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Thanks for your interest in contributing to pipx!

Everyone who interacts with the pipx project via codebase, issue tracker, chat rooms, or otherwise is expected to follow the PSF Code of Conduct.

Submitting changes

  1. Fork the GitHub repository.
  2. Make a branch off of main and commit your changes to it.
  3. Add a changelog entry.
  4. Submit a pull request to the main branch on GitHub, referencing an open issue.

Changelog entries

The file is built by towncrier from news fragments in the changelog.d/ directory. To add an entry, create a news fragment in that directory named {number}.{type}.md, where {number} is the issue number, and {type} is one of feature, bugfix, doc, removal, or misc.

For example, if your issue number is 1234 and it's fixing a bug, then you would create changelog.d/ PRs can span multiple categories by creating multiple files: if you added a feature and deprecated/removed an old feature for issue #5678, you would create changelog.d/ and changelog.d/

A changelog entry is meant for end users and should only contain details relevant to them. In order to maintain a consistent style, please keep the entry to the point, in sentence case, shorter than 80 characters, and in an imperative tone. An entry should complete the sentence "This change will ...". If one line is not enough, use a summary line in an imperative tone, followed by a description of the change in one or more paragraphs, each wrapped at 80 characters and separated by blank lines.

You don't need to reference the pull request or issue number in a changelog entry, since towncrier will add a link using the number in the file name. Similarly, you don't need to add your name to the entry, since that will be associated with the pull request.

Running pipx For Development

To develop pipx, either create a developer environment, or perform an editable install:

python -m pip install -e .
python -m pipx --version

Running Tests


pipx uses an automation tool called nox for development, continuous integration testing, and various tasks.

nox defines tasks or "sessions" in which can be run with nox -s SESSION_NAME. Session names can be listed with nox -l.

Install nox for pipx development:

python -m pip install --user nox

Tests are defined as nox sessions. You can see all nox sessions with

nox -l

At the time of this writing, the output looks like this

- refresh_packages_cache-3.12 -> Populate .pipx_tests/package_cache
- refresh_packages_cache-3.11 -> Populate .pipx_tests/package_cache
- refresh_packages_cache-3.10 -> Populate .pipx_tests/package_cache
- refresh_packages_cache-3.9 -> Populate .pipx_tests/package_cache
- refresh_packages_cache-3.8 -> Populate .pipx_tests/package_cache
- tests_internet-3.12 -> Tests using internet pypi only
- tests_internet-3.11 -> Tests using internet pypi only
- tests_internet-3.10 -> Tests using internet pypi only
- tests_internet-3.9 -> Tests using internet pypi only
- tests_internet-3.8 -> Tests using internet pypi only
* tests-3.12 -> Tests using local pypiserver only
* tests-3.11 -> Tests using local pypiserver only
* tests-3.10 -> Tests using local pypiserver only
* tests-3.9 -> Tests using local pypiserver only
* tests-3.8 -> Tests using local pypiserver only
- test_all_packages-3.12
- test_all_packages-3.11
- test_all_packages-3.10
- test_all_packages-3.9
- test_all_packages-3.8
- cover -> Coverage analysis
* lint
- develop-3.12
- develop-3.11
- develop-3.10
- develop-3.9
- develop-3.8
- build
- publish
* build_docs
- watch_docs
* build_man
- create_test_package_list-3.12
- create_test_package_list-3.11
- create_test_package_list-3.10
- create_test_package_list-3.9
- create_test_package_list-3.8

Creating a developer environment

For developing the tool (and to attach to your IDE) we recommend creating a Python environment via nox -s develop-3.12, afterwards use the Python interpreter available under .nox/develop-3.12/bin/python.

Unit Tests

To run unit tests in Python3.12, you can run

nox -s tests-3.12


You can run a specific unit test by passing arguments to pytest, the test runner pipx uses:

nox -s tests-3.8 -- -k EXPRESSION

EXPRESSION can be a test name, such as

nox -s tests-3.8 -- -k test_uninstall

Coverage errors can usually be ignored when only running a subset of tests.

Running Unit Tests Offline

Running the unit tests requires a directory .pipx_tests/package_cache to be populated from a fixed list of package distribution files (wheels or source files). If you have network access, nox -s tests automatically makes sure this directory is populated (including downloading files if necessary) as a first step. Thus, if you are running the tests with network access, you can ignore the rest of this section.

If, however, you wish to run tests offline without the need for network access, you can populate .pipx_tests/package_cache yourself manually beforehand when you do have network access.

Populating the cache directory using nox

To populate .pipx_tests/package_cache manually using nox, execute:

nox -s refresh_packages_cache

This will sequence through available python executable versions to populate the cache directory for each version of python on your platform.

Lint Tests

Linting is done via pre-commit, setting it up and running it can be done via nox by typing:

nox -s lint

Installing or injecting new packages in tests

If the tests are modified such that a new package / version combination is pipx installed or pipx injected that wasn't used in other tests, then one must make sure it's added properly to the packages lists in testdata/tests_packages.

To accomplish this:

  • Edit testdata/tests_packages/primary_packages.txt to add the new package(s) that you wish to pipx install or pipx inject in the tests.

Then using Github workflows to generate all platforms in the Github CI:

  • Manually activate the Github workflow: Create tests package lists for offline tests
  • Download the artifact lists and put the files from it into testdata/tests_packages/

Or to locally generate these lists from testdata/tests_packages/primary_packages.txt, on the target platform execute:

  • nox -s create_test_package_list

Finally, check-in the new or modified list files in the directory testdata/tests_packages

Testing pipx on Continuous Integration builds

Upon opening pull requests GitHub Actions will automatically trigger.

Building Documentation

pipx autogenerate API documentation, and also uses templates.

When updating pipx docs, make sure you are modifying the docs directory.

You can generate the documentation with

nox -s build_docs

This will capture CLI documentation for any pipx argument modifications, as well as generate templates to the docs directory.

To preview changes, including live reloading, open another terminal and run

nox -s watch_docs

Releasing New pipx Versions

To release a new version, manually run the bump-changelog action under the "Actions" tab, passing it the version to be released. This will create a pull request updating the changelog for the upcoming version, with the release-version label. Merging this PR will automatically trigger the release workflows.

Attaching this label to any pull request of which the title follows the format <Version>: Description and merging it will trigger the release workflows as well.

The release workflow consists of publishing:

  • the pipx version to PyPI,
  • the documentation to ReadTheDocs,
  • a GitHub release,
  • the zipapp to the GitHub release created.

No need for any other pre or post publish steps.