South’s current release is 1.0.

There are a few different ways to install South:

Some Linux distributions are also starting to include South in their package repositories; if you’re running unstable Debian you can apt-get install python-django-south, and on new Fedoras you can use yum install Django-south. Note that this may give you an older version - check the version before using the packages.

South <=0.7.3 should work with versions of Django from 0.97-pre through to 1.1. South >=0.7.4 should work with versions of Django from 1.2 and higher. Please check the compatibility notes section in the release notes of the specific release you are using for further detail.

Using pip or easy_install

If you have pip or easy_install available on your system, just type:

pip install South

# or

easy_install South

If you’ve already got an old version of South, and want to upgrade, use:

pip install -U South

# or

easy_install -U South

That’s all that’s needed to install the package; you’ll now want to configure your Django installation.

Using Mercurial

You can install directly from our Mercurial repo, allowing you to recieve updates and bugfixes as soon as they’re made. You’ll need Mercurial installed on your system; if it’s not already, you’ll want to get it. The package name is mercurial on most Linux distributions; OSX and Windows users can download packages from

Make sure you’re in a directory where you want the south directory to appear, and run:

hg clone

To update an existing Mercurial checkout to the newest version, run:

hg pull
hg up -C tip

(Rather than running from tip, you can also use the stableish tag, which is manually set on reasonably stable trunk commits, or pick a version number tag.)

Once you have this directory, move onto Installing from a directory.

Installing from a directory

If you’ve obtained a copy of South using either Mercurial or a downloadable archive, you’ll need to install the copy you have system-wide. Try running:

python develop

If that fails, you don’t have setuptools or an equivalent installed; either install them, or run:

python install

Note that develop sets the installed version to run from the directory you just created, while install copies all the files to Python’s site-packages folder, meaning that if you update your checkout you’ll need to re-run install.

You could also install South locally for only one project, by either including with your project and modifying sys.path in your settings file, or (preferably) by using virtualenv, pip and a requirements.txt. A tutorial in how to use these is outside the scope of this documentation, but there are tutorials elsewhere.

Once you’ve done one of those, you’ll want to configure your Django installation.

Configuring your Django installation

Now you’ve installed South system-wide, you’ll need to configure Django to use it. Doing so is simple; just edit your and add 'south' to the end of INSTALLED_APPS.

If Django doesn’t seem to pick this up, check that you’re not overriding INSTALLED_APPS elsewhere, and that you can run import south from inside ./ shell with no errors.

Once South is added in, you’ll need to run ./ syncdb to make the South migration-tracking tables (South doesn’t use migrations for its own models, for various reasons).

Now South is loaded into your project and ready to go, you’ll probably want to take a look at our Tutorial.