Kinto Distribution for Mozilla Services
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Kinto Distribution

This repository contains:

  1. A set requirements file that combines all packages needed to run a Kinto server with a known good set of dependencies.
  2. An example configuration file to run it.

The most important function of this repository is to build a Docker image with a set of known working dependencies and then ship that to DockerHub.

Test Locally

You need Docker and docker-compose. The simplest way to test that all is working as expected is to run:

$ docker-compose run web migrate  # only needed once
$ docker-compose run tests


The run web migrate command is only needed once, to prime the PostgreSQL server. You can flush all the Kinto data in your local persistent PostgreSQL with curl -XPOST http://localhost:8888/v1/__flush__

That will start memcached, postgresql, autograph (at autograph:8000) and Kinto (at web:8888) and lastly the tests container that primarily uses curl http://web:8888/v1 to test various things.

When you're done running the above command, the individual servers will still be running and occupying those ports on your local network. When you're finished, run:

$ docker-compose stop

Debugging Locally (simple)

The simplest form of debugging is to start the Kinto server (with uwsgi, which is default) in one terminal first:

$ docker-compose up web

Now, in a separate terminal, first check that you can reach the Kinto server:

$ curl http://localhost:8888/v1/__heartbeat__
$ docker-compose run tests

Debugging Locally (advanced)

Suppose you want to play with running the Kinto server, then go into a bash session like this:

$ docker-compose run --service-ports --user 0 web bash

Now you're root so you can do things like apt-get update && apt-get install jed to install tools and editors. Also, because of the --service-ports if you do start a Kinto server on :8888 it will be exposed from the host.

For example, instead of starting Kinto with uwsgi you can start it manually with kinto start:

$ kinto start --ini config/example.ini

Another thing you might want to debug is the tests container that does the curl commands against the Kinto server. But before you do that, you probably want to start the services:

$ docker-compose up web
$ docker-compose run tests bash

Now, from that bash session you can reach the other services like:

$ curl http://autograph:8000/__heartbeat__
$ curl http://web:8000/v1/__heartbeat__

Upgrade Things

Most common use-case with kinto-dist is that you want to upgrade one of the dependencies. All dependencies are listed in:

  • requirements/default.txt
  • requirements/constraints.txt
  • requirements/prod.txt

If there's a package you want to upgrade or add, do that to the requirements/default.txt file. If you find out that what you're adding requires its own dependencies, add that to requirements/constraints.txt.

To upgrade the requirements file, install hashin globally on your laptop and then run the following (example) command:

$ hashin -r requirements/default.txt myhotnewpackage

Or if you know the exact version you need:

$ hashin -r requirements/default.txt myhotnewpackage==1.2.3

If you just want to upgrade an existing package, based on the latest version available on PyPi you do it as if it's a new package. For example:

$ hashin -r requirements/default.txt requests

To test that this installs run:

$ docker-compose build web

If it fails because pip believes your new package has other dependencies not already mentioned in requirements/constraints.txt add them like this:

$ hashin -r requirements/constraints.txt imneedy alsoneeded

And finally, run docker-compose build web again.

About versioning

We respect SemVer here. However, the "public API" of this package is not the user-facing API of the service itself, but is considered to be the set of configuration and services that this package and its dependencies use. Accordingly, follow these rules:

  • MAJOR must be incremented if a change on configuration, system, or third-party service is required, or if any of the dependencies has a major increment
  • MINOR must be incremented if any of the dependencies has a minor increment
  • PATCH must be incremented if no major nor minor increment is necessary.

In other words, minor and patch versions are uncomplicated and can be deployed automatically, and major releases are very likely to require specific actions somewhere in the architecture.

Pull requests

All PRs should be merged via the bors merge bot. Bors will automate that the requirements for a PR have been met, and will then merge the PR in an orderly fashion.

Only users with write access to the repository may use bors. Other users will get an error message. To use bors to merge a PR, leave a comment that includes a line such as:

bors r+

Alternatively, you can list the user that approved the PR, which could be someone else, or multiple people, such as one of the following:

bors r= @alex
bors r= @bob, @carol

If a PR should not be merged, for example because it is a work-in-progress, then add the label bors-dont-merge to the PR. This will prevent bors from merging the PR, even if it is r+``ed. To allow bors to merge the PR again, remove the label and say ``bors r+ again.

It is possible to temporarily delegate permission to a user to approve a particular PR. For example, if the PR is documentation for the ops team, you could grant merge access to the ops engineer reviewing the documentation. Note that delegating to a use that already has permission (such as an admin of the repo) has no affect. To do so, use a command such as:

bors delegate= @ops-dave

If a PR failed to merge for an intermittent reason, such as network failure, you can instruct bors to try to merge the same commit with the same approver again with the command:

bors retry

For more details, see the bors reference docs


We follow the usual zest.releaser approach for releases.


  • Make sure the CHANGELOG is up-to-date and includes details about all the components included in the release
$ git checkout -b prepare-X.Y.Z
$ prerelease


  • Open a PR
  • When the PR is approved, merge it using bors


$ git checkout master
$ git pull
$ release
$ postrelease

The Mozilla remote-settings CI will immediately deploy the newly-tagged version to remote-settings stage and run the QA tests against it. Results are reported in the Mozilla #storage channel.

Draft a release on Github: . For release notes, just use the CHANGELOG entry for the release, but change all the ReST-style section headings to Markdown-style ## headings.


The "Back to development" commit cannot be pushed to master because we don't allow pushes to master.

You can just throw away the commit (git reset --hard HEAD^) but the next person to touch the changelog will have to introduce a new heading for the next version. Another option is to push the commit and have it be reviewed:

$ git checkout -b start-X.Y.Z
$ git push origin start-X.Y.Z
$ git checkout master
$ git reset --hard origin/master


  • Open another PR


  • Create a release on the Github page using the contents of the CHANGELOG as the body
  • Open a Bugzilla bug telling ops to deploy the new release

Known Instances

To know all places where we use kinto-dist we maintain a list of in a machine readable file Kinto-Instances.yml.

Use that to update URLs of instances of kinto-dist. It can be leveraged for automation (e.g. places to upgrade) and auditing.