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A Build System

Project description

A set of tools for managing multi-package software deployments with buildout.

Manage large multi-package projects with ease is a command line tool for quickly creating new eggs and buildout configurations for an application that has multiple interdependant packages. As an example, consider a web application that helps you manage your twitter followers, called Twollo (short for twitter followers), you may have several different python packages which handle different aspects of your application:

  • twollo.integration - a package for managing integration with twitter

  • twollo.web - a web front end for the twollo.integration package

  • - a rest API for working with twollo.integration

  • twollo.utils - a package filled with random utilities and stuff.

Using you will be able to manage the lifecycle of these python packages and any number of deployment configurations coherently. Specifically, will:

  • Allow you to define a Project, which is a collection of interdependent eggs that generally get released together.

  • Automatically create new egg releases of each package when necessary.

  • Upload new eggs to a private egg repository.

  • Generate versioned buildout configuration files that combine the eggs properly.

  • Upload the buildout configuration files to a private configuration server.

  • Upload dependent buildout configuration files to a private configuration server (by checking the extends= chain)


Installing a released version of

You can use easy_install to get the latest release:

$ easy_install

Installing a developer version of

Checkout the code:

$ svn checkout svn://
$ cd

Run the bootstrap script and buildout:

$ python
$ ./bin/buildout

Running the build-package script

Once installation is complete, you should be able to run the build-package script. (Found in ./bin/build-package with developer installations):

$ build-package
Usage: build-package [options]

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -c FILE, --config-file=FILE
                        The file containing the configuration of the project.
  -q, --quiet           When specified, no messages are displayed.
  -v, --verbose         When specified, debug information is created.
  -d, --use-defaults    When specified, no user input is required and the defaults are used.
  -o, --offline-mode    When set, no server commands are executed.
  -n, --next-version    When set, the system guesses the next version to generate.
  -b BRANCH, --use-branch=BRANCH
                        When specified, this branch will be always used.
  -i BRANCHES --independent-branches=BRANCH1 BRANCH2,
                        When specified, the system guesses the next version from all this branches.
  --no-upload           When set, the generated configuration files are not uploaded.
  --no-branch-update    When set, the branch is not updated with a new version after a release is created.

Getting Started


First we need to start with some assumptions that has about the way packages are laid out. When developing multiple packages in tandem, it often makes sense to have your subversion repository laid out like so:


The important thing to note is that each package does not have its own branches/ tags/ trunk/ directories, but rather there is just one set of the entire “project.”

Defining a Project configuration file

Before you can really do anything with the build-package script, you have to define a configuration file. Project configuration files use the INI [1] file format. Every project configuration file must have a [build] section. The project configuration file for the Twollo would look something like this:

# Twollo.cfg

name = Twollo  #this has nothing to do with the twollo package namespace
version = +
template = Twollo-Release-Template.cfg
package-index =
package-index-username = someuser
package-index-password = somepass
buildout-server =
buildout-server-username = someuser
buildout-server-password = somepass
svn-repos =
svn-repos-username = somesvnuser
svn-repos-password = somepass
packages = twollo.integration

Let’s go over each of the settings in the build section of Twollo.cfg.

  • name - This is the name of the project. It can be anything you want and has nothing to do with the packages that make up the project. The name will be part of the generation buildout configuration files.

  • version - This is the version to use when making a new release of the Project. The version number becomes part of the filename for the generated buildout configuration files.

    • Using + as the version will simply increment the version number of the project from the versions that have already been released.

  • template - This is a base buildout configuration file to use for all deployments. When a new Project release is created, the [versions] section will automatically be updated with the correct versions of each of the twollow.* packages. More on this later.

  • tag-layout - Choose from flat or subfolder

    • flat Tags will be created in svn as /tags/package-version This is the default setting.

    • subfolder Tags will be created in svn as /tags/package/version

  • upload-type - Choose from internal or

    • internal Upload packages to a WebDAV enabled web server using the below credetials. This is the default setting. (actually does a python sdist and uploads the result)

    • Executes python sdist register upload, does nothing else as this command should take care of the upload.

  • package-index - The url to a WebDAV [2] enabled web server where generated eggs for each of the twollow.* packages should be uploaded. Used for upload only if upload-type is internal. Also used to check/get existing versions of packages.

  • package-index-username - The username for accessing the WebDAV server

  • package-index-password - The password for accessing the WebDAV server

  • buildout-upload-type - Choose from webdav, local or mypypi

    • webdav Upload generated buildout files to the url specified by buildout-server with the WebDAV protocol.

    • local Just generate buildout files, don’t upload them. If buildout-server is given buildout files will be copied to that folder.

    • mypypi Upload generated buildout files to the url specified by buildout-server. The url should point to the mypypi upload page. (Something like http://yourhost/++projects++/)

  • buildout-server - The url to a WebDAV enabled web server where generated buildout files should be uploaded. If buildout-upload-type is local this is a path on the local filesystem. Buildout files wil be copied to this folder. If not given, the process stops after releasing the packages.

  • buildout-server-username - The username for accessing the WebDAV server

  • buildout-server-password - The password for accessing the WebDAV server

  • svn-repos - The url for the subversion repository where all the source code lives, including release tags.

  • svn-repos-username - The username for the url repository. Use the command line option --force-svnauth to force all svn operations to use this credential. Otherwise cached authentication will be used.

  • svn-repos-password - The password for the url repository.

  • hash-config-files - Add hashes based on file content to dependent config filenames.

  • packages - a list of packages that are part of the project. These are the packages that live in the svn repository and that should be released in conjunction with each other.

Defining a Release Template

As we saw in the previous section, Twollo.cfg refers to a file called Twollo-Release-Template.cfg. This is just a base buildout configuration. Additional to this, we can also define different configuration data as define in stage and production section. Such sections can get used in a product deployment as additional (shared) variables. For the Twollo project, it might look like this:

# Twollo-Release-Template.cfg

extends =
parts = test
find-links =

recipe = zc.recipe.testrunner
eggs = twollo.web

recipe = zc.zope3recipes:app
servers = zserver
site.zcml = <include package="twollo.web" file="app.zcml" />
eggs = twollo.web

location =

memcached =

memcached =

When a new release of the Twollo project is made, a [versions] section will be added to this configuration file with all the correct twollow.* versions pinned down.

Defining Multiple Deployment Configurations

Each time you release a Project, you may want to generate different buildout configuration files for all the different deployment environments you might have. For example, you may have three different environments: Development, QA, and Production. These are called variants. Each environment may need to have the application run on different ports, at different log levels, or have other small differences.

We can easily generate additional configuration variants by adding addtional sections to the Twollo.cfg file:

# Twollo.cfg

template = Twollo-Instance-Template.cfg
vars = stage
port = 9080
logdir = /opt/twollo/dev/logs
install-dir = /opt/twollo/dev
loglevel = debug
cache-size = 1000

template = Twollo-Instance-Template.cfg
vars = stage
port = 9082
logdir = /opt/twollo/qa/logs
install-dir = /opt/twollo/qa
loglevel = info
cache-size = 1000

template = Twollo-Instance-Template.cfg
vars = production
port = 8080
logdir = /var/log/twollo
install-dir = /opt/twollo/
loglevel = warn
cache-size = 200000

We can then have a single Twollo-Instance-Template.cfg file that uses python’s built in string templating to access the variables we set in Twollo.cfg. For the Twollo project, it might look like this:

# Twollo-Instance-Template.cfg

parts += twollo
directory = %(install-dir)s

recipe = zc.recipe.filestorage

recipe = zc.zope3recipes:instance
application = twollo-app
zope.conf =

  <product-config memcached>
    memcached %(memcached)s

    cache-size %(cache-size)s
      path ${database:path}

    type WSGI-HTTP
    address %(port)s

    level %(loglevel)s
      formatter zope.exceptions.log.Formatter
      path %(logdir)s/twollo.log

      level info
      path %(logdir)s/twollo-access.log

As you can see, the Twollo.cfg uses additional vars (stage, production) which makes it very simple to define a lagrge amount of shared attributes in a release template and use them in the instance template. Note, a side effect from the python config parser is, that you will inherit arguments define in a duplicated section define in an template loaded via (buildout) extends.

Releasing a Project

Once you have created all the necessary configuration files, you can make your first project release. This is where the build-package script comes in to play. The first time you run the build-package script, the only option you need to pass in will be the configuration file.

The build-package script will prompt you for version information about each of the packages it will be releasing as part of the Twollo.cfg project. Your first interaction with the script might look like this:

$ build-package -c Twollo.cfg --quiet
Version for `twollo.integration` : 1.0.0
The release twollo.integration-1.0.0 does not exist.
Do you want to create it? yes/no [yes]: yes
Version for `` : 1.0.0
The release does not exist.
Do you want to create it? yes/no [yes]: yes
Version for `twollo.utils` : 1.0.0
The release twollo.utils-1.0.0 does not exist.
Do you want to create it? yes/no [yes]: yes
Version for `twollo.web` : 1.0.0
The release twollo.web-1.0.0 does not exist.
Do you want to create it? yes/no [yes]: yes

The next time you make a release, you can set the -n flag for build-package to automatically guess the next version that should be released. It does this by first looking for all the release tags of a given package and finding the last changed revision for the trunk of a given package. If any code for the given package was changed since the last time it was released, it will bump the most minor version number automatically. If no change has occured, it will choose the latest existing release.

You can also use the -d flag to make build-package not prompt you before creating a new release.

If you need to make a new release from a particular branch, you can use the -b option. For example, if bug fixes have been made to the Twollo-1.x branch, we can create a new release using code from this branch like this:

$ build-package -c Twollo.cfg -nb Twollo-1.x

When the new package versions are calculated, they will be versioned along the 1.x line, even if you have since created 2.x releases, by analyzing the name of the branch.

Caveat when using -n and -d on a branch with a branchname ending with the version number is that you’ll need to have the package versions matching the branch version. E.g. having a branch: branches/twollo-1.9 will suppose packages like twollow.web-1.9.x and twollow.utils-1.9.x and so on. You should be aware of this also when releasing packages from the trunk. Most probably you’ll drive development on the trunk and branch out for a stable. In this case package versions on the branch should be kept inline.

Installing a Released Project also comes with a very simple installation script that can be used to quickly install any variant of the released project:

$ install --help
Usage: install [options]

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -u URL, --url=URL     The base URL at which the releases can be found.
  -p PROJECT, --project=PROJECT
                        The name of the project to be installed.
  -V VARIANT, --variant=VARIANT
                        The variant of the project to be installed.
  -v VERSION, --version=VERSION
                        The version of the project to be installed.
  -l, --latest          When specified, the latest version will be chosen.
  --username=USER       The username needed to access the site.
  --password=PASSWORD   The password needed to access the site.
  -b PATH, --buildout-path=PATH
                        The path to the buildout executable.
  --quiet               When specified, no messages are displayed.
  --verbose             When specified, debug information is created.

For example, to install the latest QA version of the Twollo project, you would run:

$ install -u -p Twollo -V QA –latest

Creating Helper Scripts

Sometimes it can be a pain to remember what all the command line options are that you need to pass for building your project. Fortunately, it is really easy to create helper scripts that just set some defaults for you.

For example, to create a build-twollo script, you would add the following to a buildout configuration file:

recipe = zc.recipe.egg
eggs =
scripts = build=build-twollo
initialization =
    sys.argv[1:1] = ['-c', 'Twollo.cfg']

As another example, you could create an install-twollo-dev script that automatically installs the latest development release:

recipe = zc.recipe.egg
eggs =
scripts = install=install-twollo-dev
initialization =
    sys.argv[1:1] = ['-u', '',
                     ' --username', 'someuser', '--password', 'somepass',
                     '-p', 'Twollo', '-V', 'Development', '--latest']

The possibilities are endless!



0.4.1 (2013-11-28)

  • bugfix: prevent generating bad buildout option key/value seperators. Generate += instead of + = used for e.g. buildout parts options. Otherwise it fails since buildout 2.0

0.4.0 (2013-11-24)

  • feature: implemented a new argument vars in deployment template section. The new vars argument can get used for define a release template section. If defined, the build process will apply all arguments from this section as they would be a a part of the project section. This allows to inherit a large amount of arguments in a project definition instead of define them in each project. This is usefull if you have a stage and many production variants and the instance uses config data like a database setup and you need to share them. For such a usecase you can simply define a stage and production section and define all shared arguments and use the right vars section in your product deployment setup. See the memcached sample in index.txt

    Note, this new product deployment template vars argument could be a problem for your existing setup if you use a vars argument with a value similar then a section name defined in your section template.

0.3.1 (2013-09-25)

  • Improvement: added default-package-version command line option to avoid interactive questions on new packages

0.3.0 (2012-12-27)

  • feature: added -i –independent-branches option. This option will force to check if the last release was made from the same branch we are releasing from. This is required if you develop a new software generation in a branch which is independent from the trunk. Previous version of where only able to handle branch releases as bug fix releases and didn’t make sure that we don’t mix trunk and branch releases. Now with the -i option we force that all released packages will be made or reused based on the current trunk or branch (-b trunk,branch)

  • added more logging infos for find or skip next version which makes is simpler to see what’s going on

0.2.2 (2011-08-29)

  • Improvement: add current-datetime, current-date, current-time variables

0.2.1 (2011-04-07)

  • Fix RawConfigParser usage, it destroys options values by making them all lowercase.

0.2.0 (2011-04-06)

  • Bump versions to ZTK 1.1

  • Improvement: add SVN repo infos to the project config file. Yah, I know this can be checked anytime, but adding this saves a lot of time.

  • Improvement: add option hash-config-files

0.1.8 (2010-05-11)

  • Fix: Do NOT register with python

  • Fix: bump setuptools and zc.buildout versions

  • Fix: 0.1.7 tar.gz was broken

0.1.7 (2010-04-26)

  • BUGFIX: the dependent config file gathering killed the version pins in the master config file

  • Improvement: PYPI-like simple index support when checking package versions

  • Improvement: Check dependent configs, upload all to the server.

  • Improvement: Add --force-version option.

  • Improvement: Add version to svn log comment. That makes life easier (at least with TortoiseSVN)

  • Improvement: Add --force-svnauth option.

  • Improvement: Add --directory option to install.

0.1.6 (2009-11-2)

  • Improvement: When determining released versions of a branch, support branch names ending with .x, as in MyProject-0.3.x

0.1.5 (2009-10-16)

  • Improvement: add username and password on install to the URL that buildout gets for the .cfg file Let’s hope that buildout does not leave that password around.

  • Improvement(?) or fix: remove twisted dependency that was used in deploy for SSH

  • Improvement: removed dependency on lxml. Now we just use pythons built-in xml library.

  • Improvement: added buildout-upload-type option. See doc for further info

  • Bug Fix: multiline template option values crashed on parsing

  • Bug Fix: re did not like non-text parameters coming from BeautifulSoup

  • Improvement: added the --timeout option to install

  • Improvement: added mypypi buildout file upload support

  • Bug Fix: revert to checkout of the complete source tree

0.1.4 (2009-10-01)

  • Bug Fix: installer script would crash when -u option was missing a trailing /

  • Bug Fix: installer script would crash when no variants were found.

  • Improvement: Building a package will no longer checkout the entire branch just to update the file with the new version number. Instead only the top level directory is checked out.

  • Bug Fix: project build script would crash when variant configuration was missing information required by its template. Now a helpful error message is printed and no files will be uploaded until all have been created successfully.

  • Bug Fix: Typing Ctrl+c on the command line no longer causes a KeyboardInterrupt traceback to be spit out.

  • Bug Fix: when running the installer, if the buildout command prompts the user for input, the installer will no longer eat up the prompt.

0.1.3 (2009-09-30)

  • Initial public release.

0.1.1 (internal)

  • Bug Fix: If a project variant is specified for which no release have been made, the build script now exits nicely with a human readable error message.

0.1.0 (internal)

  • Initial release.

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