Original author(s)Ka-Ping Yee
Developer(s)Richard Jones, Roundup Initiative
Initial release18 August 2001; 22 years ago (2001-08-18)
Stable release
2.3.0[1] / 13 July 2023; 11 months ago (2023-07-13)
Written inPython
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeIssue tracking system
LicenseMIT license[2]

Roundup is an open-source issue or bug tracking system featuring a command-line, web and e-mail interface. It is written in Python and designed to be highly customizable.[3]


Roundup was designed by Ka-Ping Yee for the Software Carpentry project and was developed from 2001 to 2016 under the direction of Richard Jones. Since then, it has been developed by the Roundup community. It was the issue tracker for the Python programming language for 17 years before migrating to GitHub.[4] It was once described as "like Bugzilla without the six years of training, or RT without that tedious MySQL rubbish."[5]


The standard configuration of Roundup features:

Roundup supports several web backends.[10] It can be run standalone, as a background daemon process, as a CGI script[11] or as WSGI application.


Roundup is customized by changing the contents of the tracker instance directory:

Database schema

The database schema is defined in a Python file in the tracker instance's root directory; it is re-read whenever the server is started anew. When changes are found (e.g. new attributes), the tables of the underlying RDBS are altered accordingly.

Page templates

Roundup uses the Template Attribute Language (TAL) to create HTML or XHTML output. Version 1.5.0 adds experimental support for alternative template engines, such as Jinja2.[12]

Templates are named after the classes in database. Roundup automatically chooses template based on class name requested from URL. Some templates are used for several classes, e.g. _generic.index.html, which allows (authorized) users to change the objects of all classes which lack an own index template.

When an "issue123" is requested, this designator is split in the issue class and the id "123".[13] By default an "item" template is chosen: First, an issue.item.html template file is looked for; if it can't be found, _generic.item.html is used as a fallback option. If this is missing equally, an error occurs.


Many Roundup functions, including some of the standard functionality, are implemented using so-called detectors,[14] which are located in the "detectors" sub-directory of the tracker instance. They are Python subroutines which have access to the object to change (if already created) and the requested attribute changes.

Detectors are distinguished between auditors and reactors. Auditors are used primarily for several automatic changes (in the standard configuration, the assignedto user is automatically added to the nosy list of the issue), and to refuse un-allowed changes; reactors are executed thereafter and used e.g. for the e-mail notification feature, sending notification mails to all users interested in a certain issue when a comment is added to it.

Detectors are triggered whenever one of the actions

is requested. They can be used to create an elaborated custom workflow.


The instance subdirectory "extensions" can hold additional files which are needed for extended functionalities which can't (conveniently) be done with TAL; even totally new actions are possible.

Python modules which are used by both detectors and extensions can be put in the "lib" subdirectory

See also


  1. ^ "Roundup Issue Tracker / [Roundup-users] Roundup Issue Tracker version 2.3.0 released".
  2. ^ License - Roundup current documentation
  3. ^ The primary user interface is the web interface. A so-called classic tracker template is distributed as the standard template and data structure set, but can be used as a starting point for customization
  4. ^ Python Bug Tracker
  5. ^ NTKnow 2002/07/05 - TRACKING
  6. ^ REST documentation
  7. ^ E-Mail User Interface, Roundup user's guide
  8. ^ Design of Nosy Lists
  9. ^ access control, Roundup design description
  10. ^ "Installing Roundup - Roundup 2.2.0 documentation".
  11. ^ usage via CGI is rare and not recommended, for performance reasons
  12. ^ "Roundup: A simple-to-use and -install issue-tracking system with command-line, web and e-mail interfaces. Highly customisable".
  13. ^ identifiers and designators, Roundup design description
  14. ^ detector interface, Roundup design description