For Developers

If you would like to contribute to virtualenvwrapper directly, these instructions should help you get started. Patches, bug reports, and feature requests are all welcome through the GitHub site. Contributions in the form of patches or pull requests are easier to integrate and will receive priority attention.


Before contributing new features to virtualenvwrapper core, please consider whether they should be implemented as an extension instead.

Building Documentation

The documentation for virtualenvwrapper is written in reStructuredText and converted to HTML using Sphinx. The build itself is driven by make. You will need the following packages in order to build the docs:

  • Sphinx

  • docutils

  • sphinxcontrib-bitbucket

Once all of the tools are installed into a virtualenv using pip, run make html to generate the HTML version of the documentation:

$ make html
rm -rf virtualenvwrapper/docs
(cd docs && make html SPHINXOPTS="-c sphinx/pkg")
sphinx-build -b html -d build/doctrees  -c sphinx/pkg source build/html
Running Sphinx v0.6.4
loading pickled environment... done
building [html]: targets for 2 source files that are out of date
updating environment: 0 added, 2 changed, 0 removed
reading sources... [ 50%] command_ref
reading sources... [100%] developers

looking for now-outdated files... none found
pickling environment... done
checking consistency... done
preparing documents... done
writing output... [ 33%] command_ref
writing output... [ 66%] developers
writing output... [100%] index

writing additional files... search
copying static files... WARNING: static directory '/Users/dhellmann/Devel/virtualenvwrapper/plugins/docs/sphinx/pkg/static' does not exist
dumping search index... done
dumping object inventory... done
build succeeded, 1 warning.

Build finished. The HTML pages are in build/html.
cp -r docs/build/html virtualenvwrapper/docs

The output version of the documentation ends up in ./virtualenvwrapper/docs inside your sandbox.

Running Tests

The test suite for virtualenvwrapper uses shunit2 and tox. The shunit2 source is included in the tests directory, but tox must be installed separately (pip install tox).

To run the tests under bash and zsh for the default Python, run tox from the top level directory of the hg repository:

$ tox

To run individual test scripts, use a command like:

$ tox -- tests/

To run tests under a single version of Python, specify the appropriate environment when running tox:

$ tox -e py311

Combine the two modes to run specific tests with a single version of Python:

$ tox -e py311 -- tests/

To stop the test suite as soon as any test fails, use the fast tox target:

$ tox -e fast

Add new tests by modifying an existing file or creating new script in the tests directory.

Creating a New Template

virtualenvwrapper.project templates work like virtualenvwrapper plugins. The entry point group name is virtualenvwrapper.project.template. Configure your entry point to refer to a function that will run (source hooks are not supported for templates).

The argument to the template function is the name of the project being created. The current working directory is the directory created to hold the project files ($PROJECT_HOME/$envname).

Help Text

One difference between project templates and other virtualenvwrapper extensions is that only the templates specified by the user are run. The mkproject command has a help option to give the user a list of the available templates. The names are taken from the registered entry point names, and the descriptions are taken from the docstrings for the template functions.