Setting Up a Development Environment

This page describes how to setup a working Python development environment that can be used in developing cinder on Ubuntu, Fedora or macOS. These instructions assume you’re already familiar with git. Refer to GettingTheCode for additional information.

Following these instructions will allow you to run the cinder unit tests. Running cinder is currently only supported on Linux. Some jobs can be run on macOS, but unfortunately due to some differences in system packages there are known issues with running unit tests.

Virtual environments

Cinder development uses virtualenv to track and manage Python dependencies while in development and testing. This allows you to install all of the Python package dependencies in a virtual environment or “virtualenv” (a special subdirectory of your cinder directory), instead of installing the packages at the system level.


Virtualenv is useful for running the unit tests, but is not typically used for full integration testing or production usage.

Linux Systems


If you have Ansible and git installed on your system, you may be able to get a working development environment quickly set up by running the following:

sudo ansible-pull -U

If that does not work for your system, continue on with the manual steps below.

Install the prerequisite packages.

On Ubuntu20.04-64:

sudo apt-get install libssl-dev python3-pip libmysqlclient-dev libpq-dev libffi-dev

To get a full python3 development environment, the two python3 packages need to be added to the list above:

python3-dev python3-pip

On Red Hat-based distributions e.g., Fedora/RHEL/CentOS/Scientific Linux (tested on CentOS 6.5 and CentOS 7.3):

sudo yum install python-virtualenv openssl-devel python-pip git gcc libffi-devel libxslt-devel mysql-devel postgresql-devel

On openSUSE-based distributions (SLES 12, openSUSE 13.1, Factory or Tumbleweed):

sudo zypper install gcc git libmysqlclient-devel libopenssl-devel postgresql-devel python-devel python-pip

macOS Systems

Install virtualenv:

sudo pip install virtualenv

Check the version of OpenSSL you have installed:

openssl version

If you have installed OpenSSL 1.0.0a, which can happen when installing a MacPorts package for OpenSSL, you will see an error when running cinder.tests.auth_unittest.AuthTestCase.test_209_can_generate_x509.

The stock version of OpenSSL that ships with Mac OS X 10.6 (OpenSSL 0.9.8l) or later should work fine with cinder.

Getting the code

Grab the code:

git clone
cd cinder

Running unit tests

The preferred way to run the unit tests is using tox. It executes tests in isolated environment, by creating separate virtualenv and installing dependencies from the requirements.txt and test-requirements.txt files, so the only package you install is tox itself:

sudo pip install tox

Run the unit tests by doing:

tox -e py3

See Testing for more details.

Manually installing and using the virtualenv

You can also manually install the virtual environment:

tox -e py3 --notest

This will install all of the Python packages listed in the requirements.txt file into your virtualenv.

To activate the Cinder virtualenv you can run:

$ source .tox/py3/bin/activate

To exit your virtualenv, just type:

$ deactivate

Or, if you prefer, you can run commands in the virtualenv on a case by case basis by running:

$ tox -e venv -- <your command>

Contributing Your Work

Once your work is complete you may wish to contribute it to the project. Cinder uses the Gerrit code review system. For information on how to submit your branch to Gerrit, see GerritWorkflow.