In our top level directory, we have the following folders:

And the following files:


  • README.rst



  • .gitignore

  • requirements.txt


    Here you have your dev requirements

  • setup.cfg


    This file is for external utilities configuration

  • tox.ini


    Test both with coverage measurements and without. See For coverage we do a pip install -e, but test with a normal pip install are also great.

  • .travis.yml


    Use tox file here.

Project version

In your src/${project_name}/ file. We can extract it later using regex on our But it is also possible to get the version number in our python code:

>>> import autopilot
>>> autopilot.__version__


Autopilot includes some default licenses, like GPLv2 or MIT. You need to choose one, which would be copied into the LICENSE file, at the top directory of your project. There is an special type of license, Private. This one doesn’t add a license file (well, it creates a LICENSE file, but is just link to the GNU licenses website). This license also adds a classifier to your package, “Private :: Do Not Upload”. PyPI will refuse to accept packages with unknown classifiers, hence we want to use it for private packages to protect ourselves from a mistake. Anyways, if we have a private devpi we still can upload the package there.

If you want to add a new license to the list of licenses, put the license file at $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/autopilot/licenses directory (usually ~/.config/autopilot/licenses). Filename would be used to generate the selectable list of licenses. By default, user licenses are private, and the Private classifier would be added to your If you want to change this behavior, the first line of your license must be like this:

# pypi license: License name

where license name must be a valid license name listed here: List of valid PyPI licenses

The list was extracted from PyPI list of classifiers. For the OSI licenses you can remove ‘OSI Approved ::’ from the license name.

That first line, and all the empty lines after them, are not copied to your LICENSE file.


You should maintain a changelog file (CHANGELOG.rst). When you do a new release, it is possible to open the changelog with a text editor, but any changes you do to the file, would be discarded. For that reason, is recommended to open the editor in read-only mode. If you use vim, you can set the editor to vim -R on your local autopilot configuration:

editor: vim -R

Files to distribute

With autopilot you can avoid to write and maintain a file. All files under your src directory would be included in the package, unless you exclude them using a gitignore file. Also README.txt (or README), (or whatever you called your setup script), and setup.cfg files are included by default by setuptools ( see distutils docs)

Autopilot also adds CHANGELOG.rst, LICENSE and .gitignore files to the package.

Take a look to setuptools documentation if you want to know how autopilot is able to modify the files to include in the package.