kikuchipy is meant to be a community maintained project. We welcome contributions in the form of bug reports, documentation, code, feature requests, and more. These guidelines provide resources on how best to contribute.

For new users, checking out the GitHub guides are recommended.

Questions, comments, and feedback

Have any questions, comments, suggestions for improvements, or any other inquiries regarding the project? Feel free to ask a question, open an issue or make a pull request in our GitHub repository.

Code of Conduct

kikuchipy has a Code of Conduct that should be honoured by everyone who participates in the kikuchipy community.

Setting up a development installation

You need a fork of the repository in order to make changes to kikuchipy.

Make a local copy of your forked repository and change directories:

$ git clone
$ cd kikuchipy

Set the upstream remote to the main kikuchipy repository:

$ git remote add upstream

We recommend installing in a conda environment with the Miniconda distribution:

$ conda create --name kikuchipy
$ conda activate kikuchipy

Then, install the required dependencies while making the development version available globally (in the conda environment):

$ pip install --editable .[dev]

This installs all necessary development dependencies, including those for running tests and building documentation.

Code style

The code making up kikuchipy is formatted closely following the Style Guide for Python Code with The Black Code style. We use pre-commit to run black automatically prior to each local commit. Please install it in your environment:

$ pre-commit install

Next time you commit some code, your code will be formatted inplace according to our black configuration.

Note that black won’t format docstrings. We follow the numpydoc standard.

Comment lines should preferably be limited to 72 characters.

Package imports should be structured into three blocks with blank lines between them (descending order): standard library (like os and typing), third party packages (like numpy and hyperspy) and finally kikuchipy imports.

Making changes

Create a new feature branch:

$ git checkout master -b your-awesome-feature-name

When you’ve made some changes you can view them with:

$ git status

Add and commit your created, modified or deleted files:

$ git add my-file-or-directory
$ git commit -s -m "An explanatory commit message"

The -s makes sure that you sign your commit with your GitHub-registered email as the author. You can set this up following this GitHub guide.

Keeping your branch up-to-date

Switch to the master branch:

$ git checkout master

Fetch changes and update master:

$ git pull upstream master --tags

Update your feature branch:

$ git checkout your-awesome-feature-name
$ git merge master

Sharing your changes

Update your remote branch:

$ git push -u origin your-awesome-feature-name

You can then make a pull request to kikuchipy’s master branch. Good job!

Building and writing documentation

We use Sphinx for documenting functionality. Install necessary dependencies to build the documentation:

$ pip install --editable .[doc]

Then, build the documentation from the doc directory:

$ cd doc
$ make html

The documentation’s HTML pages are built in the doc/build/html directory from files in the reStructuredText (reST) plaintext markup language. They should be accessible in the browser by typing file:///your-absolute/path/to/kikuchipy/doc/build/html/index.html in the address bar.

Tips for writing Jupyter Notebooks that are meant to be converted to reST text files by nbsphinx:

  • All notebooks should have a Markdown (MD) cell with this message at the top, “This notebook is part of the kikuchipy documentation Links to the documentation won’t work from the notebook.”, and have "nbsphinx": "hidden" in the cell metadata so that the message is not visible when displayed in the documentation.

  • Use _ = ax[0].imshow(...) to disable Matplotlib output if a Matplotlib command is the last line in a cell.

  • Refer to our API reference with this general MD [fft_filter()](reference.rst#kikuchipy.signals.EBSD.fft_filter). Remember to add the parentheses () for functions and methods.

  • Reference external APIs via standard MD like [Signal2D](

  • The Sphinx gallery thumbnail used for a notebook is set by adding the nbsphinx-thumbnail tag to a code cell with an image output. The notebook must be added to the gallery in the README.rst to be included in the documentation pages.

  • The Furo Sphinx theme displays the documentation in a light or dark theme, depending on the browser/OS setting. It is important to make sure the documentation is readable with both themes. This means explicitly printing the signal axes manager, like print(s.axes_manager), and displaying all figures with a white background for axes labels and ticks and figure titles etc. to be readable.

Running and writing tests

All functionality in kikuchipy is tested via the pytest framework. The tests reside in a test directory within each module. Tests are short methods that call functions in kikuchipy and compare resulting output values with known answers. Install necessary dependencies to run the tests:

$ pip install --editable .[tests]

Some useful fixtures, like a dummy scan and corresponding background pattern, are available in the file.


Some module tests check that data not part of the package distribution can be downloaded from the kikuchipy-data GitHub repository, thus downloading some datasets of ~15 MB to your local cache.

To run the tests:

$ pytest --cov --pyargs kikuchipy

The --cov flag makes print a nice report in the terminal. For an even nicer presentation, you can use directly:

$ coverage html

Then, you can open the created htmlcov/index.html in the browser and inspect the coverage in more detail.

Docstring examples are tested with pytest as well:

$ pytest --doctest-modules --ignore-glob=kikuchipy/*/tests

Adding data to the data module

Test data for user guides and tests are included in the module via the pooch Python library. These are listed in a file registry ( with their file verification string (hash, SHA256, obtain with e.g. sha256sum <file>) and location, the latter potentially not within the package but from the kikuchipy-data repository, since some files are considered too large to include in the package.

If a required dataset isn’t in the package, but is in the registry, it can be downloaded from the repository when the user passes allow_download=True to e.g. nickel_ebsd_large(). The dataset is then downloaded to a local cache, e.g. /home/user/.cache/kikuchipy/. Pooch handles downloading, caching, version control, file verification (against hash) etc. If we have updated the file hash, pooch will redownload it. If the file is available in the cache, it can be loaded as the other files in the data module.

The desired data cache directory used by pooch can be set with a global KIKUCHIPY_DATA_DIR variable locally, e.g. by setting export KIKUCHIPY_DATA_DIR=~/kikuchipy_data in ~/.bashrc.

Continuous integration (CI)

We use GitHub Actions to ensure that kikuchipy can be installed on Windows, macOS and Linux (Ubuntu). After a successful installation, the CI server runs the tests. After the tests return no errors, code coverage is reported to Coveralls.