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Contributing to PDM#

First off, thanks for taking the time to contribute! Contributions include but are not restricted to:

  • Reporting bugs
  • Contributing to code
  • Writing tests
  • Writing documentation

The following is a set of guidelines for contributing.

This section is for beginners to OSS. If you are an experienced OSS developer, you can skip this section.

  1. First, fork this project to your own namespace using the fork button at the top right of the repository page.
  2. Clone the upstream repository to local:
    git clone
    # Or if you prefer SSH clone:
    git clone [email protected]:pdm-project/pdm.git
  3. Add the fork as a new remote:
    git remote add fork
    git fetch fork
    where fork is the remote name of the fork repository.


  1. Don't modify code on the main branch, the main branch should always keep track of origin/main.

To update main branch to date:

git pull origin main
# In rare cases that your local main branch diverges from the remote main:
git fetch origin && git reset --hard main
  1. Create a new branch based on the up-to-date main branch for new patches.
  2. Create a Pull Request from that patch branch.

Local development#

We recommend working in a virtual environment. Feel free to create a virtual environment with either the venv module or the virtualenv tool. For example:

python -m venv .venv
. .venv/bin/activate  # linux
.venv/Scripts/activate  # windows

Make sure your pip is newer than 21.3 to install PDM in develop/editable mode.

python -m pip install -U "pip>=21.3"
python -m pip install -e .

Make sure PDM uses the virtual environment you just created:

pdm config -l python.use_venv true
pdm config -l venv.in_project true

Install PDM development dependencies:

pdm install

Now, all dependencies are installed into the Python environment you chose, which will be used for development after this point.

Run tests#

pdm run test

The test suite is still simple and needs expansion! Please help write more test cases.


You can also run your test suite against all supported Python version using tox with the tox-pdm plugin. You can either run it by yourself with:


or from pdm with:

pdm run tox

Code style#

PDM uses pre-commit for linting. Install pre-commit first, for example with pip or pipx:

python -m pip install pre-commit
pipx install pre-commit

Then initialize pre-commit:

pre-commit install

You can now lint the code with:

pdm run lint

PDM uses black for code style and isort for sorting import statements. If you are not following them, the CI will fail and your Pull Request will not be merged.

News fragments#

When you make changes such as fixing a bug or adding a feature, you must add a news fragment describing your change. News fragments are placed in the news/ directory, and should be named according to this pattern: <issue_num>.<issue_type>.md (e.g.,

Issue Types#

  • feature: Features and improvements
  • bugfix: Bug fixes
  • refactor: Code restructures
  • doc: Added or improved documentation
  • dep: Changes to dependencies
  • removal: Removals or deprecations in the API
  • misc: Miscellaneous changes that don't fit any of the other categories

The contents of the file should be a single sentence in the imperative mood that describes your changes. (e.g., Deduplicate the plugins list. ) See entries in the Change Log for more examples.

Preview the documentation#

If you make some changes to the docs/ and you want to preview the build result, simply do:

pdm run doc


Once all changes are done and ready to release, you can preview the changelog contents by running:

pdm run release --dry-run

Make sure the next version and the changelog are as expected in the output.

Then cut a release on the main branch:

pdm run release

GitHub action will create the release and upload the distributions to PyPI.

Read more options about version bumping by pdm run release --help.