4. Pywbemtools development

This section only needs to be read by developers of the pywbemtools package. People that want to make a fix or develop some extension, and people that want to test the project are also considered developers for the purpose of this section.

Generally development users will install pywbemtools by cloning the pywbemtools GitHub package and using the Make utility to handle the installation of pywbemtools and its prerequisites. This provides the user with all of the source of pywbemtools and in addition, the test environment and the documentation files.

4.1. Repository

The repository for pywbemtools is on GitHub:


4.2. Setting up the development environment

It is recommended to use Linux as the development environment for pywbemtools. OS-X should work as well, but Windows requires a number of manual setup steps.

  1. Clone the Git repo of this project and switch to its working directory:

    $ git clone git@github.com:pywbem/pywbemtools.git
    $ cd pywbemtools
  2. It is recommended that you set up a virtual Python environment. Have the virtual Python environment active for all remaining steps.

  3. Install pywbemtools and its prerequisites for installing and running it as described in Installation. This will install Python packages into the active Python environment, and OS-level packages.

  4. Unix-like environments on Windows (such as CygWin, MinGW, Babun, or Gow) bring their own Python, so double check that the active Python environment is the one you want to use.

  5. Install the prerequisites for pywbemtools development. This will install Python packages into the active Python environment, and OS-level packages:

    $ make develop
  6. This project uses Make to do things in the currently active Python environment. The command:

    $ make

    displays a list of valid Make targets and a short description of what each target does.

4.3. Building the documentation

The ReadTheDocs (RTD) site is used to publish the documentation for the pywbemtools package at https://pywbemtools.readthedocs.io/

This page is automatically updated whenever the Git repo for this package changes the branch from which this documentation is built.

In order to build the documentation locally from the Git work directory, execute:

$ make builddoc

The top-level document to open with a web browser will be build_doc/html/docs/index.html.

4.4. Testing

All of the following make commands run the tests in the currently active Python environment. Depending on how the pywbemtools package is installed in that Python environment, either the pywbemtools directory in the main repository directory is used, or the installed pywbemtools package. The test case files and any utility functions they use are always used from the tests directory in the main repository directory.

The tests directory has the following subdirectory structure:

 +-- unit                Unit tests
 |    +-- utils               Utility functions used by unit tests
 +-- manual              Manual tests
 +-- schema              The CIM schema MOF files used by some tests

There are multiple types of tests in pywbemtools:

  1. Unit tests and function tests

    Today, the unit tests and function tests are contained in the single directory unit.

    The distinction between unit tests and function tests as used in pywbemtools is that function tests exercise the entire pywbemcli client component or entire scripts using the pywbem_mock module and mock CIM model definitions to emulate a WBEM server, while unit tests exercise single modules without using access to a WBEM server.

    Generally, the function tests are organized by the command group so that for example the function tests for the class command group are in the file test_class_subcmd.py.

    Tests are run by executing:

    $ make test

    Test execution can be modified by a number of environment variables, as documented in the make help (execute make help).

  1. Manual tests

    There are several Python scripts and shell scripts that can be run manually. The results need to be validated manually.

    These scripts are in the directory:


    and are executed by simply invoking them from within the main directory of the repository, e.g.:


    Some of the scripts support a --help option that informs about their usage.

    Some tests depend on the existence of a DMTF Schema defining the classes and qualifier declarations in a particular release

  2. Running Tox

    To run the unit and function tests in all supported Python environments, the Tox tool can be used. It creates the necessary virtual Python environments and executes make test (i.e. the unit and function tests) in each of them.

    For running Tox, it does not matter which Python environment is currently active, as long as the Python tox package is installed in it:

    $ tox                              # Run tests on all supported Python versions
    $ tox -e py27                      # Run tests on Python 2.7

4.5. Disabling the spinner when debugging

Subcommands normally display a spinner (a character-based spinning wheel) while waiting for completion.

For debugging, it is useful to disable that spinner. This can be done by setting the PYWBEM_SPINNER environment variable to ‘false’, ‘0’, or the empty string. For example:

$ export PYWBEM_SPINNER=false

4.6. Contributing

Third party contributions to this project are welcome!

In order to contribute, create a Git pull request, considering this:

  • Test is required.

  • Each commit should only contain one “logical” change.

  • A “logical” change should be put into one commit, and not split over multiple commits.

  • Large new features should be split into stages.

  • The commit message should not only summarize what you have done, but explain why the change is useful.

  • The commit message must follow the format explained below.

What comprises a “logical” change is subject to sound judgement. Sometimes, it makes sense to produce a set of commits for a feature (even if not large). For example, a first commit may introduce a (presumably) compatible API change without exploitation of that feature. With only this commit applied, it should be demonstrable that everything is still working as before. The next commit may be the exploitation of the feature in other components.

For further discussion of good and bad practices regarding commits, see:

4.7. Core Development Team

Anyone can contribute to pywbemtools via pull requests as described in the previous section.

The pywbemtools project has a core development team that holds regular web conferences and that is using Slack for offline communication, on the Slack workspace: https://pywbem.slack.com.

The web conference and the Slack workspace are by invitation, and if you want to participate in the core team, please open a pywbem issue to let us know.