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Open source machine learning framework to automate text- and voice-based conversations: NLU, dialogue management, connect to Slack, Facebook, and more - Create chatbots and voice assistants

Project description

Rasa Open Source

Join the chat on Rasa Community Forum PyPI version Supported Python Versions Build Status Coverage Status Documentation Status Documentation Build FOSSA Status PRs Welcome

Rasa is an open source machine learning framework to automate text-and voice-based conversations. With Rasa, you can build contextual assistants on:

  • Facebook Messenger
  • Slack
  • Google Hangouts
  • Webex Teams
  • Microsoft Bot Framework
  • Rocket.Chat
  • Mattermost
  • Telegram
  • Twilio
  • Your own custom conversational channels

or voice assistants as:

  • Alexa Skills
  • Google Home Actions

Rasa helps you build contextual assistants capable of having layered conversations with lots of back-and-forth. In order for a human to have a meaningful exchange with a contextual assistant, the assistant needs to be able to use context to build on things that were previously discussed – Rasa enables you to build assistants that can do this in a scalable way.

There's a lot more background information in this blog post.

Where to get help

There is extensive documentation in the Rasa Docs. Make sure to select the correct version so you are looking at the docs for the version you installed.

Please use Rasa Community Forum for quick answers to questions.

README Contents:

How to contribute

We are very happy to receive and merge your contributions into this repository!

To contribute via pull request, follow these steps:

  1. Create an issue describing the feature you want to work on (or have a look at the contributor board)
  2. Write your code, tests and documentation, and format them with black
  3. Create a pull request describing your changes

For more detailed instructions on how to contribute code, check out these code contributor guidelines.

You can find more information about how to contribute to Rasa (in lots of different ways!) on our website..

Your pull request will be reviewed by a maintainer, who will get back to you about any necessary changes or questions. You will also be asked to sign a Contributor License Agreement.

Development Internals

Installing Poetry

Rasa uses Poetry for packaging and dependency management. If you want to build it from source, you have to install Poetry first. This is how it can be done:

curl -sSL | python

There are several other ways to install Poetry. Please, follow the official guide to see all possible options.

Managing environments

The official Poetry guide suggests to use pyenv or any other similar tool to easily switch between Python versions. This is how it can be done:

pyenv install 3.7.6
pyenv local 3.7.6  # Activate Python 3.7.6 for the current project

By default, Poetry will try to use the currently activated Python version to create the virtual environment for the current project automatically. You can also create and activate a virtual environment manually — in this case, Poetry should pick it up and use it to install the dependencies. For example:

python -m venv .venv
source .venv/bin/activate

You can make sure that the environment is picked up by executing

poetry env info

Building from source

To install dependencies and rasa itself in editable mode execute

make install

Running and changing the documentation

First of all, install all the required dependencies:

make install install-docs

After the installation has finished, you can run and view the documentation locally using:

make livedocs

It should open a new tab with the local version of the docs in your browser; if not, visit http://localhost:3000 in your browser. You can now change the docs locally and the web page will automatically reload and apply your changes.

Running the Tests

In order to run the tests, make sure that you have the development requirements installed:

make prepare-tests-ubuntu # Only on Ubuntu and Debian based systems
make prepare-tests-macos  # Only on macOS

Then, run the tests:

make test

They can also be run at multiple jobs to save some time:

JOBS=[n] make test

Where [n] is the number of jobs desired. If omitted, [n] will be automatically chosen by pytest.

Resolving merge conflicts

Poetry doesn't include any solution that can help to resolve merge conflicts in the lock file poetry.lock by default. However, there is a great tool called poetry-merge-lock. Here is how you can install it:

pip install poetry-merge-lock

Just execute this command to resolve merge conflicts in poetry.lock automatically:


Code Style

To ensure a standardized code style we use the formatter black. To ensure our type annotations are correct we use the type checker pytype. If your code is not formatted properly or doesn't type check, GitHub will fail to build.


If you want to automatically format your code on every commit, you can use pre-commit. Just install it via pip install pre-commit and execute pre-commit install in the root folder. This will add a hook to the repository, which reformats files on every commit.

If you want to set it up manually, install black via poetry install. To reformat files execute

make formatter

Type Checking

If you want to check types on the codebase, install mypy using poetry install. To check the types execute

make types

Deploying documentation updates

We use Docusaurus v2 to build docs for tagged versions and for the master branch. The static site that gets built is pushed to the documentation branch of this repo.

We host the site on netlify. On master branch builds (see .github/workflows/documentation.yml), we push the built docs to the documentation branch. Netlify automatically re-deploys the docs pages whenever there is a change to that branch.


Release Timeline for Minor Releases

For Rasa Open Source, we usually commit to time-based releases, specifically on a monthly basis. This means that we commit beforehand to releasing a specific version of Rasa Open Source on a specific day, and we cannot be 100% sure what will go in a release, because certain features may not be ready.

At the beginning of each quarter, the Rasa team will review the scheduled release dates for all products and make sure they work for the projected work we have planned for the quarter, as well as work well across products.

Once the dates are settled upon, we update the respective milestones.

Cutting a Major / Minor release

A week before release day

  1. Make sure the milestone already exists and is scheduled for the correct date.
  2. Take a look at the issues & PRs that are in the milestone: does it look about right for the release highlights we are planning to ship? Does it look like anything is missing? Don't worry about being aware of every PR that should be in, but it's useful to take a moment to evaluate what's assigned to the milestone.
  3. Post a message on the engineering Slack channel, letting the team know you'll be the one cutting the upcoming release, as well as:
    1. Providing the link to the appropriate milestone
    2. Reminding everyone to go over their issues and PRs and please assign them to the milestone
    3. Reminding everyone of the scheduled date for the release

A day before release day

  1. Go over the milestone and evaluate the status of any PR merging that's happening. Follow up with people on their bugs and fixes. If the release introduces new bugs or regressions that can't be fixed in time, we should discuss on Slack about this and take a decision to go forward or postpone the release. The PR / issue owners are responsible for communicating any issues which might be release relevant.

Release day! 🚀

  1. At the start of the day, post a small message on slack announcing release day!. Communicate you'll be handling the release, and the time you're aiming to start releasing (again, no later than 4pm, as issues may arise and cause delays)
  2. Make sure the milestone is empty (everything has been either merged or moved to the next milestone)
  3. Once everything in the milestone is taken care of, post a small message on Slack communicating you are about to start the release process (in case anything is missing).
  4. You may now do the release by following the instructions outlined in the Rasa Open Source README !

Steps to release a new version

Releasing a new version is quite simple, as the packages are build and distributed by GitHub Actions.


  • micro release (third version part increases): 1.1.2 -> 1.1.3
  • minor release (second version part increases): 1.1.3 -> 1.2.0
  • major release (first version part increases): 1.2.0 -> 2.0.0

Release steps:

  1. Make sure all dependencies are up to date (especially Rasa SDK)
    • For Rasa SDK that means first creating a new Rasa SDK release (make sure the version numbers between the new Rasa and Rasa SDK releases match)
    • Once the tag with the new Rasa SDK release is pushed and the package appears on pypi, the dependency in the rasa repository can be resolved (see below).
  2. Switch to the branch you want to cut the release from (master in case of a major / minor, the current feature branch for micro releases)
    • Update the rasa-sdk entry in pyproject.toml with the new release version and run poetry update. This creates a new poetry.lock file with all dependencies resolved.
    • Commit the changes with git commit -am "bump rasa-sdk dependency" but do not push them. They will be automatically picked up by the following step.
  3. Run make release
  4. Create a PR against master or the release branch (e.g. 1.2.x)
  5. Once your PR is merged, tag a new release (this SHOULD always happen on master or release branches), e.g. using
    git tag 1.2.0 -m "next release"
    git push origin 1.2.0
    GitHub will build this tag and publish the build artifacts.
  6. If this is a minor release, a new release branch should be created pointing to the same commit as the tag to allow for future patch releases, e.g.
    git checkout -b 1.2.x
    git push origin 1.2.x

Cutting a Micro release

Micro releases are simpler to cut, since they are meant to contain only bugfixes.

The only things you need to do to cut a micro are:

  1. Notify the engineering team on Slack that you are planning to cut a micro, in case someone has an important fix to add.
  2. Make sure the bugfix(es) are in the release branch you will use (p.e if you are cutting a 2.0.4 micro, you will need your fixes to be on the 2.0.x release branch). All micros must come from a .x branch!
  3. Once you're ready to release the Rasa Open Source micro, checkout the branch, run make release and follow the steps + get the PR merged.
  4. Once the PR is in, pull the .x branch again and push the tag!


Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. Copyright 2020 Rasa Technologies GmbH. Copy of the license.

A list of the Licenses of the dependencies of the project can be found at the bottom of the Libraries Summary.

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