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 Mac OS X. 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, although you can run the unit tests on Mac OS X.

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


Feel free to add notes and change according to your experiences or operating system.

Install the prerequisite packages.

On Ubuntu (tested on 12.04-64 and 14.04-64):

sudo apt-get install python-dev libssl-dev python-pip git-core libmysqlclient-dev libpq-dev libffi-dev libxslt-dev

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

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

Mac OS X Systems

Install virtualenv:

sudo easy_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 Mac OS X 10.7 (OpenSSL 0.9.8r) works fine with cinder.

Getting the code

Grab the code:

git clone
cd cinder

Running unit tests

Run the unit tests by doing:

tox -e py34
tox -e py27

See Testing for more details.

Manually installing and using the virtualenv

You can manually install the virtual environment instead of having do it for you:

python tools/

This will install all of the Python packages listed in the requirements.txt file into your virtualenv. There will also be some additional packages (pip, setuptools) that are installed by the tools/ file into the virtualenv.

If all goes well, you should get a message something like this:

Cinder development environment setup is complete.

To activate the Cinder virtualenv for the extent of your current shell session you can run:

$ source .venv/bin/activate

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

$ tools/ <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.