Pinning Requirements#


By design this project only defines dependencies in one place, i.e. in the requires table in pyproject.toml.

In the requires table it is possible to pin versions of some dependencies as needed. For library projects it is best to leave pinning to a minimum so that your library can be used by the widest range of applications.

When CI builds the project it will use the latest compatible set of dependencies available (after applying your pins and any dependencies’ pins).

This approach means that there is a possibility that a future build may break because an updated release of a dependency has made a breaking change.

The correct way to fix such an issue is to work out the minimum pinning in requires that will resolve the problem. However this can be quite hard to do and may be time consuming when simply trying to release a minor update.

For this reason we provide a mechanism for locking all dependencies to the same version as a previous successful release. This is a quick fix that should guarantee a successful CI build.

Finding the lock files#

Every release of the project will have a set of requirements files published as release assets.

For example take a look at the release page for python3-pip-skeleton-cli here: bluesky/python3-pip-skeleton-cli

There is a list of requirements*.txt files showing as assets on the release.

There is one file for each time the CI installed the project into a virtual environment. There are multiple of these as the CI creates a number of different environments.

The files are created using pip freeze and will contain a full list of the dependencies and sub-dependencies with pinned versions.

You can download any of these files by clicking on them. It is best to use the one that ran with the lowest Python version as this is more likely to be compatible with all the versions of Python in the test matrix. i.e. requirements-test-ubuntu-latest-3.10.txt in this example.

Applying the lock file#

To apply a lockfile:

  • copy the requirements file you have downloaded to the root of your repository

  • rename it to requirements.txt

  • commit it into the repo

  • push the changes

The CI looks for a requirements.txt in the root and will pass it to pip when installing each of the test environments. pip will then install exactly the same set of packages as the previous release.

Removing dependency locking from CI#

Once the reasons for locking the build have been resolved it is a good idea to go back to an unlocked build. This is because you get an early indication of any incoming problems.

To restore unlocked builds in CI simply remove requirements.txt from the root of the repo and push.