How to use a custom user model

If you are using Django 1.5 or later, then you can specify a custom user model in your settings. Oscar will dynamically adjust the profile summary view and profile editing form to use the fields from your custom model.

Before Django 1.5, the recommended technique for adding fields to users was to use a one-to-one “profile” model specified in the AUTH_PROFILE_MODULE. As of Django 1.5, this setting is deprecated and will be removed in Django 1.7. Nevertheless, Oscar continues to support this setting and will add relevant fields to the profile form. Hence profiles can be used in combination with custom user models. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.


Oscar does have some requirements on what fields a user model has. For instance, the auth backend requires a user to have an ‘email’ and ‘password’ field.

Oscar 0.6 ships with its own abstract user model that supports the minimum fields and methods required for Oscar to work correctly. New Oscar projects are encouraged to subclass this User model.


It has previously been suggested to set db_table of the model to auth_user to avoid the migrations from breaking. This issue has been fixed and migrations are now using AUTH_USER_MODEL and AUTH_USER_MODEL_NAME which will use db_table name of the user model provided by get_user_model().

This works in the instances where you are using the default auth.User model or when you use a custom user model from the start. Switching over from auth.User to a custom model after having applied previous migration of Oscar will most likely require renaming the auth_user table to the new user table in a manual schemamigration.


If you want to use oscar.apps.customer.abstract_model.AbstractUser which has email as an index, and want to customize some of the methods on User model, say, get_full_name for Asian names, a simple approach is to create your own user module:

# file: your-project/apps/user/
from django.db import models

from oscar.apps.customer.abstract_models import AbstractUser

class User(AbstractUser):

    def get_full_name(self):
        full_name = '%s %s' % (self.last_name.upper(), self.first_name)
        return full_name.strip()

Then adding this user app to the INSTALLED_APPS list. Beside that we need to tell django to use our customized user model instead of the default one as the authentication model [1]:

# use our own user model
AUTH_USER_MODEL = "user.User"

After the migration, a database table called user_user will be created based on the schema defined inside of oscar.apps.customer.abstract_models.AbstractUser.