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Tutor development

Setting up your development environment

Start by cloning the Tutor repository:

git clone
cd tutor/

Install requirements

pip install -r requirements/dev.txt

Run tests

make test

Yes, there are very few unit tests for now, but this is probably going to change.

Code formatting

Tutor code formatting is enforced by black. To check whether your code changes conform to formatting standards, run:

make test-format

And to automatically fix formatting errors, run:

make format

Static error detection is performed by pylint. To detect errors, run:

make test-lint

Common developer tasks

Generating the tutor executable binary

make bundle

Generating the documentation

pip install -r requirements/docs.txt
cd docs/
make html

You can then browse the documentation with:

make browse

Releasing a new version

  • Bump the __version__ value in tutor/ (see :ref:`versioning` below)
  • Replace "Unreleased" by the version name and date in
  • Create a commit with the version changelog.
  • Run make release: this will push to the default repo/branch for the current branch.


The versioning format used in Tutor is the following:


When making a new Tutor release, increment the:

  • RELEASE version when a new Open edX release comes out. The new value should match the ordinal value of the first letter of the release name: Aspen 🡒 1, Birch 🡒 2, ... Zebra 🡒 26.
  • MAJOR version when making a backward-incompatible change (prefixed by "💥" in the changelog, as explained below).
  • MINOR version when making a backward-compatible change.

An optional BRANCH suffix may be appended to the release name to indicate that extra changes were added on top of the latest release. For instance, "x.y.z-nightly" corresponds to release x.y.z on top of which extra changes were added to make it compatible with the Open edX master branches (see the :ref:`tutorial on running Tutor Nightly <nightly>`).

Officially-supported plugins follow the same versioning pattern. As a third-party plugin developer, you are encouraged to use the same pattern to make it immediately clear to your end-users which Open edX versions are supported.

Contributing to Tutor

Third-party contributions to Tutor and its plugins are more than welcome! Just make sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Outside of obvious bugs, contributions should be discussed first in the official Tutor forums.

  • Once we agree on a high-level solution, you should open a pull request on the Tutor repository or the corresponding plugin.

  • Make sure that all tests pass by running make test (see above).

  • If your PR is in the Tutor core repository, add an item to the CHANGELOG file, in the "Unreleased" section. Use the same format as the other items:


Where "TYPE" is either "Bugfix", "Improvement", "Feature" or "Security". You should add an explosion emoji ("💥") before "[TYPE]" if you are making a breaking change.

  • Write a good Git commit title and message: explain why you are making this change, what problem you are solving and which solution you adopted. Link to the relevant conversation topics in the forums and describe your use case. We love long, verbose descriptions :) As for the title, conventional commits are preferred. Check the repo history!

Happy hacking! ☘️

Joining the team of Tutor Maintainers

We have an open team of volunteers who help support the project. You can read all about it here -- and we hope that you'll consider joining us 😉