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Python egg releaser

Project description

mkrelease is a no-frills Python egg releaser. It was created to take the cumber out of building and distributing Python eggs.


Here at Jarn, we use zc.buildout and pinned egg versions for customer deployments. This means that for every update, we have to make proper egg releases of all modified packages.

Turns out it’s quite a bit of work to put a new egg on a distribution server! After preparing a package for release (update version strings, etc) we typically have to:

  1. Commit modified files.
  2. Tag the release.
  3. Package up an egg.
  4. Distribute the egg via scp or upload it to an index server.

Now multiply by the number of packages waiting for release, and the moment of I gotta script this approaches at warp 9.


mkrelease requires Python 2.6 for its improved distutils support. Use easy_install jarn.mkrelease to install the mkrelease script. Then put it on your system PATH by e.g. symlinking it to /usr/local/bin.

mkrelease is known to work with the 0.6 series of setuptools (0.6c11) and distribute (0.6.10).


mkrelease [options] [scm-url|scm-sandbox]


-C, --no-commit
Do not commit modified files from the sandbox.
-T, --no-tag
Do not tag the release in SCM.
-S, --no-upload
Do not upload the release to dist-location.
-n, --dry-run
Dry-run; equivalent to -CTS.
--svn, --hg, --git
Select the SCM type. Only required if the SCM type cannot be guessed from the argument.
-d dist-location, --dist-location=dist-location
An scp destination specification, or an index server configured in ~/.pypirc, or an alias name for either. This option may be specified more than once.
-s, --sign
Sign the release with GnuPG.
-i identity, --identity=identity
The GnuPG identity to sign with.
-p, --push
Push changes upstream (Mercurial and Git.)
-e, --develop
Allow version number extensions (i.e. don’t ignore respective setup.cfg options.)
-b, --binary
Release a binary (bdist) egg.
-q, --quiet
Suppress output of setuptools commands.
-h, --help
Print the help message and exit.
-v, --version
Print the version string and exit.
The URL of a remote SCM repository.
A local SCM sandbox; defaults to the current working directory.


Release my.package, using version information from its, and distribute it to the default location:

$ mkrelease

The same as above, but release the contents of the SCM sandbox in src/my.package:

$ mkrelease src/my.package

Release my.package and distribute it via scp to

$ mkrelease -d src/my.package

Release my.package and upload it to PyPI:

$ mkrelease -d pypi src/my.package


mkrelease reads available index servers from the distutils configuration file ~/.pypirc. How this file must look is documented elsewhere.

mkrelease furthermore reads its own configuration file ~/.mkrelease. Here’s an example:

distbase =
distdefault = public

public =
customerA =
world =

(Note that pypi refers to the index server pypi as configured in ~/.pypirc. More on this later.)

Armed with the above configuration we can shorten example 3 to:

$ mkrelease -d public src/my.package

And, because public is the default location, we can omit -d entirely:

$ mkrelease src/my.package

Working with scp

The simplest distribution location is a server directory shared through Apache. Releasing an egg means scp-ing it to the appropriate place on the server:

$ mkrelease -d src/my.package

We have a distribution point for every project, so customer A does not see customer B’s releases:

$ mkrelease -d src/my.package

Typing the full destination every time is tedious, even setting up an alias for each and every customer is, so we configure distbase instead:

distbase =
distdefault = public

world =

The distbase is prepended if an scp destination does not contain a host part. We can now write:

$ mkrelease -d public src/my.package
$ mkrelease -d customerB src/my.package

Working with index servers

Another way of distributing Python eggs is by uploading to dedicated index servers, notably PyPI. We first need a ~/.pypirc file:

index-servers =

username = fred
password = secret

To release a package on PyPI we can now type:

$ mkrelease -d pypi src/my.package

Index servers are not limited to PyPI though. For example, in the Plone world it is common practice to upload packages to as well as PyPI. Let’s extend our ~/.pypirc:

index-servers =

username = fred
password = secret

repository =
username = fred
password = secret

This allows us to write:

$ mkrelease -d pypi -d ploneorg src/my.package

Finally, we can group the servers by defining an alias in ~/.mkrelease:

plone =

And type:

$ mkrelease -d plone src/my.package

Note: Due to the way setuptools works, the egg is rebuilt for every index server it is uploaded to. This means that MD5 sums and GnuPG signatures will differ between servers. If this is not what you want, upload to only one server and distribute from there by other means (e.g. replication).

Releasing a tag

Release my.package from an existing tag:

$ mkrelease -T

Only Subversion allows us to specify the tag as part of the URL. With Mercurial and Git we need a local working copy, switched to the tag we want to release:

$ git checkout -f 1.0
$ mkrelease -T

Using GnuPG

Release my.package and sign the archive with GnuPG (the gpg command must be available on the system PATH):

$ mkrelease -s -i -d pypi src/my.package

The -i flag is entirely optional, and GnuPG will pick your default key if not given. Additionally, defaults for -s and -i may be configured in ~/.mkrelease:

sign = yes
identity =


The following commands must be available on the system PATH (you only need what you plan to use):

  • svn
  • hg
  • git
  • scp



The release tag can only be created if the package follows the standard Subversion repository layout:,, and If you have a non-standard repository, you must tag by hand and run mkrelease with the -T option.


Git’s short-hand notation for ssh:// URLs is not supported.


3.0.2 - 2010-03-12

  • Add support for Git 1.7. [stefan]

3.0.1 - 2010-02-07

  • Stop when -d pypi is given but no configuration can be found. [stefan]
  • Use gnu_getopt to parse the command line. [stefan]

3.0 - 2010-01-15

  • Switch to -n for dry-run to be consistent with other tools. [stefan]
  • Rename –skip-* long options to –no-* for the same reason. [stefan]
  • Fix a bug in Mercurial and Git sandbox detection. [stefan]
  • Prepare for standalone distutils. [stefan]

2.0.4 - 2010-01-10

  • Improve Git support to handle remotes other than origin. [stefan]
  • Fix SCM detection in ssh:// URLs. [stefan]

2.0.3 - 2010-01-03

  • Add -b option for releasing binary eggs. [stefan]
  • Don’t choke on dirty sandboxes when dry-running. [stefan]

2.0.2 - 2009-08-29

  • Filter meta files (.svn*, .hg*, .git*) and never include them in releases. [stefan]
  • Make sure to clean up all temporary files. [stefan]

2.0.1 - 2009-07-24

  • Fixed bug which could cause mkrelease to issue eggs with faulty manifest files (Symptom: data files not installed). [stefan]
  • The -e flag now implies -T. We never want to tag a development release. [stefan]

2.0 - 2009-07-16

  • Allow command line options to appear after the argument. As in: mkrelease src/my.package -q -d pypi. [stefan]

2.0b2 - 2009-07-09

  • Improve user feedback in the SCM-detection part. [stefan]
  • Document the -e flag. [stefan]
  • Drop global configuration file for YAGNI. [stefan]
  • Allow to set default values for -s and -i in ~/.mkrelease. [stefan]

2.0b1 - 2009-07-03

  • By default, ignore all version number extensions (dev-r12345) that may be configured in setup.cfg. Passing the -e flag disables this safeguard. [witsch, stefan]
  • Delete any existing signature file before signing anew. This keeps GnuPG from complaining about existing (but left-over) files. [stefan]

2.0a2 - 2009-06-27

  • Drop configurable Python and use sys.executable. This also means we now require Python 2.6. [stefan]
  • Force setuptools to only use file-finders for the selected SCM type. This is required to support multi-SCM sandboxes (think git-svn). [stefan]
  • Treat Subversion sandboxes just like the others and avoid the temporary checkout step. [stefan]
  • Remove the -u flag for being pointless. [stefan]

2.0a1 - 2009-06-14

  • Added support for Mercurial and Git. [stefan]
  • Added 250+ unit tests. [stefan]

1.0.2 - 2009-06-13

  • Documented long options. [stefan]
  • Print a “Tagging …” line before tagging. [stefan]

1.0 - 2009-05-14

  • Print help and version to stdout, not stderr. [stefan]

1.0b4 - 2009-04-30

  • Since distutils commands may return 0, successful or not, we must check their output for signs of failure. [stefan]
  • Allow to pass argument list to main(). [stefan]

1.0b3 - 2009-03-23

  • No longer depend on grep. [stefan]
  • Use subprocess.Popen instead of os.system and os.popen. [stefan]
  • Protect against infinite alias recursion. [stefan]
  • Drop -z option and always create zip files from now on. [stefan]

1.0b2 - 2009-03-19

  • Checkin everything that’s been modified, not just “relevant” files. [stefan]
  • Expand aliases recursively. [stefan]

1.0b1 - 2009-03-18

  • The distbase and distdefault config file options no longer have default values. [stefan]
  • Read index servers from ~/.pypirc and allow them to be used with -d. [stefan]
  • The -d option may be specified more than once. [stefan]
  • Dropped -p option. Use -d pypi instead. [stefan]
  • Dropped -c option. If your have non-standard SVN repositories you must tag by hand. [stefan]

0.19 - 2009-02-23

  • Absolute-ize the temp directory path. [stefan]

0.18 - 2009-01-26

  • Include README.txt and CHANGES.txt in long_description. [stefan]
  • Rid unused imports and locals. [stefan]

0.17 - 2009-01-23

  • Add -c option to enable codespeak support. The repository uses branch and tag instead of branches and tags. [gotcha, stefan]

0.16 - 2009-01-13

  • Fold regex construction into find and make find a method. [stefan]
  • Update README.txt. [stefan]

0.15 - 2009-01-13

  • Support for reading default options from a config file. [fschulze, stefan]

0.14 - 2009-01-08

  • Add -s and -i options for signing PyPI uploads with GnuPG. [stefan]
  • Stop execution after any failing step. [stefan]

0.13 - 2009-01-05

  • Stop execution when the checkin step fails. [stefan]

0.12 - 2009-01-02

  • setup.cfg may not exist. [stefan]

0.11 - 2008-12-02

  • Add setup.cfg to list of files we check in. [stefan]

0.10 - 2008-10-21

  • Don’t capitalize GetOptError messages. [stefan]

0.9 - 2008-10-16

  • Add -v option to print the script version. [stefan]

0.8 - 2008-10-16

  • Lift restriction where only svn trunk could be released. [stefan]

0.7 - 2008-10-09

  • Fix PyPI upload which must happen on the same command line as sdist. [stefan]

0.6 - 2008-10-08

  • Update README.txt. [stefan]

0.5 - 2008-10-08

  • Also locate and checkin HISTORY.txt to support ZopeSkel’ed eggs. [stefan]

0.4 - 2008-10-08

  • Use svn checkout instead of svn export because it makes a difference to setuptools. [stefan]
  • Add -p option for uploading to PyPI instead of dist-location. [stefan]

0.3 - 2008-10-06

  • Also locate and checkin version.txt. [stefan]

0.2 - 2008-10-01

  • Add -z option to create zip archives instead of the default tar.gz. [stefan]

0.1 - 2008-10-01

  • Initial release [stefan]

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