Buildout, an automation tool written in and extended with Python

Buildout is a tool for automating software assembly.

  • Run build tools to build software.
  • Apply software and templates to generate configuration files and scripts.
  • Applicable to all software phases, from development to production deployment.
  • Based on core principles:
    • Repeatability
    • Componentization
    • Automation


It’s important that given a project configuration, two checkouts of the configuration in the same environment (operating system, Python version) should produce the same result, regardless of their history.

For example, if someone has been working on a project for a long time, and has committed their changes to a version control system, they should be able tell a colleague to check out their project and run buildout and the resulting build should have the same result as the build in the original working area.


We believe that software should be self-contained, or at least, that it should be possible. The tools for satisfying the software responsibilities should largely reside within the software project itself.

Some examples:

  • Software services should include tools for monitoring them. Operations, including monitoring is a software responsibility, because the creators of the software are the ones who know best how to assess whether it is operating correctly.

    It should be possible, when deploying production software, for the software to configure the monitoring system to monitor the software.

  • Software should provide facilities to automate its configuration. It shouldn’t be necessary for people to create separate configuration whether it be in development or deployment (or stages in between).


Software deployment should be highly automated. It should be possible to checkout a project with a single simple command (or two) and get a working system. This is necessary to achieve the goals of repeatability and componentization and generally not to waste people’s time.

Learning more

Learn more:

Additional resources

Issue tracker
Github repository
Join the buildout-development google group,!forum/buildout-development to discuss ideas and submit pull requests against the buildout repository.