Sample workflow for python-ldap development

This document will guide you through the process of contributing a change to python-ldap.

We assume that, as a user of python-ldap, you’re not new to software development in general, so these instructions are terse. If you need additional detail, please do ask on the mailing list.


The following instructions are for Linux. If you can translate them to another system, please contribute your translation!

Install Git, tox and the Build prerequisites.

Clone the repository:

$ git clone
$ cd python-ldap

Create a virtual environment to ensure you in-development python-ldap won’t affect the rest of your system:

$ python3 -m venv __venv__

(For Python 2, install virtualenv and use it instead of python3 -m venv.)

Activate the virtual environment:

$ source __venv__/bin/activate

Install python-ldap to it in editable mode:

(__venv__)$ python -m pip install -e .

This way, importing a Python module from python-ldap will directly use the code from your source tree. If you change C code, you will still need to recompile (using the pip install command again).

Change the code as desired.

To run tests, install and run tox:

(__venv__)$ python -m pip install tox
(__venv__)$ tox --skip-missing-interpreters

This will run tests on all supported versions of Python that you have installed, skipping the ones you don’t. To run a subset of test environments, run for example:

(__venv__)$ tox -e py27,py36

In addition to pyXY environments, we have extra environments for checking things independent of the Python version:

  • doc checks syntax and spelling of the documentation
  • coverage-report generates a test coverage report for Python code. It must be used last, e.g. tox -e py27,py36,coverage-report.
  • py2-nosasltls and py3-nosasltls check functionality without SASL and TLS bindings compiled in.

When your change is ready, commit to Git, and submit a pull request on GitHub. You can take a look at the Instructions for core committers to see what we are looking for in a pull request.

If you don’t want to open a GitHub account, please send patches as attachments to the python-ldap mailing list.