Developer documentation

This page contains information for developers who wish to contribute to Bodhi.

Contribution guidelines

Before you submit a pull request to Bodhi, please ensure that it meets these criteria:

  • All tests must pass.

  • New code must have 100% test coverage. This one is particularly important, as we don’t want to deploy any broken code into production. At the end of btest run, you can see your code coverage. If you are not using Vagrant environment you can check the code coverage by running diff-cover coverage.xml --compare-branch=origin/develop --fail-under=100.

  • New functions, methods, and classes must have docblocks that explain what the code block is, and describing any parameters it accepts and what it returns (if anything). You can use the pydocstyle utility to automatically check your code for this. You can also run pydocstyle bodhi in Vagrant.

  • Parameter and return value types should be declared using type hints. You can test this by running bci mypy in Vagrant.

  • New code must follow PEP-8. You can use the flake8 utility to automatically check your code. Alternatively you can run flake8-3 in Vagrant.

  • If you want to run the three above at once you can use blint alias in Vagrant.

  • Make sure your commits are atomic. With only rare exceptions, each improvement or bug fix should have exactly one commit. This makes it much easier to peruse the git history to find out which changes relate to a feature or bugfix implementation, and is particularly valuable when commits need to be cherry picked. If you need to build upon prior unmerged commits while fixing a different issue, feel free to send more than one commit in the same pull request.

  • Your commit messages must include a Signed-off-by tag with your name and e-mail address, indicating that you agree to the Developer Certificate of Origin. Bodhi uses version 1.1 of the certificate, which reads:

    Developer Certificate of Origin
    Version 1.1
     Copyright (C) 2004, 2006 The Linux Foundation and its contributors.
     1 Letterman Drive
     Suite D4700
     San Francisco, CA, 94129
     Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
     license document, but changing it is not allowed.
     Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.1
     By making a contribution to this project, I certify that:
     (a) The contribution was created in whole or in part by me and I
         have the right to submit it under the open source license
         indicated in the file; or
     (b) The contribution is based upon previous work that, to the best
         of my knowledge, is covered under an appropriate open source
         license and I have the right under that license to submit that
         work with modifications, whether created in whole or in part
         by me, under the same open source license (unless I am
         permitted to submit under a different license), as indicated
         in the file; or
     (c) The contribution was provided directly to me by some other
         person who certified (a), (b) or (c) and I have not modified
     (d) I understand and agree that this project and the contribution
         are public and that a record of the contribution (including all
         personal information I submit with it, including my sign-off) is
         maintained indefinitely and may be redistributed consistent with
         this project or the open source license(s) involved.

    For example, Randy Barlow’s commit messages include this line:

    Signed-off-by: Randy Barlow <>
  • Code may be submitted by opening a pull request at, or you may e-mail a patch to the mailing list.

  • If your changes contain database migrations, you must add a file named summary.migration in the news directory, where summary is a short textual description of the change (or the issue number you’re fixing).

  • If it is not present already, add a file in the news directory named where username is the first part of your commit’s email address, and containing the name you want to be credited as.

  • If you think that the changes you make should be in release notes, add a file in the news directory with the format explained below.

Release Notes

To add entries to the release notes, create a file in the news directory in the source.type name format, 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

  • Cabcdef when the change has been implemented in changeset abcdef, and there is no associated issue or pull request.

And where the extension type is one of:

  • bic: for backwards incompatible changes

  • dependency: for dependency changes

  • feature: for new features

  • bug: for bug fixes

  • dev: for development improvements

  • docs: for documentation improvements

  • other: for other changes

The content of the file will end up in the release notes. It should not end with a . (full stop). A preview of the release notes can be generated with towncrier --draft.


Bodhi uses GitHub’s issue tracker and kanban boards to track and plan issues and work. If you aren’t sure what you’d like to work on, take a look at Bodhi’s labels which are used to categorize the various issues. Each label has a short description explaining its purpose.

Easy Fix

If you are looking for some easy tasks to get started with Bodhi development, have a look at Bodhi’s EasyFix tickets.

CI Tests

All Bodhi pull requests are tested in a Jenkins instance that is graciously hosted for us by the CentOS Project. Sometimes tests fail, and when they do you can visit the test job that failed and view its console output by visiting the bodhi-pipeline job. Links to individual pull request builds can be found on your pull request on GitHub by clicking the “Details” link next to continuous-integration/jenkins/pr-merge. From there you can inspect the full console output, or you can click into the “Pipeline Steps” on the left to see the output of each individual job.

Bodhi’s CI pipeline workflow is described in Groovyscript in devel/ci/cico.pipeline. This file is fairly well self-documented, and described to Jenkins how it should run Bodhi’s tests. It defines the various GitHub contexts that our .mergify.yml configuration is set to block merges on, and it runs the individual build and test jobs in parallel.

It is possible for you to run these same tests locally. There is a devel/ci/bodhi-ci script that is used by the pipeline to do the heavy lifting. This script is intended to be run as root since it uses docker (or optionally, podman). It has a handy -x flag that will cause it to exit immediately upon failure. You can also choose to test specific releases, and there are a variety of other features. Be sure to check out its --help flag to learn how to use it. Thus, if I want to run the tests on only f28 and f29 and I want it to exit immediately upon failure, I can execute the script like this:

$ sudo devel/ci/bodhi-ci all -r f28 -r f29 -x

Note that if you are using the Vagrant development environment, there is a handy bci shell alias that runs sudo devel/ci/bodhi-ci for you.

Create a Bodhi development environment

There are two ways to bootstrap a Bodhi development environment. You can use Vagrant, or you can use virtualenv on an existing host. Vagrant allows contributors to get quickly up and running with a Bodhi development environment by automatically configuring a virtual machine. Virtualenv is a more manual option for building a development environment on an existing system. If you aren’t sure which development environment you would like to use, Vagrant is recommended as it get you a working system more quickly and with less effort. If you would like to use Vagrant, see the Bodhi Vagrant Guide. If you would like to use Virtualenv, see the Bodhi Virtualenv Guide.

If you use Vagrant, you can configure Visual Studio Code to run unit-tests inside with Bodhi Vagrant - VS Code Guide.