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A tool to manage identities.

Project description

Sorting Hat tests PyPI version


A tool to manage identities.

Sorting Hat maintains an SQL database of unique identities of communities members across (potentially) many different sources. Identities corresponding to the same real person can be merged in the same individual, with a unique uuid. For each individual, a profile can be defined, with the name and other data shown for the corresponding person by default.

In addition, each individual can be related to one or more affiliations, for different time periods. This will usually correspond to different organizations in which the person was employed during those time periods.

Sorting Hat is a part of the GrimoireLab toolset, which provides Python modules and scripts to analyze data sources with information about software development, and allows the production of interactive dashboards to visualize that information.

In the context of GrimoireLab, Sorting Hat is usually run after data is retrieved with Perceval, to store the identities obtained into its database, and later merge them into individuals (and maybe affiliate them).


  • Python >= 3.8
  • Poetry >= 1.1.0
  • MySQL >= 5.7 or MariaDB 10.0
  • Django = 3.2
  • Graphene-Django >= 2.0
  • uWSGI >= 2.0

You will also need some other libraries for running the tool, you can find the whole list of dependencies in pyproject.toml file.


Getting the source code

To install from the source code you will need to clone the repository first:

$ git clone
$ cd grimoirelab-sortinghat




We use Poetry for managing the project. You can install it following these steps.


Before you install SortingHat tool you might need to install mysql_config command. If you are using a Debian based distribution, this command can be found either in libmysqlclient-dev or libmariadbclient-dev packages (depending on if you are using MySQL or MariaDB database server). You can install these packages in your system with the next commands:

  • MySQL
$ apt install libmysqlclient-dev
  • MariaDB
$ apt install libmariadbclient-dev-compat

Installation and configuration

Note: these examples use sortinghat.config.settings configuration file. In order to use that configuration you need to define the environment variable SORTINGHAT_SECRET_KEY with a secret. More info here:

Install the required dependencies (this will also create a virtual environment).

$ poetry install

Activate the virtual environment:

$ poetry shell

Database creation, apply migrations and fixtures, deploy static files, and create a superuser:

(.venv)$ sortinghat-admin --config sortinghat.config.settings setup

Running the backend

Run SortingHat backend Django app:

(.venv)$ ./ runserver --settings=sortinghat.config.settings




To compile and run the frontend you will need to install yarn first. The latest versions of yarn can only be installed with npm - which is distributed with NodeJS.

When you have npm installed, then run the next command to install yarn on the system:

npm install -g yarn

Check the official documentation for more information.

Installation and configuration

Install the required dependencies

$ cd ui/
$ yarn install

Running the frontend on development mode

Run SortingHat backend Django app:

(.venv)$ ./ runserver --settings=config.settings.devel

Build the frontend and watch for changes:

$ yarn watch --api_url=http://localhost:8000/api/ --publicpath="/static/" --mode development

SortingHat service

Starting at version 0.8, SortingHat is released with a server app. The server has two modes, production and development.

When production mode is active, a WSGI app is served. The idea is to use a reverse proxy like NGINX or similar, that will be connected with the WSGI app to provide an interface HTTP.

When development mode is active, an HTTP server is launched, so you can interact directly with SortingHat using HTTP requests. Take into account this mode is not suitable nor safe for production.

You will need a django configuration file to run the service. The file must be accessible via PYTHONPATH env variable. You can use the one delivered within the SortingHat package (stored in sortinghat/config folder) and modify it with your parameters. Following examples will make use of that file.

In order to run the service for the first time, you need to execute the next commands:

Build the UI interface:

$ cd ui
$ yarn install
$ yarn build --mode development

If you want to run the UI at /identities run (you need to use the server behind a proxy server):

$ yarn build

Set a secret key:

$ export SORTINGHAT_SECRET_KEY="my-secret-key"

Set up the service creating a database, deploying static files, and adding a superuser to access the app:

$ sortinghat-admin --config sortinghat.config.settings setup

Run the server (use --dev flag for development mode):

$ sortinghatd --config sortinghat.config.settings

By default, this runs a WSGI server in The --dev flag runs a server in

You will also need to run some workers to execute tasks like recommendations or affiliation. To start a worker run the command:

$ sortinghatw --config sortinghat.config.settings

Create new accounts

To create new accounts for SortingHat use the following command:

(.venv)$ sortinghat-admin create-user

Usage: sortinghat-admin create-user [OPTIONS]

  Create a new user given a username and password

  --username TEXT   Specifies the login for the user.
  --is-admin        Specifies if the user is superuser.
  --no-interactive  Run the command in no interactive mode.

Compatibility between versions

SortingHat 0.7.x is no longer supported. Any database using this version will not work.

SortingHat databases 0.7.x are no longer compatible. The uidentities table was renamed to individuals. The database schema changed in all tables to add the fields created_at and last_modified. Also in domains, enrollments, identities, profiles tables, there are some specific changes to the column names:

  • domains
    • organization_id to organization
  • enrollments
    • organization_id to organization
    • uuid to individual
  • identities
    • uuid to individual
  • profiles
    • country_code to country
    • uuid to individual

Please update your database running the following command:

$ sortinghat-admin --config sortinghat.config.settings migrate-old-database


SortingHat allows hosting multiple instances with a single service having each instance's data isolated in different databases.

To enable this feature follow these guidelines:

  • Set MULTI_TENANT settings to True.
  • Define a list of tenants using the configuration file sortinghat/config/tenants.json. You can use a different json file using the environment variable SORTINGHAT_MULTI_TENANT_LIST_PATH
  • Assign users to tenants with the following command: sortinghat-admin set-user-tenant username header tenant
  • The selected tenant should be included in the request using the sortinghat-tenant header.

There are some limitations:

  • default database is only used to store users information and relations between users and databases, it won't store anything else related with SortingHat models.
  • Usernames are shared across all instances, which means that it is not possible to have the same username with two different passwords in different instances.

Running tests

SortingHat comes with a comprehensive list of unit tests for both frontend and backend.

Backend test suite

(.venv)$ ./ test --settings=config.settings.testing
(.venv)$ ./ test --settings=config.settings.testing_tenant

Frontend test suite

$ cd ui/
$ yarn test:unit


Licensed under GNU General Public License (GPL), version 3 or later.

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