Python 2 and 3 support

ROVER is developed using in Python 3.

A combination of Python 2.7 and Python 3.5 and later are supported by auto-generating portable code using the pasteurize tool from the future package.

One consequence of this is that the “installable” code (typically available via pip from the PyPI rover project or a tarball) is not identical to the development code (typically available from the rover repository). Because of this disparity, instances of development ROVER should not be inistalled into system Python 2.7.

Getting started

First, create a directory that will contain both the development and auto-generated code:

mkdir roverdev

Then change into this directory and clone github:

cd roverdev
git clone

Create a virtualenv for Python 3 development (you may need to alter the script details slightly depending on your python version):

cd rover
source env3/bin/activate

You can now edit the source. To test your changes:


(nose tests are low-level code-based unit tests; robot tests are high-level, command-based integration tests).

Tests assume that executable /mseedindex/mseedindex is installed in the parent directory of rover, rover/../mseedindex/mseedindex.

You may need to edit tests or change configuration if this is not the case.

You can also run tests on both the development and (auto-generated) installable code. These scripts automatically generate the rover23 code as described below; the robot script also installs rover in the appropriate virtualenvs for testing, then create new virtualenvs (without install) after the test. The commands are:


Generating installable code

To simply generate the tarball:


this creates rover.tgz in the roverdev directory.

To generate the code manually (this will create a rover23 directory in roverdev):


It is not recommended to install code directly on the development machine (in the system python), but once you are using virtualenv you can run python install from inside rover23 to install. To delete the install, remake the virtualenv.

When making a new release:

dev/ X.Y.Z

where X.Y.Z is the new version number. This will set the version in the source, tag the version in git, and build a suitably named tarball in the roverdev directory.


  • Install git and clone the project:

    • Install git.

    • Configure ssh keys (openssh is available in git bash).

    • Clone the repo.

  • Install Python 3 and get virtualenv working:

    • Install Python (including options for PATH).

    • pip install virtualenv and update pip to latest version.

    • Run dev\make-env3.bat to create the environment.

    • Run env3\Scripts\Activate.bat to activate the environment.

    • The rover command is now installed and available.

  • Install Python 2:

    • Install Python (no options for path - it’s placed in C:\Python27)

    • Run dev\make-env2.bat to create the environment.

    • Run env2\Scripts\Activate.bat to activate the environment,

  • Install mseedindex:

    • Install Visual Studio (community edition is free).

    • Clone mseedindex from github.

    • Compile mseedindex (no need for sqlite install - see mseedindex docs)

  • You can now install and run ROVER:

    • See other batch scripts in dev.

    • You will need to configure ROVER as normal to find mseedindex.

Note that on Windows we ignore the ROVER-cmd parameter because we must use pythonw for sub-processes.