Kiwi TCMS team welcomes and appreciates any kind of contribution from you in order to make Kiwi TCMS better and better. Anyone who is interested in Kiwi TCMS is able to contribute in various areas, whether you are a good and experienced developer, documentation writer or even a regular user.

Get source code

The Kiwi TCMS source code is available at

git clone
cd Kiwi/

Install Python 3

Kiwi TCMS is a Python 3 project! Linux is our preferred environment but you can work on Kiwi TCMS on Windows as well!

Download & install Python from All further instructions assume that you have Python 3 enabled.


At the moment Kiwi TCMS is developed and tested with Python 3.9. You can always consult Dockerfile to find out the exact version which we use!

Setup virtualenv

Create a virtual environment for Kiwi TCMS:

$ python3 -m venv ~/kiwi-env
$ source ~/kiwi-env/bin/activate

On Windows, activating the virtual environment is different:

> python3 -m venv C:\kiwi-env
> C:\kiwi-env\Scripts\activate

See for more information!


On Linux you have to install packages which are needed to compile some of the Python dependencies:

sudo yum install gcc python-devel mariadb-devel libffi-devel npm graphviz


Graphviz is only used to build model diagrams from source code!

Then install the necessary Python packages inside your virtual environment:

pip install -r requirements/mariadb.txt
pip install -r requirements/devel.txt


Alternatively you can use requirements/postgres.txt for PostgreSQL!

The user interface needs several Node.js packages. Download & install Node first and then:

cd tcms/

inside the Kiwi/ directory.

Initialize database


In development mode Kiwi TCMS is configured to use SQLite! You may want to adjust the database and/or other configuration settings. Override them in ./tcms/settings/ if necessary.

Load database schema and create initial user:

./ migrate
./ createsuperuser

Let’s run Kiwi TCMS

You’re now ready to start the server:

./node_modules/.bin/webpack watch
./ runserver

Now, open and should be presented with your brand new Kiwi TCMS homepage!


Automated test suite can be executed with the make check command. The following syntax is supported:

make check (uses SQlite)
TEST_DB=MySQL make check
TEST_DB=MariaDB make check
TEST_DB=Postgres make check
TEST_DB=all make check (will test on all DBs)


If you want to execute testing against different DB engines on your local development environment make sure the respective DB engines are installed and configured! make check uses the configuration files under tcms/settings/test/. Make sure to edit them if necessary!


If you are having troubles with make on Windows then take a look at Makefile and copy the individual commands used for testing!

Security Issues

If you think that an issue with Kiwi TCMS may have security implications, please do not publically report it in the bug tracker. Instead ping us via email to coordinate the fix and disclosure of the issue!

Reporting General Issues

If you have any good idea, or catch a bug, please do create an issue at!


Documentation has been provided along with the source code within the docs/ directory and is built using Sphinx. All content is written in reStructuredText format. To build the docs:

$ cd docs/
$ make html


Kiwi TCMS is using Crowdin as our translation service. You can find the project at You need to register with Crowdin before you can work on any translations!

To translate the application first turn on the special translation mode in Kiwi TCMS via the language menu (top-right corner). Then use Crowdin in-context editor to update the strings. The actual content on the page wil be updated on the fly as you type! Don’t forget to Save the newly submitted translation. kiwitcms-bot will take care to submit the new strings as GitHub pull request!

Crowdin in-context

Added in version 7.0.


If in-context editor doesn’t show source string your browser may not be supported! Try updating the browser or switching to a different one! In our experience Firefox 60.8.0 did not work but Google Chrome 77.0.3865.75 works!


If possible start Kiwi TCMS in development mode (see above), using the latest version from the master branch and translate from there. If you are unsure how to do this then use the in-context editor at!

To request a new language please create an issue on GitHub.

If you prefer translating out of context (not recommended) please read the Starting Translation how-to and the Online Editor guide.

Making strings translatable

Before strings can be translated they need to be marked as translatable. This is done with the gettext_lazy() function or its shortcut _(). For templates {% load i18n %} at the top of the template and then use the {% trans %} template tag to mark strings as translatable! Please read Django’s Translation documentation if you are not sure what these functions are!


To update .po files once translatable strings have been changed or updated you have to execute the following command and commit the results in git:

make messages

At the moment there is no test for this because Django doesn’t make it easier to implement a quick test based on ‘git status’!