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pazel - generate Bazel BUILD files for Python

Build Status



No requirements. Tested on Python 2.7 and 3.6 on Ubuntu 16.04 and macOS High Sierra.


Tested on Bazel 0.11.1. All recent versions are expected to work.


> git clone
> cd pazel
> python install


NOTE: pazel overwrites any existing BUILD files. Please use version control or have backups of your current BUILD files before using pazel.

Default usage with Bazel

The following example generates all BUILD files for the sample Python project in sample_app. Start from the pazel root directory to which the repository was cloned.

> bazel run //pazel:app -- <pazel_root_dir>/sample_app -r <pazel_root_dir>/sample_app
-c <pazel_root_dir>/sample_app/.pazelrc
Generated BUILD files for <pazel_root_dir>/sample_app.

Default usage without Bazel

Start from the pazel root directory.

> cd sample_app
> pazel
Generated BUILD files for <pazel_install_dir>/sample_app.

Testing the generated BUILD files

Now, we can build, test, and run the sample project by running the following invocations in the sample_app directory, respectively.

> bazel build
> bazel test ...
> bazel run foo:bar3

Command-line options

pazel -h shows a summary of the command-line options. Each of them is explained below.

By default, BUILD files are generated recursively for the current working directory. Use pazel <some_path> to generate BUILD file(s) recursively for another directory or for a single Python file.

All imports are assumed to be relative to the current working directory. For example, sample_app/foo/ imports from sample_app/foo/ using from foo.bar1 import sample. Use pazel -r <some_path> to override the path to which the imports are relative.

By default, pazel adds rules to install all external Python packages. If your environment has pre-installed packages for which these rules are not required, then use pazel -p.

pazel config file .pazelrc is read from the current working directory. Use pazel -c <pazelrc_path> to specify an alternative path.

Ignoring rules in existing BUILD files

The tag # pazel-ignore causes pazel to ignore the rule that immediately follows the tag in an existing BUILD file. In particular, the tag can be used to skip custom rules that pazel does not handle. pazel places the ignored rules at the bottom of the BUILD file. See sample_app/foo/BUILD for an example using the tag.

Customizing and extending pazel

pazel can be programmed using a .pazelrc Python file, which is read from the current working directory or provided explicitly with pazel -c <pazelrc_path>.

The user can define variables HEADER and FOOTER to add custom header and footer to all BUILD files, respectively. See sample_app/.pazelrc and sample_app/BUILD for an example that adds the same visibility to all BUILD files.

If some pip package has different install name than import name, then the user should define EXTRA_IMPORT_NAME_TO_PIP_NAME dictionary accordingly. sample_app/.pazelrc has {'yaml': 'pyyaml'} as an example. In addition, the user can specify local packages and their corresponding Bazel dependencies using the EXTRA_LOCAL_IMPORT_NAME_TO_DEP dictionary.

The user can add support for custom Bazel rules by defining a new class implementing the BazelRule interface in pazel/ and by adding that class to EXTRA_BAZEL_RULES list in .pazelrc. sample_app/.pazelrc defines a custom PyDoctestRule class that identifies all doctests and generates custom py_doctest Bazel rules for them as defined in sample_app/custom_rules.bzl.

In addition, the user can implement custom rules for mapping Python imports to Bazel dependencies that are not natively supported. That is achieved by defining a new class implementing the InferenceImportRule interface in pazel/ and by adding the class to EXTRA_IMPORT_INFERENCE_RULES list in .pazelrc. sample_app/.pazelrc defines a custom LocalImportAllInferenceRule class that generates the correct Bazel dependencies for from X import * type of imports where X is a local package.

BUILD file formatting

pazel generates BUILD files that are nearly compatible with Buildifier. Buildifier can be applied on pazel-generated BUILD files to remove the remaining differences, if needed.


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