Project Testing Interface: Python

Each python project must be able to do:

  • Unit tests for python2.7
  • Codestyle checks
  • Testing Coverage Report
  • Source Tarball Generation
  • Translations import/export and merge for translated projects
  • Documentation generation

Projects which are compatible with Python 3 must also be able to do:

  • Unit tests for python3.5

Specific commands

To drive the above tasks, the following commands should be supported in a clean tree:

  • tox -epy27
  • tox -epep8
  • tox -ecover
  • python sdist
  • python bdist_wheel
  • sphinx-build -b html doc/source doc/build

Projects that are translated should also support:

  • tox -evenv python extract_messages
  • tox -evenv python update_catalog

Projects which are compatible with Python 3 must also be able to do:

  • tox -epy35

Some basic prerequisites for test running (system packages, database configuration, custom filesystem types) are acceptable as long as they are documented in a visible location such as a CONTRIBUTING, TESTING, or README file in the root of the repository.

Requirements Listing

Each project should list its operations dependencies in requirements.txt and additional dependencies required for testing in test-requirements.txt. If there are requirements that are specific to python3 or pypy support, those may be listed in requirements.txt or test-requirements.txt using environment markers.


The requirements project maintains a set of constraints with packages pinned to specific package versions that are known to be working. The goal is to ease the diagnosis of breakage caused by projects upstream to OpenStack and to provide a set of packages known to work together.

Projects may opt into using the constraints in one or more of their standard targets via their tox.ini configuration.

Virtual Environment Management

To support sensible testing across multiple python versions, we use tox config files in the projects.

Python test running

OpenStack uses stestr as its test runner. stestr should be used for running all python tests, this includes unit tests, functional tests, and integration tests. stestr is used because of its real time subunit output and its support for parallel execution of tests. In addition, stestr only runs tests conforming to the python stdlib unittest model (and extensions on it like testtools). This enables people to use any test runner they prefer locally. Other popular test runners often include a testing ecosystem which is tied directly to the runner. Using these precludes the use of alternative runners for other users.

To have a consistent interface via tox between projects’ unit test jobs the command for running stestr in tox should be set to:

stestr run {posargs}


While the use of wrapper scripts can sometimes be useful as a short term crutch to work around a specific temporary issues, it should be avoided because it creates a divergent experience between projects, and can mask real issues.

If there are additional mandatory args needed for running a test suite they can be added before the posargs. (this way the end user experience is the same) For example:

stestr --test-path ./tests/unit run '{posargs}'

However, these arguments should try to be minimized because it just adds to the complexity that people will need to understand when running tests on a project.

Coverage Jobs

For coverage jobs you need to invoke the test runner in the same way as for the normal unit test jobs, but to switch the python executable to be coverage run. To do this you need to setup the tox cover job like:

setenv =
    PYTHON=coverage run --source $project --parallel-mode
commands =
    stestr run '{posargs}'
    coverage combine
    coverage html -d cover
    coverage xml -o cover/coverage.xml

Specifically, the output html directory cover and the coverage.xml file added to that directory are mandatory output artifacts.

Project Configuration

All OpenStack projects use pbr for consistent operation of setuptools. To accomplish this, all files only contain a simple setup function that setup_requires on an unversioned pbr, and a directive to pass processing to the pbr library. Actual project configuration is then handled in setup.cfg.

Generated Files

ChangeLog and AUTHORS files are generated at sdist time. This is handled by pbr.

.mailmap files should exist where a developer has more than one email address or identity, and should map to the developer’s canonical identity.


To support translations processing, projects should have a valid babel config. There should be a locale package inside of the top project module, and in that dir should be the $project.pot file. For instance, for nova, there should be nova/locale/nova.pot. Babel commands should be configured out output their .mo files in to $project/locale as well.

Release Notes

As a convenience for developers, it is recommended that projects provide a releasenotes environment for tox that will run

sphinx-build -a -E -W -d releasenotes/build/doctrees -b html \
    releasenotes/source releasenotes/build/html

The project infrastructure will not use tox -ereleasenotes to build the documentation. Therefore it is STRONGLY discouraged for people to put additional logic into the command section of that tox environment. Additional logic needed around releasenotes generation should go into reno.