MongoDB’s built-in distributed file system, GridFS, can be used in Django applications in two different ways.

In most cases, you should use the GridFS storage backend provided by Django MongoDB Engine.


GridFSStorage is a Django storage that stores files in GridFS. That means it can be used with whatever component makes use of storages – most importantly, FileField.

It uses a special collection for storing files, by default named “storage”.

from import GridFSStorage

gridfs = GridFSStorage()
uploads = GridFSStorage(location='/uploads')


To serve files out of GridFS, use tools like nginx-gridfs. Never serve files through Django in production!

Model Field

(You should probably be using the GridFS storage backend.)

Use GridFSField to store “nameless” blobs besides documents that would normally go into the document itself.

All that’s kept in the document is a reference (an ObjectId) to the GridFS blobs which are retrieved on demand.

Assuming you want to store a 10MiB blob “in” each document, this is what you shouldn’t do:

class Bad(models.Model):
   blob = models.TextField()

class EventWorse(models.Model):
    blob = models.CharField(max_length=10*1024*1024)

Instead, use GridFSField:

class Better(models.Model):
    blob = GridFSField()

A GridFSField may be fed with anything that PyMongo can handle, that is, (preferably) file-like objects and strings.

You’ll always get a GridOut for documents from the database.

>>> doc = Better()

GridFSField takes file-likes (and strings)...
>>> doc.blob = file_like

 ... and always returns GridOuts.
>>> samedoc = Better.objects.get(...)
>>> samedoc.blob
<GridOut object at 0xfoobar>