versioningit — Versioning It with your Version In Git

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versioningit is yet another setuptools plugin for automatically determining your package’s version based on your version control repository’s tags. Unlike others, it allows easy customization of the version format and even lets you easily override the separate functions used for version extraction & calculation.


  • Installed & configured through PEP 518’s pyproject.toml

  • Supports Git, modern Git archives, and Mercurial

  • Formatting of the final version uses format template strings, with fields for basic VCS information and separate template strings for distanced vs. dirty vs. distanced-and-dirty repository states

  • Can optionally write the final version to a file for loading at runtime

  • Provides custom setuptools commands for inserting the final version into a source file at build time

  • The individual methods for VCS querying, tag-to-version calculation, version bumping, version formatting, and writing the version to a file can all be customized using either functions defined alongside one’s project code or via publicly-distributed entry points

  • Can alternatively be used as a library for use in or the like, in case you don’t want to or can’t configure it via pyproject.toml

  • The only thing it does is calculate your version and optionally write it to a file; there’s no overriding of your sdist contents based on what’s in your Git repository, especially not without a way to turn it off, because that would just be rude.

Installation & Setup

versioningit requires Python 3.6 or higher. Just use pip for Python 3 (You have pip, right?) to install versioningit and its dependencies:

python3 -m pip install versioningit

However, usually you won’t need to install versioningit in your environment directly. Instead, you specify it in your project’s pyproject.toml file in the build-system.requires key, like so:

requires = [
    "setuptools >= 42",  # At least v42 of setuptools required!
    "versioningit ~= 1.0",
build-backend = "setuptools.build_meta"

Then, you configure versioningit by adding a [tool.versioningit] table to your pyproject.toml. See “Configuration” for details, but you can get up & running with just the minimal configuration, an empty table:


versioningit replaces the need for (and will overwrite) the version keyword to the setup() function, so you should remove any such keyword from your to reduce confusion.

Once you have a [tool.versioningit] table in your pyproject.toml — and once your repository has at least one tag — building your project with setuptools while versioningit is installed (which happens automatically if you set up your build-system.requires as above and you’re using a PEP 517 frontend like build) will result in your project’s version automatically being set based on the latest tag in your Git repository. You can test your configuration and see what the resulting version will be using the versioningit command (see “Command”).

Example Configurations

One of versioningit’s biggest strengths is its ability to configure the version format using placeholder strings. The default format configuration looks like this:


# Format used when there have been commits since the most recent tag:
distance = "{version}.post{distance}+{vcs}{rev}"

# Format used when there are uncommitted changes:
dirty = "{version}+d{build_date:%Y%m%d}"

# Format used when there are both commits and uncommitted changes:
distance-dirty = "{version}.post{distance}+{vcs}{rev}.d{build_date:%Y%m%d}"

Other format configurations of interest include:

  • The default format used by setuptools_scm:

    method = "smallest"
    distance = "{next_version}.dev{distance}+{vcs}{rev}"
    dirty = "{version}+d{build_date:%Y%m%d}"
    distance-dirty = "{next_version}.dev{distance}+{vcs}{rev}.d{build_date:%Y%m%d}"
  • The format used by versioneer:

    distance = "{version}+{distance}.{vcs}{rev}"
    dirty = "{version}+{distance}.{vcs}{rev}.dirty"
    distance-dirty = "{version}+{distance}.{vcs}{rev}.dirty"
  • The format used by vcversioner:

    distance = "{version}.post{distance}"
    dirty = "{version}"
    distance-dirty = "{version}.post{distance}"

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