Logging verbosity in django management commands

Tags: django

Django has a command line --verbosity 0/1/2/3 option, but it only has influence on some of django’s internal output. It does not affect generic python logging levels.

For management commands it can be handy to control the log level of the console output. First thing to look at, then is the logging setup. I normally have something like this in my settings.py:

    'handlers': {
        'console': {
            'level': 'DEBUG',
            'class': 'logging.StreamHandler',
            'formatter': 'verbose'
        'logfile': {
            'level': 'INFO',
            'class': 'logging.FileHandler',
            'formatter': 'verbose',
            'filename': os.path.join(
                SOMEWHERE, 'var', 'log', 'django.log'),
    'loggers': {
        '': {
            'handlers': ['console', 'logfile'],
            'propagate': True,
            'level': 'INFO',
        'django.request': {
            'handlers': ['console', 'logfile'],
            'propagate': False,
            'level': 'ERROR',  # WARN also shows 404 errors
        ... some more specialised loggers ...

A console handler that prints everything of log level DEBUG and higher and a logfile that starts at INFO (or WARN).

Loggers: the '' one is the root logger. Everything that’s not handled elsewhere ends up here. A level of INFO filters out all the DEBUG level messages.

The django.request logger is one I normally configure separately as everything of level WARN and higher is normally logged to sentry. And I don’t want the 404’s to show up (mysql.php?hack=true…). So I restrict that one to ERROR.

Now…. if we want to use django’s build-in --verbosity option in a management command to switch on debug logging, this is how to do it:

from django.core.management.base import BaseCommand
import logging

logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)

class Command(BaseCommand):


    def handle(self, *args, **options):
        verbosity = int(options['verbosity'])
        root_logger = logging.getLogger('')
        if verbosity > 1:

        ... your code ...
        logger.debug("I'm doing something")

Now you can run your management command with --verbosity 2 and you’ll get debug output!

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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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