Existing projects

Our all-in-one setup script is the best way to use Reactivated.

But at its core, Reactivated can be installed from npm and PyPI just like any other packages.


  • Python 3.11
  • Node.js 18
  • PostgreSQL 10 or higher
  • Django 4.3

Make sure the python and node executables are available in your PATH. Reactivated will invoke them as needed.

Strictly speaking, Reactivated may run with other versions of these requirements. In fact, you can use any database you want. But custom fields and certain features depend on the exact requirements listed above. Save yourself the headache and learn to use and love Nix.

Project Root

Reactivated relies on BASE_DIR to find files. Your node_modules and package.json must be inside your BASE_DIR and siblings of manage.py.


Run npm install reactivated and pip install reactivated to download the required packages. Make sure the versions of these packages always match. They are published at the same time.

Warning: Ensure your package.json file has a name field, otherwise the build process wil fail.

Server Setup

In your Django settings, add reactivated to the end of INSTALLED_APPS.

At the very top of your settings.py file, also add:

import django_stubs_ext


Configure your STATIC_DIRS to include a static folder inside BASE_DIR. Assuming you have no other directories listed, you can just add this to your settings:


Now add the JSX template backend to your TEMPLATES setting. Assuming you want to keep your regular Django templates as well, it would look something like this:

        "BACKEND": "django.template.backends.django.DjangoTemplates",
        "DIRS": [],
        "APP_DIRS": True,
        "OPTIONS": {
            "context_processors": [
        "BACKEND": "reactivated.backend.JSX",
        "DIRS": [],
        "APP_DIRS": True,
        "OPTIONS": {
            "context_processors": [

Client Setup

Next to manage.py in BASE_DIR, create the following structure:

    -   manage.py
    -   package.json
    -   tsconfig.json
    -   client
        -   index.tsx
        -   templates

Add the following code to tsconfig.json:

    "compilerOptions": {
        "strict": true,
        "sourceMap": true,
        "noEmit": true,
        "module": "esnext",
        "moduleResolution": "node",
        "target": "es2017",
        "esModuleInterop": true,
        "allowJs": true,
        "jsx": "react",
        "baseUrl": ".",
        "skipLibCheck": true,
        "paths": {
            "@client/*": ["client/*"],
            "@reactivated": ["node_modules/_reactivated"],
            "@reactivated/*": ["node_modules/_reactivated/*"]
    "include": ["./client/**/*"]

And the following code to client/index.tsx:

import React from "react";
import ReactDOM from "react-dom/client";
import {createRoot} from "react-dom/client";

import {Provider, getTemplate, getServerData} from "@reactivated";
import {HelmetProvider} from "react-helmet-async";

const {props, context} = getServerData();
const Template = await getTemplate(context);

    document.getElementById("root") as HTMLElement,
            <Provider value={context}>
                <Template {...props} />

That completes the setup. You can now run python manage.py runserver to start coding.

Next steps

  • Review the API and create your first template.
  • Create a client/components/Layout.tsx component that your templates can reference.