Contribute to the code#

For a run-through of the entire process, the following pages will be your best starting point:

On the rest of this page you’ll find the key resources you’ll need to start contributing to the cloud-init codebase.


Submissions to cloud-init must include testing. Unit testing and integration testing are integral parts of contributing code.

Code style and design#

We generally adhere to PEP 8, and this is enforced by our use of black, isort and ruff.

Python support#

Cloud-init upstream currently supports Python 3.6 and above.

Cloud-init upstream will stay compatible with a particular Python version for 6 years after release. After 6 years, we will stop testing upstream changes against the unsupported version of Python and may introduce breaking changes. This policy may change as needed.

The following table lists the cloud-init versions in which the minimum Python version changed:

Cloud-init version

Python version







Type annotations#

The cloud-init codebase uses Python’s annotation support for storing type annotations in the style specified by PEP-484 and PEP-526. Their use in the codebase is encouraged.

Other resources#

Feature flags#

Feature flags are used as a way to easily toggle configuration at build time. They are provided to accommodate feature deprecation and downstream configuration changes.

Currently used upstream values for feature flags are set in cloudinit/ Overrides to these values should be patched directly (e.g., via quilt patch) by downstreams.

Each flag should include a short comment regarding the reason for the flag and intended lifetime.

Tests are required for new feature flags, and tests must verify all valid states of a flag, not just the default state.


When configuring apt mirrors, if ALLOW_EC2_MIRRORS_ON_NON_AWS_INSTANCE_TYPES is True cloud-init will detect that a datasource’s availability_zone property looks like an EC2 availability zone and set the ec2_region variable when generating mirror URLs; this can lead to incorrect mirrors being configured in clouds whose AZs follow EC2’s naming pattern.

As of 20.3, ALLOW_EC2_MIRRORS_ON_NON_AWS_INSTANCE_TYPES is False so we no longer include ec2_region in mirror determination on non-AWS cloud platforms.

If the old behavior is desired, users can provide the appropriate mirrors via apt: directives in cloud-config.

cloudinit.features.APT_DEB822_SOURCE_LIST_FILE = True#

On Debian and Ubuntu systems, cc_apt_configure will write a deb822 compatible /etc/apt/sources.list.d/(debian|ubuntu).sources file. When set False, continue to write /etc/apt/sources.list directly.

cloudinit.features.ERROR_ON_USER_DATA_FAILURE = True#

If there is a failure in obtaining user data (i.e., #include or decompress fails) and ERROR_ON_USER_DATA_FAILURE is False, cloud-init will log a warning and proceed. If it is True, cloud-init will instead raise an exception.


(This flag can be removed after Focal is no longer supported.)

cloudinit.features.EXPIRE_APPLIES_TO_HASHED_USERS = True#

If EXPIRE_APPLIES_TO_HASHED_USERS is True, then when expire is set true in cc_set_passwords, hashed passwords will be expired. Previous to 22.3, only non-hashed passwords were expired.

(This flag can be removed after Jammy is no longer supported.)

cloudinit.features.NETPLAN_CONFIG_ROOT_READ_ONLY = True#

If NETPLAN_CONFIG_ROOT_READ_ONLY is True, then netplan configuration will be written as a single root readon-only file /etc/netplan/50-cloud-init.yaml. This prevents wifi passwords in network v2 configuration from being world-readable. Prior to 23.1, netplan configuration is world-readable.

(This flag can be removed after Jammy is no longer supported.)


Append a forward slash ‘/’ if NoCloud seedurl does not end with either a querystring or forward slash. Prior to 23.1, nocloud seedurl would be used unaltered, appending meta-data, user-data and vendor-data to without URL path separators.

(This flag can be removed when Jammy is no longer supported.)

cloudinit.features.get_features() Dict[str, bool][source]#

Return a dict of applicable features/overrides and their values.