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Hopefully you have landed here because you would like to help out with the development of Beanie. Whether through adding new features, fixing bugs, or extending documentation, your help is really appreciated! Please read this page carefully. If you have any questions, drop by on the discord.

Also please read the Code of conduct.

Setting up the development environment

We assume you are familiar with the general forking and pull request workflow for submitting to open-source projects. If not, don't worry, there are plenty of good guides available, maybe check out this one.

Beanie uses poetry to manage dependencies and packaging. If you are not familiar with poetry, it might be helpful to check it out before working on Beanie, but here is a quick guide to get you started.

Make sure poetry is installed globally:

pip install --user poetry 

To install all required dependencies in a virtual environment, run the following command in the root directory of the Beanie project:

poetry install

To add a dependency you can use:

poetry add <package name>

which takes an optional -D flag for development only dependencies.

To run commands like pytest or black you have to run them using the virtual environment which contains the dependencies and Beanie. You can do this in two ways, you may run poetry shell to activate the environment for the current shell, or you can run them in a one-off fashion as such poetry run pytest.

Database connection

To run tests, and use Beanie in general, you will need an accessible MongoDB database. To use migrations you will need a connection to a Replica Set or Mongos instance. All tests assume that the database is hosted locally on port 27017 and does not require authentication.


Beanie uses pytest for unit testing. To ensure the stability of Beanie, each added feature must be tested in a separate unit test. Even if it looks like other tests are covering it now. This strategy guarantees that:

  • All the features will be covered and stay covered.
  • Independence from other features and test cases.

To run the test suit, make sure that you have MongoDB running and run poetry run pytest.

Submitting new code

You can submit your changes through a pull request on GitHub. Please take into account the following sections.

Use pre-commit

To ensure code consistency Beanie uses Black and Flake8 through pre-commit. To set it up, run:

poetry install
poetry run pre-commit install

This will add the pre-commit command to your git's pre-commit hooks and makes sure you can never forget to run these.

Single commit

To make the pull request reviewing easier and keep the version tree clean your pull request should consist of a single commit. It is natural that your branch might contain multiple commits, so you will need to squash these into a single commit. Instructions can be found here or here

Add documentation

Please write clear documentation for any new functionality you add. Docstrings will be converted to the API documentation, but more human friendly documentation might also be needed! See the section below.

Working on the documentation

The documentation is generated using pydoc-markdown. To see a preview of any edits you make you can run:

poetry run pydoc-markdown --server

and visit the printed address (usually localhost:8000) in your browser. Beware, the auto recompiling might not work for everyone. This will automatically generate the API documentation from source. All other documentation should be written by hand. The documentation is compiled using mkdocs behind the scenes. To change the table of contents or other options, check out pydoc-markdown.yml.