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Blueprint: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/nova/+spec/drop-setuptools-git

Currently, the majority of OpenStack components make use of the Python module setuptools_git in order to install additional configuration files. This is basically the same functionality that the MANIFEST.in file (setuptools/distribute) provides, but automatic. However, we recently discovered that this approach has issues from a packaging perspective. We weren't getting all the data/config files that the python package usually gets even though we were running the same commands:

  • $ python setup.py build

followed by:

  • $ python setup.py install --skip-build

We are building RPM packages from release tarballs (such as [1]), which of course don't include the .git directory. Therefore the setuptools_git approach can't do its magic[2], thus our package builds get wrong results. Having OpenStack components rely on setuptools_git at build time means we have to distribute the whole git repository along with the source code tarball. Of course this makes no sense, since it would increase the size of release tarballs dramatically and won't get shipped in distributions anyway.Therefore, we (and potentially other distribution vendors) would have to track these files manually in our RPM spec files. Some reviews have already been opened on the topic (admittedly before we discovered the real issue). Given the different outcome of each review it seems that not everybody is aware that setuptools_git is used or of what it does.

https://review.openstack.org/#/c/17122/ (ceilometer) - this one got accepted before we knew what was going on

https://review.openstack.org/#/c/17347/ (cinder) - abandoned until the situation is clarified

https://review.openstack.org/#/c/17355/ (nova) - rejected

So the better solution would be to stop using setuptools_git and just include all the data/config files that are meant to be distributed in the MANIFEST.in file. This is what every Python developer should know about and has the benefit of increased transparency about what gets installed and what not.


  • [1] https://launchpad.net/cinder/grizzly/grizzly-1/+download/cinder-2013.1%7Eg1.tar.gz
  • [2] From setuptools_git's README: Be aware that for this module to work properly, git and the git meta-data must be available. That means that if someone tries to make a package distribution out of a non-git distribution of yours, say a tarball, setuptools will lack the information necessary to know which files to include.