Thanks for considering contributing to Prefect!
Setting up a development environment¶
First, you'll need to download the source code and install an editable version of the Python package:
# Clone the repository
git clone https://github.com/PrefectHQ/prefect.git
# We recommend using a virtual environment
python -m venv .venv
# Install the package with development dependencies
pip install -e ".[dev]"
# Setup pre-commit hooks for required formatting
If you don't want to install the pre-commit hooks, you can manually install the formatting dependencies with:
pip install $(./scripts/precommit-versions.py)
You'll need to run
ruff before a contribution can be accepted.
After installation, you can run the test suite with
# Run all the tests
# Run a subset of tests
Building the Prefect UI
If you intend to run a local Prefect server during development, you must first build the UI. See UI development for instructions.
Windows support is under development
Support for Prefect on Windows is a work in progress.
Right now, we're focused on your ability to develop and run flows and tasks on Windows, along with running the API server, orchestration engine, and UI.
Currently, we cannot guarantee that the tooling for developing Prefect itself in a Windows environment is fully functional.
Prefect Code of Conduct¶
In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we as contributors and maintainers pledge to making participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression, level of experience, education, socio-economic status, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.
Examples of behavior that contributes to creating a positive environment include:
- Using welcoming and inclusive language
- Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences
- Gracefully accepting constructive criticism
- Focusing on what is best for the community
- Showing empathy towards other community members
Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include:
- The use of sexualized language or imagery and unwelcome sexual attention or advances
- Trolling, insulting/derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks
- Public or private harassment
- Publishing others' private information, such as a physical or electronic address, without explicit permission
- Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting
Project maintainers are responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable behavior and are expected to take appropriate and fair corrective action in response to any instances of unacceptable behavior.
Project maintainers have the right and responsibility to remove, edit, or reject comments, commits, code, wiki edits, issues, and other contributions that are not aligned to this Code of Conduct, or to ban temporarily or permanently any contributor for other behaviors that they deem inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful.
This Code of Conduct applies within all project spaces, and it also applies when an individual is representing the project or its community in public spaces. Examples of representing a project or community include using an official project e-mail address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event. Representation of a project may be further defined and clarified by project maintainers.
Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior may be reported by contacting Chris White at email@example.com. All complaints will be reviewed and investigated and will result in a response that is deemed necessary and appropriate to the circumstances. The project team is obligated to maintain confidentiality with regard to the reporter of an incident. Further details of specific enforcement policies may be posted separately.
Project maintainers who do not follow or enforce the Code of Conduct in good faith may face temporary or permanent repercussions as determined by other members of the project's leadership.
This Code of Conduct is adapted from the Contributor Covenant, version 1.4, available at https://www.contributor-covenant.org/version/1/4/code-of-conduct.html
For answers to common questions about this code of conduct, see https://www.contributor-covenant.org/faq
The Prefect CLI provides several helpful commands to aid development.
Start all services with hot-reloading on code changes (requires UI dependencies to be installed):
prefect dev start
Start a Prefect API that reloads on code changes:
prefect dev api
Start a Prefect agent that reloads on code changes:
prefect dev agent
Developing the Prefect UI requires that npm is installed.
Start a development UI that reloads on code changes:
prefect dev ui
Build the static UI (the UI served by
prefect server start):
prefect dev build-ui
Prefect uses mkdocs for the docs website and the mkdocs-material theme. While we use
mkdocs-material-insiders for production, builds can still happen without the extra plugins. Deploy previews are available on pull requests, so you'll be able to browse the final look of your changes before merging.
To build the docs:
To serve the docs locally at http://127.0.0.1:8000/:
For additional mkdocs help and options:
Internal developers can install the production theme by running:
pip install -e git+https://github.com/PrefectHQ/mkdocs-material-insiders.git#egg=mkdocs-material
mkdocs build # or mkdocs build --config-file mkdocs.insiders.yml if needed
Generate a manifest to deploy a development API to a local kubernetes cluster:
prefect dev kubernetes-manifest
To access the Prefect UI running in a Kubernetes cluster, use the
kubectl port-forward command to forward a port on your local machine to an open port within the cluster. For example:
kubectl port-forward deployment/prefect-dev 4200:4200
This forwards port 4200 on the default internal loop IP for localhost to the Prefect server deployment.
To tell the local
prefect command how to communicate with the Prefect API running in Kubernetes, set the
PREFECT_API_URL environment variable:
Since you previously configured port forwarding for the localhost port to the Kubernetes environment, you’ll be able to interact with the Prefect API running in Kubernetes when using local Prefect CLI commands.
Adding Database Migrations¶
To make changes to a table, first update the SQLAlchemy model in
src/prefect/server/database/orm_models.py. For example,
if you wanted to add a new column to the
flow_run table, you would add a new column to the
"""SQLAlchemy model of a flow run."""
new_column = Column(String, nullable=True) # <-- add this line
Next, you will need to generate new migration files. You must generate a new migration file for each database type.
Migrations will be generated for whatever database type
PREFECT_API_DATABASE_CONNECTION_URL is set to. See here
for how to set the database connection URL for each database type.
To generate a new migration file, run the following command:
prefect server database revision --autogenerate -m "<migration name>"
Try to make your migration name brief but descriptive. For example:
--autogenerate flag will automatically generate a migration file based on the changes to the models.
Always inspect the output of
--autogenerate will generate a migration file based on the changes to the models. However, it is not perfect.
Be sure to check the file to make sure it only includes the changes you want to make. Additionally, you may need to
remove extra statements that were included and not related to your change.
The new migration can be found in the
src/prefect/server/database/migrations/versions/ directory. Each database type
has its own subdirectory. For example, the SQLite migrations are stored in
After you have inspected the migration file, you can apply the migration to your database by running the following command:
prefect server database upgrade -y
Once you have successfully created and applied migrations for all database types, make sure to update
to document your additions.