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setuptools_scm handles managing your python package versions in scm metadata. It also handles file finders for the suppertes scm's usage

To use setuptools_scm just modify your project's file like this:

  1. Add 'setuptools_scm' to the setup_requires parameter

  2. Add the use_scm_version parameter and set it to True


    from setuptools import setup

Programmatic usage

In oder to use setuptools_scm for sphinx config

from setuptools_scm import get_version
version = get_version()

Default versioning scheme

In the standard configuration setuptools_scm takes a look at 3 things:

  1. latest tag (with a version number)
  2. the distance to this tag (e.g. number of revisions since latest tag)
  3. workdir state (e.g. uncommitted changes since latest tag)

and uses roughly the following logic to render the version:

no distance and clean:
distance and clean:
{next_version}.dev{distance}+n{revision hash}
no distance and not clean:
distance and not clean:
{next_version}.dev{distance}+n{revision hash}.dYYYMMMDD

The next version is calculated by adding 1 to the last numeric component of the tag.

Semantic Versioning (SemVer)

Due to the default behavior it's necessary to always include a patch version (the 3 in 1.2.3), or else the automatic guessing will increment the wrong part of the semver (e.g. tag 2.0 results in 2.1.devX instead of 2.0.1.devX). So please make sure to tag accordingly.


Future versions of setuptools_scm will switch to SemVer by default hiding the the old behavior as an configurable option.

Builtin mechanisms for obtaining version numbers

  1. the scm itself (git/hg)
  2. .hg_archival files (mercurial archives)


git archives are not supported due to git shortcomings

Configuration Parameters

In order to configure the way use_scm_version works you can provide a mapping with options instead of simple boolean value.

The Currently supported configuration keys are:

root:cwd relative path to use for finding the scm root, defaults to .
version_scheme:configures how the local version number is constructed. either an entrypoint name or a callable
local_scheme:configures how the local component of the version is constructed either an entrypoint name or a callable
write_to:declares a text file or python file which is replaced with a file containing the current version. its ideal or creating a file within the package

To use setuptools_scm in other Python code you can use the get_version function:

from setuptools_scm import get_version
my_version = get_version()

It optionally accepts the keys of the use_scm_version parameter as keyword arguments.

Extending setuptools_scm

setuptools_scm ships with a few setuptools entrypoints based hooks to extend its default capabilities.

Adding a new SCM

setuptools_scm provides 2 entrypoints for adding new SCMs


A function used to parse the metadata of the current workdir using the name of the control directory/file of your SCM as the entrypoint's name. E.g. for the built-in entrypoint for git the entrypoint is named .git and references 'setuptools_scm.git:parse'.

The return value MUST be a setuptools.version.ScmVersion instance created by the function setuptools_scm.version:meta.


Either a string containing a shell command that prints all SCM managed files in its current working directory or a callable, that given a pathname will return that list.

Also use then name of your SCM control directory as name of the entrypoint.

Version number construction


Configures how the version number is constructed given a setuptools.version.ScmVersion instance and should return a string representing the version.

Available implementations:

guess-next-dev:automatically guesses the next development version (default)
post-release:generates post release versions (adds postN)

Configures how the local part of a version is rendered given a setuptools.version.ScmVersion instance and should return a string representing the local version.

Available implementations:

node-and-date:adds the node on dev versions and the date on dirty workdir (default)
dirty-tag:adds +dirty if the current workdir has changes

Importing in

To support usage in passing a callable into use_scm_version is supported.

Within that callable, setuptools_scm is availiable for import. The callable must return the configuration.

def myversion():
    from setuptools_scm.version import dirty_tag
    def clean_scheme(version):
        if not version.dirty:
            return '+clean'
            return dirty_tag(version)

    return {'local_scheme': clean_scheme}