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How to Contribute

We'd love to accept your patches and contributions to this project. There are just a few small guidelines you need to follow.

Submitting changes

We would like ask you to fork Kapitan project and create a Pull Request targeting master branch. All submissions, including submissions by project members, require review.

Setting up environment

We highly recommend that you create a dedicated Python environment for Kapitan. There are multiple solutions:

Once you've done it, please install all Kapitan's dependencies:

shell python3 -m venv env source env/bin/activate pip3 install black # required for `make test_formatting` pip3 install -r requirements.txt

Because we are using a pinned version of reclass which is added as a submodule into Kapitan's repository, you need to pull it separately by executing the command below:

shell git submodule update --init

Troubleshoot pip install errors

Check if gcc is installed:

shell brew install gcc@5


Run make test to run all tests. If you modify anything in the examples/ folder make sure you replicate the compiled result of that in tests/test_kubernetes_compiled. If you add new features, run make test_coverage && make test_formatting to make sure the test coverage remains at current or better levels and that code formatting is applied.

If you would like to evaluate your changes by running your version of Kapitan, you can do that by running bin/kapitan from this repository or even setting an alias to it.

shell python3 -m unittest tests/

Code Style

To make sure you adhere to the Style Guide for Python (PEP8) Python Black is used to apply the formatting so make sure you have it installed with pip3 install black.

Apply via Git hook

  • Run pip3 install pre-commit to install precommit framework.
  • In the Kapitan root directory, run pre-commit install
  • Git add/commit any changed files you want.

Apply manually

Run make format_codestyle before submitting.


  • Create a branch named release-v<NUMBER>. Use v0.*.*-rc.* if you want pre-release versions to be uploaded.
  • Update with the release changes.
  • Once reviewed and merged, Github Actions will auto-release.
  • The merge has to happen with a merge commit not with squash/rebase so that the commit message still mentions kapicorp/release-v* inside.

Updating gh-pages docs

We use mkdocs to generate our gh-pages from .md files under docs/ folder.

Updating our gh-pages is therefore a two-step process.

1. Update the .md files

Submit a PR for our master branch that updates the .md file(s). Test how the changes would look like when deployed to gh-pages by serving it on localhost:

make local_serve_documentation

2. Submit a PR for gh-pages branch to deploy the update

Once the above PR has been merged, use mkdocs gh-deploy command to push the commit that updates the site content to your own gh-pages branch. Make sure that you already have this gh-pages branch in your fork that is up-to-date with our gh-pages branch such that the two branches share the commit history (otherwise Github would not allow PRs to be created).


locally, on master branch (which has your updated docs)

COMMIT_MSG="your commit message to replace" make mkdocs_gh_deploy ```

After it's pushed, create a PR that targets our gh-pages branch from your gh-pages branch.

Packaging extra resources in python package

To package any extra resources/files in the pip package, make sure you modify both

Contributor License Agreement

Contributions to this project must be accompanied by a Contributor License Agreement. You (or your employer) retain the copyright to your contribution, this simply gives us permission to use and redistribute your contributions as part of the project. Head over to to see your current agreements on file or to sign a new one.

You generally only need to submit a CLA once, so if you've already submitted one (even if it was for a different project), you probably don't need to do it again.