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Creating custom user model API extending AbstractUser in Django

Last Updated : 25 Oct, 2021
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Every new Django project should use a custom user model. The official Django documentation says it is “highly recommended” but I’ll go a step further and say without hesitation: You are straight up crazy not to use a custom user model up front.

Why do u need a custom user model in Django? 

When you start your project with a custom user model, stop to consider if this is the right choice for your project. Keeping all user related information in one model removes the need for additional or more complex database queries to retrieve related models. On the other hand, it may be more suitable to store app-specific user information in a model that has a relation with your custom user model. That allows each app to specify its own user data requirements without potentially conflicting or breaking assumptions by other apps. It also means that you would keep your user model as simple as possible, focused on authentication, and following the minimum requirements Django expects custom user models to meet.

So i think its clear why we need a custom user model in django, here in this article we are going to learn how to create custom user model and its api in django now, lets begin with the coding part . 

Setup –

  • Create and navigate into a dedicated directory called users for our code

  • make a new Django project called login

  • make a new app users

  • start the local web server

Commands –

$ cd ~/Desktop
$ mkdir code && cd code $ pipenv install django $ pipenv shell $ django-admin startproject login $ python startapp api $ pipenv install rest_framework

Now, add following code in,

   # Add these lines to to your
   # installed apps section in settings. py
AUTH_USER_MODEL ='api.urls'

After this we need to create a custom user model. For this change your file as following. Here we are extending AbstractUser and changing authentication credentials to Email. And we are also adding some extra fields in our custom user

from django.db import models
from django.contrib.auth.models import AbstractUser
from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _
from django.conf import settings
from datetime import date
class User(AbstractUser):
   username = models.CharField(max_length = 50, blank = True, null = True, unique = True)
   email = models.EmailField(_('email address'), unique = True)
   native_name = models.CharField(max_length = 5)
   phone_no = models.CharField(max_length = 10)
   USERNAME_FIELD = 'email'
   REQUIRED_FIELDS = ['username', 'first_name', 'last_name']
   def __str__(self):
       return "{}".format(

After this we need to save these changes to the admin panel as well. Add this code to the

from django.contrib import admin
from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _
from django.contrib.auth.admin import UserAdmin as BaseUserAdmin
from django.contrib.auth import get_user_model
from django.contrib.auth.admin import UserAdmin
from .models import User
class UserAdmin(BaseUserAdmin):
   form = UserChangeForm
   fieldsets = (
       (None, {'fields': ('email', 'password', )}),
       (_('Personal info'), {'fields': ('first_name', 'last_name')}),
       (_('Permissions'), {'fields': ('is_active', 'is_staff', 'is_superuser',
                                      'groups', 'user_permissions')}),
       (_('Important dates'), {'fields': ('last_login', 'date_joined')}),
         (_('user_info'), {'fields': ('native_name', 'phone_no')}),
   add_fieldsets = (
       (None, {
           'classes': ('wide', ),
           'fields': ('email', 'password1', 'password2'),
   list_display = ['email', 'first_name', 'last_name', 'is_staff', 'native_name', 'phone_no']
   search_fields = ('email', 'first_name', 'last_name')
   ordering = ('email', ), UserAdmin)

Now create a file in your app. Add following code to your serializers. py

rom rest_framework import serializers
from api.models import  User
class UserSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
   class Meta:
       model = User
       fields = "__all__"

Now create api/  file inside you app and add following lines

from django.contrib import admin
from django.urls import path
from django.conf.urls import include
urlpatterns = [
   path('auth/', include('rest_auth.urls')),

Now add following code to the login/ of your project

from django.contrib import admin
from django.urls import path
urlpatterns = [
   path(" ", include("api.urls"))

We are all set with the custom user model. Now save these changes to you project and makemigrations through CLI

$ python makemigrations users
$ python migrate

Now create a superuser

$ python createsuperuser
Email address:
Password (again):
Superuser created successfully.

Now run server with.

$ python runserver

And go through the URL. You can check your custom user in the admin panel

Output –

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