Location: Pulp SmashAbout

Why does Pulp Smash exist? What are its goals, and what does it not do?

Why Pulp Smash?

Pulp Smash exists to make testing Pulp easy.

Scope and Limitations


Pulp Smash should be usable in any environment that supports:

In addition, we recommend that GNU Make or a compatible clone be available.

This level of portability [1] allows Pulp Smash to be accessible [2].


Pulp Smash is not concerned with provisioning systems. Users must bring their own systems.


Pulp Smash is highly destructive! You should not use Pulp Smash for testing if you care about the state of the target system. Pulp Smash will do the following to a system under test, and possibly more:

  • It will drop databases.
  • It will forcefully delete files from the filesystem.
  • It will stop and start system services.

Pulp Smash treats the system(s) under test as cattle, not pets. [3]


Contributions are encouraged. The easiest way to contribute is to submit a pull request on GitHub, but patches are welcome no matter how they arrive.

Learning Pulp Smash

Not sure where to start? Consider reading an existing test module, creating a development environment, and tackling an open issue.

The Introductory Module is a great candidate for study.

Installation provides a recipe for creating a virtualenv-based development environment. To verify the sanity of your development environment, cd into the Pulp Smash source code directory and execute make all.

The Pulp Smash issues list includes test cases that should be automated and added to the test suite.

Code Standards

Please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Pull requests must pass the Travis CI continuous integration tests. These tests are automatically run whenever a pull request is submitted. If you want to locally verify your changes before submitting a pull request, execute make all.
  • Test failures must not be introduced. Consider running all new and modified tests and copy-pasting the output from the test run as a comment in the GitHub pull request. The simplest way to run the test suite is with python3 -m unittest pulp_smash.tests. See the unittest Command-Line Interface and python3 -m pulp_smash for more information.
  • Each commit in a pull request must be atomic and address a single issue. Try asking yourself: “can I revert this commit?” Knowing how to rewrite history may help. In addition, please take the time to write a good commit message. While not strictly necessary, consider: commits are (nearly) immutable, and getting commit messages right makes for a more pleasant review process, better release notes, and easier use of tools like git log, git blame or git bisect.
  • The pull request must not raise any other outstanding concerns. For example, do not author a commit that adds a 10MB binary blob without exceedingly good reason. As another example, do not add a test that makes dozens of concurrent requests to a public service such as docker hub.

These next guidelines are not mandatory, but will match the formatting adopted in the existing code base.

  • Docstrings should not end with a blank line.
  • Lines should be hard wrapped at 79 characters.
  • Comments should typically be preceded by a blank line.

Review Process

Changes that meet the code standards will be reviewed by a Pulp Smash developer and are likely to be merged.

Though commits are accepted as-is, they are frequently accompanied by a follow-up commit in which the reviewer makes a variety of changes, ranging from simple typo corrections and formatting adjustments to whole-sale restructuring of tests. This can take quite a bit of effort and time. If you’d like to make the review process faster and have more assurance your changes are being accepted with little to no modifications, take the time to really make your changes shine: ensure your code is DRY, matches existing formatting conventions, is organized into easy-to-read blocks, has isolated unit test assertions, and so on.

Join the #pulp IRC channel on freenode if you have further questions.


Issues are categorized with labels. Pull requests are categorized with GitHub’s pull request reviews feature.

The specific meaning of (issue) labels is as follows.

Issue Type: Bug
This label denotes an issue that describes a specific counter-productive behaviour. For example, an issue entitled “test X contains an incorrect assertion” is a great candidate for this label.
Issue Type: Discussion
This label denotes an issue that broadly discusses some topic. Feature requests should be given this label. If a discussion results in a specific and concrete plan of action, a new issue should be opened, where that issue outlines a specific solution and has a label of “Issue Type: Plan”.
Issue Type: Plan
This label denotes an issue that outlines a specific, concrete plan of action for improving Pulp Smash. This may include plans for new utilities or refactors of existing tests or other tools. Open-ended discussions (including feature requests) should go into issues labeled “Issue Type:Discussion.”
Issue Type: Test Case
This label indicates that an issue is asking for a test case to be automated. (Issues with this label are a special type of plan.)
Pulp Version: 3
This label serves to differentiate issues, that otherwise should belong to one of the above issue types, as being related to creation of automated tests or utilities for for Pulp 3. This label is meant to aid pulp-smash developers in filtering issues by major version, as Pulp 3 introduces many breaking changes.
[1]Portable software cannot make assumptions about its environment. It cannot reference /etc/pki/tls/certs/ca-bundle.crt or call yum. Instead, it must use standardized mechanisms for interacting with its environment. This separation of concerns should lead to an application with fewer responsibilities. Fewer responsibilities means fewer bugs and more focused developers.
[2]An inaccessible project is a dead project. Labeling a project “open source” and licensing it under a suitable terms does not change that fact. People have better things to do than bang their head against a wall.
[3]The “pets vs cattle” analogy is widely attributed to Bill Baker of Microsoft.