Why Jinja?

Jinja provides yet another template rendering solution for TurboGears, but it has a couple of advantages for specific situations:

  • It is super fast,
  • It’s syntax was inspired by django-templates and dojo’s DTL so if you are migrating from Django it’s the natural choice.
  • It lacks some of the most hated (anti)features of django templates.
    • you can do template logic
    • Autoescaping is off by default.
  • It is sandboxable, so it’s possible to let non-trusted users edit the templates.

TurboGears features missing in Jinja

Dotted Notation

Currently Jinja does not support dotted notation so if you’re using Jinja you will have to turn it off in app_cfg.py:

base_config.use_dotted_templatenames = False

This means you’ll write expose statements with path strings:


The standard start location is assumed to be your templates directiory, so if you have admin page templates under an admin directory inside templates you’d do:



The current TG renderer is for jinja2 and will not work with jinja1, jinja1 is deprecated and the author wants everyone to move to jinja2 :)

Using Jinja in TG2

TurboGears allows you to setup and use jinja templates by simply adding it to the list of renderers to prepare in base_config:


You can also set it as the default renderer by setting:

base_config.default_renderer = "jinja"

The Jinja docs cover template syntax very well, so we’ll not repeat it here. Instead, we refer you to their site.