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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.

Running pipx From Source Tree

To run the pipx executable from your source tree during development, run pipx from the src directory:

python src/pipx --version


The use of pre-commit is recommended. It can show all and fix some lint errors before commit, saving you the trouble of finding out later that it failed CI Lint errors, and saving you from having to run nox -s lint separately.

In the pipx git repository is a .pre-commit-config.yaml configuration file tailored just for pipx and its lint requirements. To use pre-commit in your clone of the pipx repository, you need to do the following one-time setup procedure:

  1. Install pre-commit using pipx install pre-commit
  2. In the top level directory of your clone of the pipx repository, execute pre-commit install

Afterwards whenever you commit in this repository, it will first run pipx's personalized lint checks. If it makes a fix to a file (e.g. using black or isort), you will need to git add that file again before committing it again. If it can't fix your commit itself, it will tell you what's wrong, and you can fix it manually before re-adding the edited files and committing again.

If for some reason you want to commit and skip running pre-commit, you can use the switch git commit --no-verify.

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-3.6 -> Populate .pipx_tests/package_cache
- refresh_packages_cache-3.7 -> Populate .pipx_tests/package_cache
- refresh_packages_cache-3.8 -> Populate .pipx_tests/package_cache
- refresh_packages_cache-3.9 -> Populate .pipx_tests/package_cache
- tests_internet-3.6 -> Tests using internet pypi only
- tests_internet-3.7 -> Tests using internet pypi only
- tests_internet-3.8 -> Tests using internet pypi only
- tests_internet-3.9 -> Tests using internet pypi only
* tests-3.6 -> Tests using local pypiserver only
* tests-3.7 -> Tests using local pypiserver only
* tests-3.8 -> Tests using local pypiserver only
* tests-3.9 -> Tests using local pypiserver only
- test_all_packages-3.6
- test_all_packages-3.7
- test_all_packages-3.8
- test_all_packages-3.9
- cover -> Coverage analysis
* lint
- develop-3.6
- develop-3.7
- develop-3.8
- develop-3.9
- build
- publish
* build_docs
- publish_docs
- watch_docs
- pre_release
- post_release
- create_test_package_list-3.6
- create_test_package_list-3.7
- create_test_package_list-3.8
- create_test_package_list-3.9

Unit Tests

To run unit tests in Python3.9, you can run

nox -s tests-3.9


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.

Populating the cache directory without nox

An alternate method to populate .pipx_tests/package_cache without nox is to execute:

mkdir -p .pipx_tests/package_cache
python3 scripts/ testdata/tests_packages .pipx_tests/package_cache

You must do this using every python version that you wish to use to run the tests.

Lint Tests

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

When you push a new git branch, tests will automatically be run against your code as defined in .github/workflows/on-push.yml.

Building Documentation

pipx autogenerates API documentation, and also uses templates.

When updating pipx docs, make sure you are either modifying a file in the templates directory, or the docs directory. If in the docs directory, make sure the file was not autogenerated from the templates directory. Autogenerated files have a note at the top of the file.

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

Publishing Doc Changes to GitHub pages

nox -s publish_docs

Releasing New pipx Versions


First, make sure the changelog is complete. Next decide what the next version number will be. Then, from a clone of the main pypa pipx repo (not a fork) execute:

nox -s pre_release

Enter the new version number when asked. When the script is finished, check the diff it produces. If the diff looks correct, commit the changes as the script instructs, and push the result.

The script will modify src/pipx/ to contain the new version, and also update the changelog (docs/ to specify the new version.


To publish to PyPI simply create a "published" release on Github. This will trigger Github workflows that both publish the pipx version to PyPI and publish the pipx documentation to the pipx website.


From a clone of the main pypa pipx repo (not a fork) execute:

nox -s post_release

When the script is finished, check the diff it produces. If the diff looks correct, commit the changes as the script instructs, and push the result.

This will update pipx's version in src/pipx/ by adding a suffix "dev0" for unreleased development, and will update the changelog to start a new section at the top entitled dev.