First Contribution to Swift

Getting Swift

Swift’s source code is hosted on github and managed with git. The current trunk can be checked out like this:

git clone

This will clone the Swift repository under your account.

A source tarball for the latest release of Swift is available on the launchpad project page.

Prebuilt packages for Ubuntu and RHEL variants are available.

Source Control Setup

Swift uses git for source control. The OpenStack Developer’s Guide describes the steps for setting up Git and all the necessary accounts for contributing code to Swift.

Changes to Swift

Once you have the source code and source control set up, you can make your changes to Swift.


The Development Guidelines describe the testing requirements before submitting Swift code.

In summary, you can execute tox from the swift home directory (where you checked out the source code):


Tox will present tests results. Notice that in the beginning, it is very common to break many coding style guidelines.

Proposing changes to Swift

The OpenStack Developer’s Guide describes the most common git commands that you will need.

Following is a list of the commands that you need to know for your first contribution to Swift:

To clone a copy of Swift:

git clone

Under the swift directory, set up the Gerrit repository. The following command configures the repository to know about Gerrit and installs the Change-Id commit hook. You only need to do this once:

git review -s

To create your development branch (substitute branch_name for a name of your choice:

git checkout -b <branch_name>

To check the files that have been updated in your branch:

git status

To check the differences between your branch and the repository:

git diff

Assuming you have not added new files, you commit all your changes using:

git commit -a

Read the Summary of Git commit message structure for best practices on writing the commit message. When you are ready to send your changes for review use:

git review

If successful, Git response message will contain a URL you can use to track your changes.

If you need to make further changes to the same review, you can commit them using:

git commit -a --amend

This will commit the changes under the same set of changes you issued earlier. Notice that in order to send your latest version for review, you will still need to call:

git review

Tracking your changes

After proposing changes to Swift, you can track them at After logging in, you will see a dashboard of “Outgoing reviews” for changes you have proposed, “Incoming reviews” for changes you are reviewing, and “Recently closed” changes for which you were either a reviewer or owner.

Post rebase instructions

After rebasing, the following steps should be performed to rebuild the swift installation. Note that these commands should be performed from the root of the swift repo directory (e.g. $HOME/swift/):

sudo python develop
sudo pip install -r test-requirements.txt

If using TOX, depending on the changes made during the rebase, you may need to rebuild the TOX environment (generally this will be the case if test-requirements.txt was updated such that a new version of a package is required), this can be accomplished using the -r argument to the TOX cli:

tox -r

You can include any of the other TOX arguments as well, for example, to run the pep8 suite and rebuild the TOX environment the following can be used:

tox -r -e pep8

The rebuild option only needs to be specified once for a particular build (e.g. pep8), that is further invocations of the same build will not require this until the next rebase.


You may run into the following errors when starting Swift if you rebase your commit using:

git rebase
Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "/usr/local/bin/swift-init", line 5, in <module>
        from pkg_resources import require
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/", line 2749, in <module>
        working_set = WorkingSet._build_master()
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/", line 446, in _build_master
        return cls._build_from_requirements(__requires__)
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/", line 459, in _build_from_requirements
        dists = ws.resolve(reqs, Environment())
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/", line 628, in resolve
        raise DistributionNotFound(req)
pkg_resources.DistributionNotFound: swift==2.3.1.devXXX

(where XXX represents a dev version of Swift).

Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "/usr/local/bin/swift-proxy-server", line 10, in <module>
    File "/home/swift/swift/bin/swift-proxy-server", line 23, in <module>
      sys.exit(run_wsgi(conf_file, 'proxy-server', **options))
    File "/home/swift/swift/swift/common/", line 888, in run_wsgi
      loadapp(conf_path, global_conf=global_conf)
    File "/home/swift/swift/swift/common/", line 390, in loadapp
    File "/home/swift/swift/swift/proxy/", line 602, in modify_wsgi_pipeline
      ctx = pipe.create_filter(filter_name)
    File "/home/swift/swift/swift/common/", line 329, in create_filter
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/paste/deploy/", line 296, in loadcontext
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/paste/deploy/", line 328, in _loadegg
      return loader.get_context(object_type, name, global_conf)
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/paste/deploy/", line 620, in get_context
      object_type, name=name)
    File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/paste/deploy/", line 659, in find_egg_entry_point
      for prot in protocol_options] or '(no entry points)'))))
LookupError: Entry point 'versioned_writes' not found in egg 'swift' (dir: /home/swift/swift; protocols: paste.filter_factory, paste.filter_app_factory; entry_points: )

This happens because git rebase will retrieve code for a different version of Swift in the development stream, but the start scripts under /usr/local/bin have not been updated. The solution is to follow the steps described in the Post rebase instructions section.