.path = "/";

To enforce route authorization on all requests (the equivalent of decorating every route as we did above), use the RouteAuthorization() middleware during initialization.


Check out the Django integration example app below on GitHub:


API Reference


django_oso.auth.authorize(request, resource, *, actor=None, action=None)

Authorize request for resource, actor and action.

Calls oso.Oso.is_allowed() with the corresponding arguments. If authorization fails, raises a django.core.exceptions.PermissionDenied exception.

  • actor – The actor making the request. Defaults to request.user.

  • action – The action to authorize the actor to perform. Defaults to request.method.

  • resource – The resource to authorize the actor to access.


django.core.exceptions.PermissionDenied – If the request is not authorized.

See django_oso.decorators.authorize() for view decorator version of this function.


Mark request as not requiring authorization.

Use with the django_oso.middleware.RequireAuthorization() middleware to silence missing authorization errors.

See django_oso.decorators.skip_authorization() for view decorator version of this function.


class django_oso.middleware.ReloadPolicyMiddleware(get_response)

Reloads all oso policies on every request when in DEBUG mode

class django_oso.middleware.RequireAuthorization(get_response)

Check that authorize was called during the request.


oso.OsoError – If authorize was not called during request processing.


This check is performed at the end of request processing before returning a response. If any database modifications are committed during the request, but it was not authorized, an OsoError will be raised, but the database modifications will not be rolled back.

class django_oso.middleware.RouteAuthorization(get_response)

Perform route authorization on every request.

A call to authorize() will be made before view functions are called with the parameters actor=request.user, action=request.method, resource=request.

Rules in oso policies can be written over requests using the HttpRequest specializer:

allow(actor, action, resource: HttpRequest) if
    # Access request properties to perform authorization
    request.path = "/";


If the view returns a 4**, or 5** HTTP status, this will be returned to the end user even if authorization was not performed.

View Decorators

django_oso.decorators.authorize(view_func=None, resource=None, actor=None, action=None)

Authorize view for resource, actor, and action.

All three parameters must be constant for this decorator to be used. If actor or action are omitted, the defaults from django_oso.auth.authorize(). are used.

django_oso.decorators.authorize_request(view_func=None, actor=None, action=None)

Authorize the view function, using the request as the resource.

This performs route authorization, similarly to RouteAuthorization, but on a single view.


View-decorator that marks a view as not requiring authorization.

Use in combination with django_oso.middleware.RequireAuthorization(). Some views will not require authorization. This decorator marks those views so that the middleware can skip the check.

List endpoint authorization

The oso Django integration includes list filtering support for Django models.


These features are in preview and will be stabilized in a future release. Please join our Slack to provide feedback or discuss with the engineering team.


See the list filtering usage guide for more information.

API Reference

django_oso.auth.authorize_model(request, model, *, actor=None, action=None) → django.db.models.query_utils.Q

Authorize request for django model model, actor, and action.


This feature is currently in preview.

Partially evaluates the Polar rule allow(actor, action, Partial(model)). If authorization fails, raises a django.core.exceptions.PermissionDenied exception.

Otherwise, returns a django Q object representing a filter that must be applied to model. This object can be applied to filter query results to only contain authorized objects.

For example:

post_filter = authorize_model(request, Post)
authorized_posts = Post.objects.filter(post_filter)

See also:

  • actor – The actor making the request. Defaults to request.user.

  • action – The action to authorize the actor to perform. Defaults to request.method.

  • model – The model to authorize access for.


django.core.exceptions.PermissionDenied – If the request is not authorized.


A django Q object representing the authorization filter.

class django_oso.models.AuthorizedModel(*args, **kwargs)

Use a manager based on AuthorizedQuerySet, allowing the authorize() method to be used.


This feature is currently in preview.

class django_oso.models.AuthorizedQuerySet(model=None, query=None, using=None, hints=None)

QuerySet with authorize() method.


django_oso.oso.Oso = <oso.oso.Oso object>

Singleton oso.Oso instance.

Use for loading policy files and registering classes.