Contributing to Pipenv — pipenv documentation

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Contributing to Pipenv

If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in contributing to Pipenv. Thank you very much! Open source projects live-and-die based on the support they receive from others, and the fact that you’re even considering contributing to the Pipenv project is very generous of you.

This document lays out guidelines and advice for contributing to this project. If you’re thinking of contributing, please start by reading this document and getting a feel for how contributing to this project works. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to either Dan Ryan, Tzu-ping Chung, or Nate Prewitt, the primary maintainers.

The guide is split into sections based on the type of contribution you’re thinking of making, with a section that covers general guidelines for all contributors.

General Guidelines

Be Cordial

Be cordial or be on your way. —Kenneth Reitz

Pipenv has one very important rule governing all forms of contribution, including reporting bugs or requesting features. This golden rule is “be cordial or be on your way”.

All contributions are welcome, as long as everyone involved is treated with respect.

Get Early Feedback

If you are contributing, do not feel the need to sit on your contribution until it is perfectly polished and complete. It helps everyone involved for you to seek feedback as early as you possibly can. Submitting an early, unfinished version of your contribution for feedback in no way prejudices your chances of getting that contribution accepted, and can save you from putting a lot of work into a contribution that is not suitable for the project.

Contribution Suitability

Our project maintainers have the last word on whether or not a contribution is suitable for Pipenv. All contributions will be considered carefully, but from time to time, contributions will be rejected because they do not suit the current goals or needs of the project.

If your contribution is rejected, don’t despair! As long as you followed these guidelines, you will have a much better chance of getting your next contribution accepted.


The GitHub issue tracker is for bug reports and feature requests. Please do not use it to ask questions about how to use Pipenv. These questions should instead be directed to Stack Overflow. Make sure that your question is tagged with the pipenv tag when asking it on Stack Overflow, to ensure that it is answered promptly and accurately.

Code Contributions

Steps for Submitting Code

When contributing code, you’ll want to follow this checklist:

  1. Understand our development philosophy.
  2. Fork the repository on GitHub.
  3. Set up your Development Setup
  4. Run the tests (Testing) to confirm they all pass on your system. If they don’t, you’ll need to investigate why they fail. If you’re unable to diagnose this yourself, raise it as a bug report by following the guidelines in this document: Bug Reports.
  5. Write tests that demonstrate your bug or feature. Ensure that they fail.
  6. Make your change.
  7. Run the entire test suite again, confirming that all tests pass including the ones you just added.
  8. Send a GitHub Pull Request to the main repository’s master branch. GitHub Pull Requests are the expected method of code collaboration on this project.

The following sub-sections go into more detail on some of the points above.

Development Setup

To get your development environment setup, run:

pip install -e .
pipenv install --dev

This will install the repository version of Pipenv and then install the development dependencies. Once that has completed, you can start developing.

The repository version of Pipenv must be installed over other global versions to resolve conflicts with the pipenv folder being implicitly added to sys.path. See pypa/pipenv#2557 for more details.


Tests are written in pytest style and can be run very simply:


This will run all Pipenv tests, which can take awhile. To run a subset of the tests, the standard pytest filters are available, such as:

  • provide a directory or file: pytest tests/unit or pytest tests/unit/
  • provide a keyword expression: pytest -k test_lock_editable_vcs_without_install
  • provide a nodeid: pytest tests/unit/
  • provide a test marker: pytest -m lock

Code Review

Contributions will not be merged until they have been code reviewed. You should implement any code review feedback unless you strongly object to it. In the event that you object to the code review feedback, you should make your case clearly and calmly. If, after doing so, the feedback is judged to still apply, you must either apply the feedback or withdraw your contribution.

Package Index

To speed up testing, tests that rely on a package index for locking and installing use a local server that contains vendored packages in the tests/pypi directory. Each vendored package should have it’s own folder containing the necessary releases. When adding a release for a package, it is easiest to use either the .tar.gz or universal wheels (ex: py2.py3-none). If a .tar.gz or universal wheel is not available, add wheels for all available architectures and platforms.

Documentation Contributions

Documentation improvements are always welcome! The documentation files live in the docs/ directory of the codebase. They’re written in reStructuredText, and use Sphinx to generate the full suite of documentation.

When contributing documentation, please do your best to follow the style of the documentation files. This means a soft-limit of 79 characters wide in your text files and a semi-formal, yet friendly and approachable, prose style.

When presenting Python code, use single-quoted strings ('hello' instead of "hello").

Bug Reports

Bug reports are hugely important! They are recorded as GitHub issues. Please be aware of the following things when filing bug reports:

  1. Avoid raising duplicate issues. Please use the GitHub issue search feature to check whether your bug report or feature request has been mentioned in the past. Duplicate bug reports and feature requests are a huge maintenance burden on the limited resources of the project. If it is clear from your report that you would have struggled to find the original, that’s okay, but if searching for a selection of words in your issue title would have found the duplicate then the issue will likely be closed extremely abruptly.

  2. When filing bug reports about exceptions or tracebacks, please include the complete traceback. Partial tracebacks, or just the exception text, are not helpful. Issues that do not contain complete tracebacks may be closed without warning.

  3. Make sure you provide a suitable amount of information to work with. This means you should provide:

    • Guidance on how to reproduce the issue. Ideally, this should be a small code sample that can be run immediately by the maintainers. Failing that, let us know what you’re doing, how often it happens, what environment you’re using, etc. Be thorough: it prevents us needing to ask further questions.

    • Tell us what you expected to happen. When we run your example code, what are we expecting to happen? What does “success” look like for your code?

    • Tell us what actually happens. It’s not helpful for you to say “it doesn’t work” or “it fails”. Tell us how it fails: do you get an exception? A hang? The packages installed seem incorrect? How was the actual result different from your expected result?

    • Tell us what version of Pipenv you’re using, and how you installed it. Different versions of Pipenv behave differently and have different bugs, and some distributors of Pipenv ship patches on top of the code we supply.

    If you do not provide all of these things, it will take us much longer to fix your problem. If we ask you to clarify these and you never respond, we will close your issue without fixing it.

Run the tests

Three ways of running the tests are as follows:

  1. make test (which uses docker)
  2. ./ or run-tests.bat
  3. Using pipenv:
$ git clone
$ cd pipenv
$ git submodule sync && git submodule update --init --recursive
$ pipenv install --dev
$ pipenv run pytest

For the last two, it is important that your environment is setup correctly, and this may take some work, for example, on a specific Mac installation, the following steps may be needed:

# Make sure the tests can access github
if [ "$SSH_AGENT_PID" = "" ]
   eval `ssh-agent`

# Use unix like utilities, installed with brew,
# e.g. brew install coreutils
for d in /usr/local/opt/*/libexec/gnubin /usr/local/opt/python/libexec/bin
  [[../ ":$PATH:" != *":$d:"* ]] && PATH="$d:${PATH}"

export PATH

# PIP_FIND_LINKS currently breaks