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.

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. Fork the repository on GitHub.

  2. Set up your development environment

  3. Run the tests from here 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.

  4. Write tests that demonstrate your bug or feature. Ensure that they fail.

  5. Make your change.

  6. Run the entire test suite again, confirming that all tests pass including the ones you just added.

  7. Send a GitHub Pull Request to the main repository’s main 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

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.

Pipenv now uses pre-commit hooks similar to Pip in order to apply linting and code formatting automatically! The build now also checks that these linting rules have been applied to the code before running the tests. The build will fail when linting changes are detected so be sure to sync dev requirements and install the pre-commit hooks locally:

   $ pipenv install --dev
   # This will configure running the pre-commit checks at start of each commit
   $ pre-commit install
   # Should you want to check the pre-commit configuration against all configured project files
   $ pre-commit run --all-files --verbose

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 MarkDown, 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

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


However many tests depend on running a private pypi server on localhost:8080. This can be accomplished by using either the or run-tests.bat scripts which will start the pypiserver process ahead of invoking pytest.

You may also manually perform this step and then invoke pytest as you would normally. Example:

# Linux or MacOS
pipenv run pypi-server run -v --host= --port=8080 --hash-algo=sha256 --disable-fallback ./tests/pypi/ ./tests/fixtures &

# Windows
cmd /c start pipenv run pypi-server run -v --host= --port=8080 --hash-algo=sha256 --disable-fallback ./tests/pypi/ ./tests/fixtures

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

There are a few other ways of running the tests:

  1. test scripts

The scripts for bash or windows: and run-tests.bat

Note that, you override the default Python Pipenv will use with PIPENV_PYTHON and the Python binary name with PYTHON in case it is not called python on your system or in case you have many. Here is an example how you can override both variables (you can override just one too):

$  PYTHON=python3.8 PIPENV_PYTHON=python3.9

You can also do:

$ PYTHON=/opt/python/python3.10/python3

If you need to change how pytest is invoked, see how to run the test suite manually. The script does the same steps the Github CI workflow does, and as such it is recommended you run it before you open a PR. Taking this second approach, will allow you, for example, to run a single test case, or fail fast if you need it.

  1. Manually

This repeats the steps of the scripts above:

$ git clone
$ cd pipenv
$ git submodule sync && git submodule update --init --recursive
$ pipenv install --dev
$ pipenv run pytest [--any optional arguments to pytest]

The second options assumes you already have pipenv on your system. And simply repeats all the steps in the script above.

Preferably, you should be running your tests in a Linux container (or FreeBSD Jail or even VM). This will guarantee that you don’t break stuff, and that the tests run in a pristine environment.

Consider doing something like this:

$ docker run --rm -v $(pwd):/usr/src -it python:3.7 bash
# inside the container
# adduser --disabled-password debian
# su debian && cd /usr/src/
# bash
  1. Using the Makefile:

The Makefile automates all the task as in the script. However, it allows one more fine grained control on every step. For example:

$ make ramdisk  # create a ram disk to preserve your SSDs life
$ make ramdisk-virtualenv
$ make test suite="-m not cli"  # run all tests but cli


$ make tests parallel="" suite="tests/integration/"

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
    unset PIP_FIND_LINKS