Getting started with Git development#

This section and the next describe in detail how to set up git for working with the SciPy source code. If you have git already set up, skip to Development workflow.

Basic Git setup#

  • Developing with git can be done entirely without GitHub. Git is a distributed version control system. In order to use git on your machine you must first install git.

  • Introduce yourself to Git:

    git config --global
    git config --global "Your Name Comes Here"

Making your own copy (fork) of SciPy#

You need to do this only once.

  1. Set up and configure a github account

    If you don’t have a github account, go to the github page, and make one.

    You then need to configure your account to allow write access - see the Generating SSH keys help on github help.

  2. Next, create your own forked copy of SciPy.


git clone
cd scipy
git remote add upstream
git submodule update --init

In detail#

Clone your fork#

  1. Clone your fork to the local computer with git clone

  2. Investigate. Change directory to your new repo: cd scipy. Then git branch -a to show you all branches. You’ll get something like:

    * main

    This tells you that you are currently on the main branch, and that you also have a remote connection to origin/main. What remote repository is remote/origin? Try git remote -v to see the URLs for the remote. They will point to your github fork.

    Now you want to connect to the upstream SciPy github repository, so you can merge in changes from trunk.

Linking your repository to the upstream repo#

cd scipy
git remote add upstream

upstream here is just the arbitrary name we’re using to refer to the main SciPy repository at SciPy github.

Just for your own satisfaction, show yourself that you now have a new ‘remote’, with git remote -v show, giving you something like:

upstream (fetch)
upstream (push)
origin (fetch)
origin (push)

To keep in sync with changes in SciPy, you want to set up your repository so it pulls from upstream by default. This can be done with:

git config branch.main.remote upstream
git config branch.main.merge refs/heads/main

Your config file should now look something like (from $ cat .git/config):

        repositoryformatversion = 0
        filemode = true
        bare = false
        logallrefupdates = true
        ignorecase = true
        precomposeunicode = false
[remote "origin"]
        url =
        fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*
[remote "upstream"]
        url =
        fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/upstream/*
[branch "main"]
        remote = upstream
        merge = refs/heads/main

Update submodules#

Initialize git submodules:

git submodule update --init

This fetches and updates any submodules that SciPy needs (such as Boost).

Next steps#

You are now ready to start developing with SciPy. Check the SciPy contributor guide for more details.