Contributions to debusine are greatly appreciated! You can contribute in many ways, be it writing documentation and blog posts, or fixing bugs and implementing new features.

Join the community

We don’t have an official mailing list (yet). But you can reach us using IRC on the #debusine channel at

You can also file issues in GitLab’s interface. There are two templates to help you file bug reports and feature requests.

Please remember that this is a volunteer-driven project, and that contributions are welcome.

Where to start?

We are usually focused on all the issues planned in the current milestone. Helping to fix issues and implement features listed there is likely to attract our attention and get quicker reviews.

If you want to work on a new feature, unrelated to the current milestone, then you should aim to create a new issue using the Feature Request template to describe the associated user story and other requirements. We will often make multiple updates to the issue description to integrate suggestions received in comments.

For larger features, it is recommended to come up with proper design documentation that we can merge in this documentation (in the design section).

How to contribute


See runtime environment to understand the runtime environment.

Ready to contribute? Here’s how to set up debusine for local development:

  1. Create a guest account on Salsa (a GitLab instance run by the Debian project) by visiting this page:

    Follow all the steps to confirm your email, fill your profile, setup your SSH keys.

    You might want to have a look at Salsa’s documentation and GitLab’s documentation if you have doubts about something.

    Note that Debian Developers can skip this step as they already have an account on this service.

  2. Visit the project’s page and fork debusine in your own account. See GitLab’s help on how to fork a project.

  3. Clone debusine locally:

    $ git clone

    Note that your-account should be replaced by your Salsa’s username. If you want to clone the project without creating any account then use this command:

    $ git clone
  4. For a quick startup, run this command:

    $ bin/

    It will install required packages with apt and put a sample configuration file in place. It will also create a user and two databases in PostgreSQL. The user will be named after your current Unix user and will own the new databases so that it can connect to the newly created databases without any other authentication.

  5. Start a local test server:

    $ ./ runserver
    Starting development server at
    Quit the server with CONTROL-C.

    Visit the URL returned to have access to the test website.

  6. Create a local Django superuser on your test instance:

    $ ./ createsuperuser
  7. Login as that user using the link in the top right of the initial REST framework site.

  8. Switch to a new branch:

    $ git checkout -b name-of-your-bugfix-or-feature
  9. Develop your new feature, ideally following the rules of Test-Driven Development.

  10. When you’re done, check that all tests are succeeding in all supported platforms:

    $ tox

    This basically runs ./ test with multiple versions of Django and Python. It also ensures that you respected our coding conventions. If you get errors, make sure to fix them.


    If you get errors like OSError: [Errno 38] Function not implemented, then it means that you are lacking /dev/shm with proper permissions.

  11. Push your branch to your repository:

    $ git push -u origin name-of-your-bugfix-or-feature
  12. Submit us your work, ideally by opening a merge request. You can do this easily by visiting the debusine project fork hosted in your own account (either through the “Branches” page, or through the “Merge requests” page). See GitLab’s help on merge requests if needed.

    Make sure to address any issue identified by the continuous integration system, the result of its “pipeline” can be directly seen in the merge request (and in the commits pushed in your own repository).

Write access to the git repository

Project members have write access to the main git repository. They can thus clone the repository with this URL:

$ git clone

From there they can push their changes directly. They are however free to use a fork and request review anyway when they prefer.

Django Debug Toolbar

Django Debug Toolbar can be used but only on development branches. There are commented out lines in debusine/project/settings/ and debusine/project/ which can be used to add the support.