Customizing Horizon


As of the Kilo release, styling for the OpenStack Dashboard can be altered through the use of a theme. A theme is a directory containing a _variables.scss file to override the color codes used throughout the SCSS and a _styles.scss file with additional styles to load after dashboard styles have loaded.

To use a custom theme, set CUSTOM_THEME_PATH in to the directory location for the theme (e.g., "themes/material"). The path can either be relative to the openstack_dashboard directory or an absolute path to an accessible location on the file system. The default CUSTOM_THEME_PATH is themes/default.

Both the Dashboard custom variables and Bootstrap variables can be overridden. For a full list of the Dashboard SCSS variables that can be changed, see the variables file at openstack_dashboard/static/dashboard/scss/_variables.scss.

In order to build a custom theme, both _variables.scss and _styles.scss are required and _variables.scss must provide all the default Bootstrap variables.

Inherit from an Existing Theme

Custom themes must implement all of the Bootstrap variables required by Horizon in _variables.scss and _styles.scss. To make this easier, you can inherit the variables needed in the default theme and only override those that you need to customize. To inherit from the default theme, put this in your theme’s _variables.scss:

@import "../themes/default/variables";
Once you have made your changes you must re-generate the static files with
./ -m collectstatic.

Organizing Your Theme Directory

A custom theme directory can be organized differently, depending on the level of customization that is desired, as it can include static files as well as Django templates. It can include special subdirectories that will be used differently: static, templates and img.

The static Folder

If the theme folder contains a sub-folder called static, then that sub folder will be used as the static root of the theme. I.e., Horizon will look in that sub-folder for the _variables.scss and _styles.scss files. The contents of this folder will also be served up at /static/custom.

The templates Folder

If the theme folder contains a sub-folder templates, then the path to that sub-folder will be prepended to the TEMPLATE_DIRS tuple to allow for theme specific template customizations.

Using the templates Folder

Any Django template that is used in Horizon can be overridden through a theme. This allows highly customized user experiences to exist within the scope of different themes. Any template that is overridden must adhere to the same directory structure that the extending template expects.

For example, if you wish to customize the sidebar, Horizon expects the template to live at horizon/_sidebar.html. You would need to duplicate that directory structure under your templates directory, such that your override would live at {CUSTOM_THEME_PATH}/templates/horizon/_sidebar.html.

The img Folder

If the static root of the theme folder contains an img directory, then all images contained within dashboard/img can be overridden by providing a file with the same name.

For a complete list of the images that can be overridden this way, see: openstack_dashboard/static/dashboard/img

Branding Horizon

As of the Liberty release, Horizon has begun to conform more strictly to Bootstrap standards in an effort to embrace more responsive web design as well as alleviate the future need to re-brand new functionality for every release.

Supported Components

The following components, organized by release, are the only ones that make full use of the Bootstrap theme architecture.

8.0.0 (Liberty)

9.0.0 (Mitaka)

Step 1

The first step needed to create a custom branded theme for Horizon is to create a custom Bootstrap theme. There are several tools to aid in this. Some of the more useful ones include:


Bootstrap uses LESS by default, but we use SCSS. All of the above tools will provide the variables.less file, which will need to be converted to _variables.scss

Top Navbar

The top navbar in Horizon now uses a native Bootstrap navbar. There are a number of variables that can be used to customize this element. Please see the Navbar section of your variables file for specifics on what can be set: any variables that use navbar-default.

It is important to also note that the navbar now uses native Bootstrap dropdowns, which are customizable with variables. Please see the Dropdowns section of your variables file.

The top navbar is now responsive on smaller screens. When the window size hits your $screen-sm value, the topbar will compress into a design that is better suited for small screens.

Side Nav

The side navigation component has been refactored to use the native Stacked Pills element from Bootstrap. See Pills section of your variables file for specific variables to customize.

Pie Charts

Pie Charts, in Horizon, are SVG elements. SVG elements allow CSS customizations for only a basic element’s look and feel (i.e. colors, size).

Since there is no native element in Bootstrap specifically for pie charts, the look and feel of the charts are inheriting from other elements of the theme. Please see _pie_charts.scss for specifics.


The standard Django tables now make use of the native Bootstrap table markup. See Tables section of your variables file for variables to customize.

The standard Bootstrap tables will be borderless by default. If you wish to add a border, like the default theme, see openstack_dashboard/themes/default/horizon/components/_tables.scss


Login Splash Page

The login splash page now uses a standard Bootstrap panel in its implementation. See the Panels section in your variables file to variables to easily customize.


The standard tabs make use of the native Bootstrap tab markup.

See Tabs section of your variables file for variables to customize.

Bootswatch and Material Design

Bootswatch is a collection of free themes for Bootstrap and is now available for use in Horizon.

In order to showcase what can be done to enhance an existing Bootstrap theme, Horizon now includes a secondary theme, roughly based on Google’s Material Design called material. Bootswatch’s Paper is a simple Bootstrap implementation of Material Design and is used by material.

Bootswatch provides a number of other themes, that once Horizon is fully theme compliant, will allow easy toggling and customizations for darker or accessibility driven experiences.

Changing the Site Title

The OpenStack Dashboard Site Title branding (i.e. “OpenStack Dashboard”) can be overwritten by adding the attribute SITE_BRANDING to with the value being the desired name.

The file can be found at the Horizon directory path of openstack_dashboard/local/

Modifying Existing Dashboards and Panels

If you wish to alter dashboards or panels which are not part of your codebase, you can specify a custom python module which will be loaded after the entire Horizon site has been initialized, but prior to the URLconf construction. This allows for common site-customization requirements such as:

  • Registering or unregistering panels from an existing dashboard.
  • Changing the names of dashboards and panels.
  • Re-ordering panels within a dashboard or panel group.

Default Horizon panels are loaded based upon files within the openstack_dashboard/enabled/ folder. These files are loaded based upon the filename order, with space left for more files to be added. There are some example files available within this folder, with the .example suffix added. Developers and deployers should strive to use this method of customization as much as possible, and support for this is given preference over more exotic methods such as monkey patching and overrides files.

Horizon customization module (overrides)

Horizon has a global overrides mechanism available to perform customizations that are not yet customizable via configuration settings. This file can perform monkey patching and other forms of customization which are not possible via the enabled folder’s customization method.

This method of customization is meant to be available for deployers of Horizon, and use of this should be avoided by Horizon plugins at all cost. Plugins needing this level of monkey patching and flexibility should instead look for changing their file and performing customizations through other means.

To specify the python module containing your modifications, add the key customization_module to your HORIZON_CONFIG dictionary in The value should be a string containing the path to your module in dotted python path notation. Example:

    "customization_module": "my_project.overrides"

You can do essentially anything you like in the customization module. For example, you could change the name of a panel:

from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _

import horizon

# Rename "User Settings" to "User Options"
settings = horizon.get_dashboard("settings")
user_panel = settings.get_panel("user") = _("User Options")

Or get the instances panel:

projects_dashboard = horizon.get_dashboard("project")
instances_panel = projects_dashboard.get_panel("instances")

And limit access to users with the Keystone Admin role:

permissions = list(getattr(instances_panel, 'permissions', []))
instances_panel.permissions = tuple(permissions)

Or just remove it entirely:


You cannot unregister a default_panel. If you wish to remove a default_panel, you need to make a different panel in the dashboard as a default_panel and then unregister the former. For example, if you wished to remove the overview_panel from the Project dashboard, you could do the following:

project = horizon.get_dashboard('project')
project.default_panel = "instances"
overview = project.get_panel('overview')

You can also override existing methods with your own versions:

# Disable Floating IPs
from openstack_dashboard.dashboards.project.access_and_security import tabs
from openstack_dashboard.dashboards.project.instances import tables

NO = lambda *x: False

tabs.FloatingIPsTab.allowed = NO
tables.AssociateIP.allowed = NO
tables.SimpleAssociateIP.allowed = NO
tables.SimpleDisassociateIP.allowed = NO

You could also customize what columns are displayed in an existing table, by redefining the columns attribute of its Meta class. This can be achieved in 3 steps:

  1. Extend the table that you wish to modify
  2. Redefine the columns attribute under the Meta class for this new table
  3. Modify the table_class attribute for the related view so that it points to the new table

For example, if you wished to remove the Admin State column from the NetworksTable, you could do the following:

from openstack_dashboard.dashboards.project.networks import tables
from openstack_dashboard.dashboards.project.networks import views

class MyNetworksTable(tables.NetworksTable):

    class Meta(tables.NetworksTable.Meta):
        columns = ('name', 'subnets', 'shared', 'status')

views.IndexView.table_class = MyNetworksTable

If you want to add a column you can override the parent table in a similar way, add the new column definition and then use the Meta columns attribute to control the column order as needed.


my_project.overrides needs to be importable by the python process running Horizon. If your module is not installed as a system-wide python package, you can either make it installable (e.g., with a or you can adjust the python path used by your WSGI server to include its location.

Probably the easiest way is to add a python-path argument to the WSGIDaemonProcess line in Apache’s Horizon config.

Assuming your my_project module lives in /opt/python/my_project, you’d make it look like the following:

WSGIDaemonProcess [... existing options ...] python-path=/opt/python


Horizon uses font icons from Font Awesome. Please see Font Awesome for instructions on how to use icons in the code.

To add icon to Table Action, use icon property. Example:

class CreateSnapshot(tables.LinkAction):
name = “snapshot” verbose_name = _(“Create Snapshot”) icon = “camera”

Additionally, the site-wide default button classes can be configured by setting ACTION_CSS_CLASSES to a tuple of the classes you wish to appear on all action buttons in your file.

Custom Stylesheets

It is possible to define custom stylesheets for your dashboards. Horizon’s base template openstack_dashboard/templates/base.html defines multiple blocks that can be overridden.

To define custom css files that apply only to a specific dashboard, create a base template in your dashboard’s templates folder, which extends Horizon’s base template e.g. openstack_dashboard/dashboards/my_custom_dashboard/ templates/my_custom_dashboard/base.html.

In this template, redefine block css. (Don’t forget to include _stylesheets.html which includes all Horizon’s default stylesheets.):

{% extends 'base.html' %}

{% block css %}
  {% include "_stylesheets.html" %}

  {% load compress %}
  {% compress css %}
  <link href='{{ STATIC_URL }}my_custom_dashboard/scss/my_custom_dashboard.scss' type='text/scss' media='screen' rel='stylesheet' />
  {% endcompress %}
{% endblock %}

The custom stylesheets then reside in the dashboard’s own static folder openstack_dashboard/dashboards/my_custom_dashboard/static/ my_custom_dashboard/scss/my_custom_dashboard.scss.

All dashboard’s templates have to inherit from dashboard’s base.html:

{% extends 'my_custom_dashboard/base.html' %}

Custom Javascript

Similarly to adding custom styling (see above), it is possible to include custom javascript files.

All Horizon’s javascript files are listed in the openstack_dashboard/ templates/horizon/_scripts.html partial template, which is included in Horizon’s base template in block js.

To add custom javascript files, create an _scripts.html partial template in your dashboard openstack_dashboard/dashboards/my_custom_dashboard/ templates/my_custom_dashboard/_scripts.html which extends horizon/_scripts.html. In this template override the block custom_js_files including your custom javascript files:

{% extends 'horizon/_scripts.html' %}

{% block custom_js_files %}
    <script src='{{ STATIC_URL }}my_custom_dashboard/js/my_custom_js.js' type='text/javascript' charset='utf-8'></script>
{% endblock %}

In your dashboard’s own base template openstack_dashboard/dashboards/ my_custom_dashboard/templates/my_custom_dashboard/base.html override block js with inclusion of dashboard’s own _scripts.html:

{% block js %}
    {% include "my_custom_dashboard/_scripts.html" %}
{% endblock %}

The result is a single compressed js file consisting both Horizon and dashboard’s custom scripts.

Additionally, some marketing and analytics scripts require you to place them within the page’s <head> tag. To do this, place them within the horizon/_custom_head_js.html file. Similar to the _scripts.html file mentioned above, you may link to an existing file:

<script src='{{ STATIC_URL }}/my_custom_dashboard/js/my_marketing_js.js' type='text/javascript' charset='utf-8'></script>

or you can paste your script directly in the file, being sure to use appropriate tags:

<script type="text/javascript">
//some javascript

Customizing Meta Attributes

To add custom metadata attributes to your project’s base template, include them in the horizon/_custom_meta.html file. The contents of this file will be inserted into the page’s <head> just after the default Horizon meta tags.