Pull Requests

  • Submit Pull Requests against the master branch.
  • Provide a good description of what you're doing and why.
  • Provide tests that cover your changes and try to run the tests locally first.

Example. Assuming you set up GitHub account, forked pip repository from to your own page via web interface, and your fork is located at

$ git clone
$ cd pip
# ...
$ git diff
$ git add <modified> ...
$ git status
$ git commit

You may reference relevant issues in commit messages (like #1259) to make GitHub link issues and commits together, and with phrase like "fixes #1259" you can even close relevant issues automatically. Now push the changes to your fork:

$ git push

Open Pull Requests page at and click "New pull request" and select your fork. That's it.

Pull requests should be self-contained, and limited in scope. Before being merged, a pull request must be reviewed, and keeping individual PRs limited in scope makes this far easier. In particular, pull requests must not be treated as "feature branches", with ongoing development work happening within the PR. Instead, the feature should be broken up into smaller, independent parts which can be reviewed and merged individually.

When creating a pull request, avoid including "cosmetic" changes to code that is unrelated to your change, as these make reviewing the PR more difficult. Examples include re-flowing text in comments or documentation, or addition or removal of blank lines or whitespace within lines. Such changes can be made separately, as a "formatting cleanup" PR, if needed.

Automated Testing

All pull requests and merges to 'master' branch are tested using Travis CI and Appveyor CI based on our .travis.yml and appveyor.yml files.

You can find the status and results to the CI runs for your PR on GitHub's Web UI for the pull request. You can also find links to the CI services' pages for the specific builds in the form of "Details" links, in case the CI run fails and you wish to view the output.

To trigger CI to run again for a pull request, you can close and open the pull request or submit another change to the pull request. If needed, project maintainers can manually trigger a restart of a job/build.

Running tests

OS Requirements: subversion, bazaar, git, and mercurial.

Python Requirements: tox or install all packages listed in tools/tests-requirements.txt

Ways to run the tests locally:

$ tox -e py36           # The preferred way to run the tests, can use pyNN to
                        # run for a particular version or leave off the -e to
                        # run for all versions.
$ python test  # Using the setuptools test plugin
$ py.test               # Using py.test directly
$ tox                   # Using tox against pip's tox.ini

If you are missing one of the VCS tools, you can tell py.test to skip it:

# When using tox
$ tox -e py36 -- -k 'not svn'
$ tox -e py36 -- -k 'not (svn or git)'
# Directly with py.test
$ py.test -k 'not svn'
$ py.test -k 'not (svn or git)'

Getting Involved

The pip project welcomes help in the following ways:

  • Making Pull Requests for code, tests, or docs.
  • Commenting on open issues and pull requests.
  • Helping to answer questions on the mailing list.

If you want to become an official maintainer, start by helping out.

Later, when you think you're ready, get in touch with one of the maintainers, and they will initiate a vote.

Adding a NEWS Entry

The NEWS.rst file is managed using towncrier and all non trivial changes must be accompanied by a news entry.

To add an entry to the news file, first you need to have created an issue describing the change you want to make. A Pull Request itself may function as such, but it is preferred to have a dedicated issue (for example, in case the PR ends up rejected due to code quality reasons).

Once you have an issue or pull request, you take the number and you create a file inside of the news/ directory named after that issue number with an extension of removal, feature, bugfix, or doc. Thus if your issue or PR number is 1234 and this change is fixing a bug, then you would create a file news/1234.bugfix. PRs can span multiple categories by creating multiple files (for instance, if you added a feature and deprecated/removed the old feature at the same time, you would create news/NNNN.feature and news/NNNN.removal). Likewise if a PR touches multiple issues/PRs you may create a file for each of them with the exact same contents and Towncrier will deduplicate them.

The contents of this file are reStructuredText formatted text that will be used as the content of the news file entry. You do not need to reference the issue or PR numbers here as towncrier will automatically add a reference to all of the affected issues when rendering the news file.

In order to maintain a consistent style in the NEWS.rst file, it is preferred to keep the news 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 ...". In rare cases, where one line is not enough, use a summary line in an imperative tone followed by a blank line separating it from a description of the feature/change in one or more paragraphs, each wrapped at 80 characters. Remember that a news entry is meant for end users and should only contain details relevant to an end user.

A trivial change is anything that does not warrant an entry in the news file. Some examples are: Code refactors that don't change anything as far as the public is concerned, typo fixes, white space modification, etc. To mark a PR as trivial a contributor simply needs to add a randomly named, empty file to the news/ directory with the extension of .trivial. If you are on a POSIX like operating system, one can be added by running touch news/$(uuidgen).trivial. On Windows, the same result can be achieved in Powershell using New-Item "news/$([guid]::NewGuid()).trivial". Core committers may also add a "trivial" label to the PR which will accomplish the same thing.

Upgrading, removing, or adding a new vendored library gets a special mention using a news/<library>.vendor file. This is in addition to any features, bugfixes, or other kinds of news that pulling in this library may have. This uses the library name as the key so that updating the same library twice doesn't produce two news file entries.

Changes to the processes, policies, or other non code related changed that are otherwise notable can be done using a news/<name>.process file. This is not typically used, but can be used for things like changing version schemes, updating deprecation policy, etc.

Release Cadence

The pip project has a release cadence of releasing whatever is on master every 3 months. This gives users a predictable pattern for when releases are going to happen and prevents locking up improvements for fixes for long periods of time, while still preventing massively fracturing the user base with version numbers.

Our release months are January, April, July, October. The release date within that month will be up to the release manager for that release. If there are no changes, then that release month is skipped and the next release will be 3 month later.

The release manager may, at their discretion, choose whether or not there will be a pre-release period for a release, and if there is may extend that period into the next month if needed.

Because releases are made direct from the master branch, it is essential that master is always in a releasable state. It is acceptable to merge PRs that partially implement a new feature, but only if the partially implemented version is usable in that state (for example, with reduced functionality or disabled by default). In the case where a merged PR is found to need extra work before being released, the release manager always has the option to back out the partial change prior to a release. The PR can then be reworked and resubmitted for the next release.

Deprecation Policy

Any change to pip that removes or significantly alters user-visible behavior that is described in the pip documentation will be deprecated for a minimum of 6 months before the change occurs. Deprecation will take the form of a warning being issued by pip when the feature is used. Longer deprecation periods, or deprecation warnings for behavior changes that would not normally be covered by this policy, are also possible depending on circumstances, but this is at the discretion of the pip developers.

Note that the documentation is the sole reference for what counts as agreed behavior. If something isn't explicitly mentioned in the documentation, it can be changed without warning, or any deprecation period, in a pip release. However, we are aware that the documentation isn't always complete - PRs that document existing behavior with the intention of covering that behavior with the above deprecation process are always acceptable, and will be considered on their merits.


pip has a helper function for making deprecation easier for pip maintainers. The supporting documentation can be found in the source code of pip._internal.utils.deprecation.deprecated. The function is not a part of pip's public API.

Release Process

  1. On the current pip master branch, generate a new AUTHORS.txt by running invoke generate.authors and commit the results.
  2. On the current pip master branch, make a new commit which bumps the version in pip/ to the release version and adjust the CHANGES.txt file to reflect the current date. The release version should follow a YY.N scheme, where YY is the two digit year, and N is the Nth release within that year.
  3. On the current pip master branch, generate a new NEWS.rst by running invoke and commit the results.
  4. Create a signed tag of the master branch of the form X.Y.Z using the command git tag -s X.Y.Z.
  5. Checkout the tag using git checkout X.Y.Z and create the distribution files using python sdist bdist_wheel.
  6. Upload the distribution files to PyPI using twine (twine upload -s dist/*). The upload should include GPG signatures of the distribution files.
  7. Push all of the changes.
  8. Regenerate the script by running invoke generate.installer in the get-pip repository, and committing the results.

Creating a Bugfix Release

Sometimes we need to release a bugfix release of the form X.Y.Z+1. In order to create one of these the changes should already be merged into the master branch.

  1. Create a new release/YY.N.Z+1 branch off of the YY.N tag using the command git checkout -b release/YY.N.Z+1 YY.N.
  2. Cherry pick the fixed commits off of the master branch, fixing any conflicts and moving any changelog entries from the development version's changelog section to the YY.N.Z+1 section.
  3. Push the release/YY.N.Z+1 branch to github and submit a PR for it against the master branch and wait for the tests to run.
  4. Once tests run, merge the release/YY.N.Z+1 branch into master, and follow the above release process starting with step 4.