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Check in a Python source package for completeness

Project description


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Are you a Python developer? Have you uploaded packages to the Python Package Index? Have you accidentally uploaded broken packages with some files missing? If so, check-manifest is for you.

Quick start

$ pip install check-manifest

$ cd ~/src/mygreatpackage
$ check-manifest

You can ask the script to help you update your

$ check-manifest -u -v
listing source files under version control: 6 files and directories
building an sdist: check-manifest-0.7.tar.gz: 4 files and directories
lists of files in version control and sdist do not match!
missing from sdist:
suggested rules:
  include *.py
  include tox.ini

$ cat
include *.rst

# added by
include *.py
include tox.ini

Command-line reference

$ check-manifest --help
usage: check-manifest [-h] [--version] [-v] [-c] [-u] [-p PYTHON]
                      [--ignore patterns]

Check a Python file for completeness

positional arguments:
  source_tree           location for the source tree (default: .)

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --version             show program's version number and exit
  -v, --verbose         more verbose output (default: False)
  -c, --create          create a if missing (default: False)
  -u, --update          append suggestions to (implies --create)
                        (default: False)
  -p PYTHON, --python PYTHON
                        use this Python interpreter for running sdist
                        (default: /home/mg/.venv/bin/python)
  --ignore patterns     ignore files/directories matching these comma-
                        separated patterns (default: None)
  --ignore-bad-ideas patterns
                        ignore bad idea files/directories matching these
                        comma-separated patterns (default: [])


You can configure check-manifest to ignore certain file patterns using a [tool.check-manifest] section in your pyproject.toml file or a [check-manifest] section in either setup.cfg or tox.ini. Examples:

# pyproject.toml
ignore = [".travis.yml"]

# setup.cfg or tox.ini
ignore =

Note that lists are newline separated in the setup.cfg and tox.ini files.

The following options are recognized:


A list of filename patterns that will be ignored by check-manifest. Use this if you want to keep files in your version control system that shouldn’t be included in your source distributions. The default ignore list is


If set to true, your ignore patterns will replace the default ignore list instead of adding to it.


A list of filename patterns that will be ignored by check-manifest’s generated files check. Use this if you want to keep generated files in your version control system, even though it is generally a bad idea.

Version control integration

With pre-commit, check-manifest can be part of your git-workflow. Add the following to your .pre-commit-config.yaml.

-   repo:
    rev: "0.39"
    -   id: check-manifest


0.41 (2020-02-25)

  • Support PEP 517, i.e. packages using pyproject.toml instead of a (#105).

  • Ignore subcommand stderr unless the subcommand fails. This avoids treating warning messages as filenames. (#110.)

0.40 (2019-10-15)

  • Add Python 3.8 support.

0.39 (2019-06-06)

0.38 (2019-04-23)

  • Add Python 3.7 support.

  • Drop Python 3.4 support.

  • Added GitHub templates to default ignore patterns.

  • Added reading check-manifest config out of tox.ini or pyproject.toml.

0.37 (2018-04-12)

  • Drop Python 3.3 support.

  • Support packages using setuptools_scm (#68).

    Note that setuptools_scm usually makes files obsolete. Having one is helpful only if you intend to build an sdist and then use that sdist to perform further builds, instead of building from a source checkout.

0.36 (2017-11-21)

  • Handle empty VCS repositories more gracefully (#84).

0.35 (2017-01-30)

  • Python 3.6 support.

0.34 (2016-09-14)

  • Fix WindowsError due to presence of read-only files (#74).

0.33 (2016-08-29)

  • Fix WindowsError due to git submodules in subdirectories (#73). Contributed by Loren Gordon.

0.32 (2016-08-16)

  • New config/command line option to ignore bad ideas (ignore-bad-ideas) (issue #67). Contributed by Brecht Machiels.

  • Files named .hgsigs are ignored by default. Contributed by Jakub Wilk.

0.31 (2016-01-28)

  • Drop Python 3.2 support.

  • Ignore commented-out lines in (issue #66).

0.30 (2015-12-10)

  • Support git submodules (issue #61).

  • Revert the zc.buildout support hack from 0.26 because it causes breakage (issue #56).

  • Improve non-ASCII filename handling with Bazaar on Windows.

0.29 (2015-11-21)

  • Fix –python with just a command name, to be found in path (issue #57).

0.28 (2015-11-11)

  • Fix detection of git repositories when .git is a file and not a directory (#53). One situation where this occurs is when the project is checked out as a git submodule.

  • Apply ignore patterns in subdirectories too (#54).

0.27 (2015-11-02)

  • Fix utter breakage on Windows, introduced in 0.26 (issue #52). (The bug – clearing the environment unnecessarily – could probably also cause locale-related problems on other OSes.)

0.26 (2015-10-30)

  • Do not complain about missing .gitattributes file (PR #50).

  • Normalize unicode representation and case of filenames. (issue #47).

  • Support installation via zc.buildout better (issue #35).

  • Drop Python 2.6 support because one of our test dependencies (mock) dropped it. This also means we no longer use environment markers.

0.25 (2015-05-27)

  • Stop dynamic computation of install_requires in this doesn’t work well in the presence of the pip 7 wheel cache. Use PEP-426 environment markers instead (this means we now require setuptools >= 0.7, and pip >= 6.0, and wheel >= 0.24).

0.24 (2015-03-26)

  • Make sure not being added to the VCS doesn’t cause hard-to-understand errors (issue #46).

0.23 (2015-02-12)

  • More reliable svn status parsing; now handles svn externals (issue #45).

  • The test suite now skips tests for version control systems that aren’t installed (issue #42).

0.22 (2014-12-23)

  • More terse output by default; use the new -v (--verbose) flag to see all the details.

  • Warn the user if is missing (issue #31).

  • Fix IOError when files listed under version control are missing (issue #32).

  • Improved wording of the match/do not match messages (issue #34).

  • Handle a relative –python path (issue #36).

  • Warn about leading and trailing slashes in (issue #37).

  • Ignore .travis.yml by default (issue #39).

  • Suggest a rule for Makefile found deeper in the source tree.

0.21 (2014-06-13)

  • Don’t drop setup.cfg when copying version-controlled files into a clean temporary directory (issue #29).

0.20 (2014-05-14)

  • Restore warning about files included in the sdist but not added to the version control system (issue #27).

  • Fix check-manifest relative/pathname (issue #28).

0.19 (2014-02-09)

  • More correct parsing for exclusion rules.

  • Some effort was expended towards Windows compatibility.

  • Handles non-ASCII filenames, as long as they’re valid in your locale (issue #23, #25).

0.18 (2014-01-30)

  • Friendlier error message when an external command cannot be found (issue #21).

  • Add suggestion pattern for .coveragerc.

  • Python 2.6 support (issue #22).

0.17 (2013-10-10)

  • Read the existing file for files to ignore (issue #19).

0.16 (2013-10-01)

  • Fix Subversion status parsing in the presence of svn usernames longer than 12 characters (issue #18).

0.15 (2013-09-20)

  • Normalize the paths of all files, avoiding some duplicate misses of directories. (issue #16). [maurits]

0.14 (2013-08-28)

  • Supports packages that do not live in the root of a version control repository (issue #15).

  • More reliable svn support: detect files that have been added but not committed (or committed but not updated).

  • Licence changed from GPL (v2 or later) to MIT (issue #12).

0.13 (2013-07-31)

  • New command line option: –ignore (issue #11). Contributed by Steven Myint.

  • New command line option: -p, –python. Defaults to the Python you used to run check-manifest. Fixes issues with packages that require Python 3 to run (issue #13).

0.12 (2013-05-15)

  • Add suggestion pattern for Makefile.

  • More generic suggestion patterns, should cover almost anything.

  • zest.releaser integration: skip check-release for non-Python packages (issue #9).

0.11 (2013-03-20)

  • Make sure is not ignored even if it hasn’t been added to the VCS yet (issue #7).

0.10 (2013-03-17)

  • check-manifest --version now prints the version number.

  • Don’t apologize for not adding rules for directories (especially after adding rules that include files inside that directory).

  • Python 3 support contributed by Steven Myint.

  • Default ignore patterns can be configured in setup.cfg (issue #3).

0.9 (2013-03-06)

  • Add suggestion pattern for .travis.yml.

  • When check-manifest -u (or -c) doesn’t know how to write a rule matching a particular file, it now apologizes explicitly.

  • Copy the source tree to a temporary directory before running python sdist to avoid side effects from setuptools plugins or stale *.egg-info/SOURCES.txt files (issue #1).

  • Warn if *.egg-info or *.mo is actually checked into the VCS.

  • Don’t complain if *.mo files are present in the sdist but not in the VCS (issue #2).

0.8 (2013-03-06)

  • Entry point for zest.releaser. If you install both zest.releaser and check-manifest, you will be asked if you want to check your manifest during fullrelease.

0.7 (2013-03-05)

  • First release available from the Python Package Index.

  • Moved from to

  • Added README.rst, CHANGES.rst,, tox.ini (but no real tests yet),, and a Makefile.

  • Fixed a bug in error reporting (when failed, the user would get TypeError: descriptor ‘__init__’ requires an ‘exceptions.Exception’ object but received a ‘str’).

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