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Contributing to DVC

We welcome contributions to DVC by the community. See the Contributing to the Documentation guide if you want to fix or update the documentation or this website.

How to report a problem

Please search the issue tracker before creating a new issue (problem or an improvement request). Feel free to add issues related to the project.

For problems with the dvc.org site, use this GitHub repository.

If you feel that you can fix or implement it yourself, please read a few paragraphs below to learn how to submit your changes.

Submitting changes

  • Open a new issue in the issue tracker.
  • Setup the development environment if you need to run tests or run the DVC with your changes.
  • Fork DVC and prepare necessary changes.
  • Add tests for your changes to tests/. You can skip this step if the effort to create tests for your change is unreasonable. Changes without tests are still going to be considered by us.
  • Run tests and make sure all of them pass.
  • Submit a pull request, referencing any issues it addresses.

We will review your pull request as soon as possible. Thank you for contributing!

Development environment

Get the latest development version. Fork and clone the repo:

$ git clone git@github.com:<your-username>/dvc.git

Make sure that you have Python 3.8 or higher installed. On macOS, we recommend using brew to install Python. For Windows, we recommend an official python.org release.

Note that pip version 21.3+ is required.

Install DVC in editable mode with pip install -e ".[dev]". But before we do that, we strongly recommend creating a virtual environment:

$ cd dvc
$ python3 -m venv venv
$ source venv/bin/activate
$ pip install --upgrade pip wheel
$ pip install -e ".[dev]"

Install coding style pre-commit hooks with:

$ pip install pre-commit
$ pre-commit install

That's it. You should be ready to make changes, run tests, and make commits! If you experience any problems, don't hesitate to ping us in our chat.


The DVC command line interface has several debugging tools that are hidden by default in the --help, but will be shown if --verbose is also specified. See The DVC Debugging Wiki for more information on these debugging options.

Writing tests

We have unit tests in tests/unit/ and functional tests in tests/func/. Consider writing the former to ensure complicated functions and classes behave as expected.

For specific functionality, you will need to use functional tests alongside pytest fixtures to create a temporary directory, Git and/or DVC repo, and bootstrap some files. See the dir_helpers module docstring for some usage examples.

Running tests

The simplest way to run tests:

$ cd dvc
$ python -m tests

This uses pytest to run the full test suite and report the result. At the very end you should see something like this:

$ python -m tests


============= 434 passed, 6 skipped, 8 warnings in 131.43 seconds ==============

Otherwise, for each failed test you should see the following output, to help you identify the problem:

[gw2] [ 84%] FAILED tests/unit/test_progress.py::TestProgressAware::test
=================================== FAILURES ===================================
____________________________ TestProgressAware.test ____________________________
======== 1 failed, 433 passed, 6 skipped, 8 warnings in 137.49 seconds =========

You can pass any additional arguments to the script that will override the default pytest's scope:

To run a single test case:

$ python -m tests tests/func/test_metrics.py::TestCachedMetrics

To run a single test function:

$ python -m tests tests/unit/utils/test_fs.py::test_get_inode

To pass additional arguments:

$ python -m tests --pdb

Code style guidelines (Python)

We are using PEP8 and checking that our code is formatted with black.

For docstrings, we try to adhere by the Google Python Style Guide.

Commit message format guidelines


(component): (short description)

(long description)

Fixes #(GitHub issue id).

Message types:

  • component: If applicable, comma-separated list of affected component(s)
  • short description: Short description of the patch
  • long description: If needed, longer message describing the patch in more details
  • github issue id: ID of the GitHub issue that this patch is addressing


remote: add support for Amazon S3

Fixes #123