Enabling a gin index for faster LIKE queries

I tried using a gin index to speed up LIKE '%term%' queries against a column.

PostgreSQL: More performance for LIKE and ILIKE statements provided useful background. The raw-SQL way to do this is to install the extension like so:


And then create an index like this:

CREATE INDEX idx_gin ON mytable USING gin (mycolumn gin_trgm_ops);

This translates to two migrations in Django. The first, to enable the extension, looks like this:

from django.contrib.postgres.operations import TrigramExtension
from django.db import migrations

class Migration(migrations.Migration):

    dependencies = [
        ("blog", "0014_entry_custom_template"),

    operations = [TrigramExtension()]

Then to configure the index for a model you can add this to the model's Meta class:

class Entry(models.Model):
    title = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    body = models.TextField()

    class Meta:
        indexes = [

The opclasses=["gin_trgm_ops"] line is necessary to have the same efect as the CREATE INDEX statement shown above. The name= option is required if you specify opclasses.

Run ./manage.py makemigrations and Django will automatically create the correct migration to add the new index.

I ended up not shipping this for my blog because with less than 10,000 rows in the table it made no difference at all to my query performance.

Created 2021-05-16T17:59:05-07:00 · Edit