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Continuous Delivery of Python Applications using Travis CI and packagecloud


This post will go through the steps needed to implement an automated software pipeline for Python packages. On every tagged commit pushed to Github, Travis CI will automatically build this project and push it to packagecloud.


Add a .travis.yml file to your python project

If you’d like to follow along, take a look at our python-test-packages github repository.

We’ll start with our full .travis.yml file, shown here:


sudo: false
language: C
- docker
  - "$HOME/.cache"
- sudo apt-get install -y zlib1g-dev p7zip-rar p7zip-full unace unrar zip unzip sharutils rar uudeview mpack arj cabextract file-roller
- pip install wheel
- sh
  provider: packagecloud
  username: capotej
  repository: python-test-packages
  dist: "python"
  package_glob: "dist/*.{whl,zip,egg,egg-info,tar,bz2,Z,gz}"
  skip_cleanup: true
    tags: true
    on_success: change
    on_failure: always

The two relevant parts of this file are the script and deploy sections which tell Travis CI how to build our project and where to deploy it, respectively.


The script section

Instead of scripting our entire build process in yaml, here we just install the system packages we need, then execute a script (shown below).


The deploy section

First, we tell Travis CI to use the packagecloud provider, along with our username, repository, and token (more on this later).

Then, we use the package_glob entry to tell the packagecloud provider which package types to upload and where to find them.

Lastly, we set on: tags: true, which tells Travis CI to only run the deploy scripts when a tagged commit is pushed, otherwise just run the build and skip deploy.

For detailed documentation on the deploy section, refer to the deployment and packagecloud sections of the Travis CI docs.


The build script

Because we use this project for testing purposes, this example build script generates every possible python package type, in every possible archive format. However, feel free to use the python packaging type and archive format that makes the most sense for your project.

Our build script,


set -e

git clean -fXd --exclude .vagrant

python bdist_wheel --universal
python bdist_egg
python sdist --formats=bztar,zip,gztar,tar


Create your packagecloud repository

If you haven’t already, login or use the button below to create a free account to create your repository.


Configure Travis CI

Now that our repository has the proper files, we’re ready to configure our project on Travis CI.

Sign in to Travis CI with your Github Account

This will give Travis CI access to list all of your Github repositories.

sign into travis


Enable the repository

Under your Travis account settings, find your python project repository and enable it.

enable github repository on travis


Create PACKAGECLOUD_TOKEN environment variable

Visit the API Token page to get your packagecloud API Token. Then visit your Travis CI project settings page and add that API token as an environment variable. Make sure that display value in build log is set to OFF, or else everyone will be able to see your token!

add packagecloud token environment variable


Set version and push

First, we edit and commit our desired version in the version= inside of, for example 1.4.1.

Then, we create that version as a git tag:

git tag -a 1.4.1 -m '1.4.1'

We push all of our changes to Github (origin):

git push origin master

This will start a build on Travis CI, but it will not deploy.

In order to actually deploy, we have to push up our version git tag to Github (origin):

git push origin --tags

This should start another build on Travis CI, which will start the deploy to packagecloud once it finishes.


Bonus: Python Versioneer

Since having to edit and commit the version in every time you release can get annoying, there exists a project which can read the versioning information directly from the project’s git repository. It’s called python-versioneer and might be worth looking into if you plan on releasing a bunch of versions.



If everything went according to plan, you should now see some python packages in your packagecloud repository!

the capotej/python-test-packages packagecloud repository



Many development shops cite ‘slow turnaround time’ as a reason to avoid properly building out an internal web of cleanly separated, interdependent libraries. Using packagecloud and Travis CI to automate your python release process can dramatically speed up your software development cycles and reduce the amount bad or broken releases.

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