Development Guide

Anitya welcomes contributions! Our issue tracker is located on GitHub.

Contribution Guidelines

When you make a pull request, someone from the release-monitoring organization will review your code. Please make sure you follow the guidelines below:

Python Support

Anitya supports Python 2.7 and Python 3.4 or greater so please ensure the code you submit works with these versions. The test suite will run against all supported Python versions to make this easier.

Code Style

We follow the PEP8 style guide for Python. The test suite includes a test that enforces the required style, so all you need to do is run the tests to ensure your code follows the style. If the unit test passes, you are good to go!

Unit Tests

The test suites can be run using tox by simply running tox from the repository root. These tests include unit tests, a linter to ensure Python code style is correct, and checks the documentation for Sphinx warnings or errors.

All tests must pass. All new code should have 100% test coverage. Any bugfix should be accompanied by one or more unit tests to demonstrate the fix. If you are unsure how to write unit tests for your code, we will be happy to help you during the code review process.


Anitya uses sphinx to create its documentation. New packages, modules, classes, methods, functions, and attributes all should be documented using “Google style” docstrings. For historical reasons you may encounter plain reStructuredText-style docstrings. Please consider converting them and opening a pull request!

Python API documentation is automatically generated from the code using Sphinx’s autodoc extension. HTTP REST API documentation is automatically generated from the code using the httpdomain extension.

Release notes

To add entries to the release notes, create a file in the news directory with the source.type name format, where type is one of:

  • feature: for new features
  • bug: for bug fixes
  • api: for API changes
  • dev: for development-related changes
  • author: for contributor names
  • other: for other changes

And where the source part of the filename is:

  • 42 when the change is described in issue 42
  • PR42 when the change has been implemented in pull request 42, and there is no associated issue
  • username for contributors (author extention). It should be the username part of their commit’s email address.

The text inside the file will be used as entry text. A preview of the release notes can be generated with towncrier --draft.

Development Environment

There are two options for setting up a development environment. If you’re not sure which one to choose, pick the Vagrant method.


The Vagrant development environment is set up using Ansible.

To get started, install Vagrant and Ansible. On Fedora:

$ sudo dnf install vagrant libvirt vagrant-libvirt vagrant-sshfs ansible

Next, clone the repository and configure your Vagrantfile:

$ git clone
$ cd anitya
$ cp Vagrantfile.example Vagrantfile
$ vagrant up
$ vagrant reload
$ vagrant ssh

You may then access Anitya on your host at:

When you log in you’ll be presented with a message of the day with more details about the environment.

By default, Anitya imports the production database so you’ve got something to work off of. If instead you prefer an empty database, add the following to the Ansible provisioner inside your Vagrantfile:

ansible.extra_vars = { import_production_database: false }

Vagrant is using PostgreSQL database. To work with it use psql command:

$ sudo -u postgres psql
postgres=#\connect anitya

After this you can use standard SQL queries or another psql commands:

# Show description of tables
# Show table description
anitya=\#\d users

For additional psql commands see man psql.

To run the cron job in Vagrant guest run these commands:

$ workon anitya
$ python files/

Python virtualenv

Anitya can also be run in a Python virtualenv. For Fedora:

$ git clone
$ cd anitya
$ sudo dnf install python3-virtualenvwrapper
$ mkvirtualenv anitya
$ workon anitya

Issuing that last command should change your prompt to indicate that you are operating in an active virtualenv.

Next, install Anitya:

(anitya-env)$ pip install -r test_requirements.txt
(anitya-env)$ pip install -e .

Create the database, by default it will be a sqlite database located at /var/tmp/anitya-dev.sqlite:

(anitya-env) $ python

You can start the development web server included with Flask with:

(anitya-env)$ FLASK_APP=anitya.wsgi flask run

If you want to change the application’s configuration, create a valid configuration file and start the application with the ANITYA_WEB_CONFIG environment variable set to the configuration file’s path.

Listening for local event announcements

To listen for local event announcements over the Federated Message Bus, first start a local relay in the background:

$ fedmsg-relay --config-filename fedmsg.d/ &

And then display the received messages in the local console:

$ fedmsg-tail --config fedmsg.d/ --no-validate --really-pretty

These commands will pick up the local config automatically if you’re in the Anitya checkout directory, but being explicit ensures they don’t silently default to using the global configuration.

To display the messages, we turn off signature validation (since the local server will be emitting unsigned messages) and pretty-print the received JSON.

Refer to the fedmsg consumer API for more details on receiving event messages programmatically.


Anitya publishes fedmsgs, and these are viewable with fedmsg-tail:

$ workon anitya
$ fedmsg-tail

This will also show you all incoming messages from’s SSE feed.

Release Guide

If you are a maintainer and wish to make a release, follow these steps:

  1. Change the version in anitya.__init__.__version__. This is used to set the version in the documentation project and the file.
  2. Add any missing news fragments to the news folder.
  3. Get authors of commits by python


This script must be executed in news folder, because it creates files in current working directory.

  1. Generate the changelog by running towncrier.


If you added any news fragment in the previous step, you might see towncrier complaining about removing them, because they are not committed in git. Just ignore this and remove all of them manually; release notes will be generated anyway.

  1. Remove every remaining news fragment from news folder.
  1. Commit your changes.
  2. Tag a release with git tag -s <version>.
  3. Don’t forget to git push --tags.
  4. Build the Python packages with python sdist bdist_wheel.
  5. Upload the packages with twine upload dist/<dists>.