Create an ETL project

First, install the framework:

$ pip install --upgrade bonobo

Create a simple job:

$ bonobo init

And let’s go for a test drive:

$ python

Congratulations, you ran your first Bonobo ETL job.

Now, you can head to First steps.


It’s often best to start with a single file then move it into a project (which, in python, needs to live in a package).

You can read more about this topic in the <no title> section, along with pointers on how to move this first file into an existing fully featured python package.

Other installation options

Install from PyPI

You can install it directly from the Python Package Index (like we did above).

$ pip install bonobo

To upgrade an existing installation, use –upgrade:

$ pip install --upgrade bonobo

Install from source

If you want to install an unreleased version, you can use git urls with pip. This is useful when using bonobo as a dependency of your code and you want to try a forked version of bonobo with your software. You can use a git+http string in your requirements.txt file. However, the best option for development on bonobo is an editable install (see below).

$ pip install git+


Here, we use the develop branch, which is the incoming unreleased minor version. It’s the way to “live on the edge”, either to test your codebase with a future release, or to test unreleased features. You can use this technique to install any branch you want, and even a branch in your own repository.

Editable install

If you plan on making patches to Bonobo, you should install it as an “editable” package, which is a really great pip feature. Pip will clone your repository in a source directory and create a symlink for it in the site-package directory of your python interpreter.

$ pip install --editable git+


You can also use -e, the shorthand version of –editable.


Once again, we use develop here. New features should go to develop, while bugfixes can go to master.

If you can’t find the “source” directory, try running this:

$ python -c "import bonobo; print(bonobo.__path__)"

Local clone

Another option is to have a “local” editable install, which means you create the clone by yourself and make an editable install from the local clone.

$ git clone
$ cd bonobo
$ pip install --editable .

You can develop on this clone, but you probably want to add your own repository if you want to push code back and make pull requests. I usually name the git remote for the main bonobo repository “upstream”, and my own repository “origin”.

$ git remote rename origin upstream
$ git remote add origin
$ git fetch --all

Of course, replace my github username by the one you used to fork bonobo. You should be good to go!

Preview versions

Sometimes, there are pre-versions available (before a major release, for example). By default, pip does not target pre-versions to avoid accidental upgrades to a potentially unstable version, but you can easily opt-in:

$ pip install --upgrade --pre bonobo

Supported platforms

Linux, OSX and other Unixes

Bonobo test suite runs continuously on Linux, and core developers use both OSX and Linux machines. Also, there are jobs running on production linux machines everyday, so the support for those platforms should be quite excellent.

If you’re using some esoteric UNIX machine, there can be surprises (although we’re not aware, yet). We do not support officially those platforms, but if you can actually fix the problems on those systems, we’ll be glad to integrate your patches (as long as it is tested, for both existing linux environments and your strange systems).


Windows support is correct, as a few contributors helped us to test and fix the quirks.

There may still be minor issues on the windows platform, mostly due to the fact bonobo was not developed by windows users.

We’re trying to look into that but energy available to provide serious support on windows is very limited.

If you have experience in this domain and you’re willing to help, you’re more than welcome!