GitHub Labels#

We’re using labels on GitHub to categorize issues and pull requests. Many labels are shared for both use cases, while some are dedicated only to one. Below is a possibly inexhaustive list, but it should get you going. For a full list, see here.

General purpose labels#


Used for issues/PRs that address unintentional behavior, but do not pose significant security concerns. Generally, bugfixes will be attached to a specific issue where the unintended behavior was first reported.


Used for issues/PRs that exclusively involve changes to the documentation. Documentation includes *.rst files, docstrings, and code comments.


Used for issues/PRs that provide additional functionality or capabilities beyond the existing specifications.


Used for issues/PRs that provide performance optimizations.


Used for issues/PRs that involve critical security issues. Less severe security concerns can instead use the type-bugfix label.


Used for issues/PRs that exclusively involve changes to the tests.

OS-Mac / OS-Windows

Used for issues/PRs involving changes which only have an effect upon a specific operating system.


Used for issues/PRs that don’t include enough eggs or bacon.

Labels specific to issues#



The highest priority of an issue. If unaddressed, will cause the release manager to hold releasing a new version of Python.


A release blocker that was pushed one or more releases into the future. Possibly a temporary workaround was employed, or the version of Python the issue is affecting is still in alpha or beta stages of development.



Used for issues involving Python modules in the Lib/ dir.


Used for issues involving documentation in the Doc/ dir.


Used for issues in interpreter core (Objects/, Python/, Grammar/, and Parser/ dirs).


Used for issues involving C modules in the Modules/ dir.


Used for issues involving only Python’s regression test suite, i.e. files in the Lib/test/ dir.



Denotes that the issue hasn’t been looked at by triagers or core developers yet.


Denotes that the issue is a good candidate for a newcomer to address.

Labels specific to PRs#


Used on PRs to prevent miss-islington from being able to automatically merge the pull request. This label is appropriate when a PR has a non-trivial conflict with the branch it is being merged into.


Used for PRs which involve changes to the asyncio module or other asynchronous frameworks that utilize it.


Used manually for PRs that do not meet basic requirements and automatically added by bedevere when PR authors attempt to merge maintenance branches into the main branch. During events such as the October Hacktoberfest, this label will prevent the PR from counting toward the author’s contributions.

needs backport to X.Y

For example, needs backport to 3.11. Used for PRs which are appropriate to backport to branches prior to main. Generally, backports to the maintenance branches are primarily bugfixes and documentation clarifications. Backports to the security branches are strictly reserved for PRs involving security fixes, such as crashes, privilege escalation, and DoS. The use of this label will cause miss-islington to attempt to automatically merge the PR into the branches specified.

skip issue

Used for PRs which involve trivial changes, such as typo fixes, comment changes, and section rephrases. The majority of PRs require an issue to be attached to, but if there are no code changes and the section being modified retains the same meaning, this label might be appropriate.

skip news

Similar to the skip issue label, this label is used for PRs which involve trivial changes, backports, or already have a relevant news entry in another PR. Any potentially impactful changes should have a corresponding news entry, but for trivial changes it’s commonly at the discretion of the PR author if they wish to opt-out of making one.


Used for PRs authored during an in-person sprint, such as at PyCon, EuroPython, or other official Python events. The label is used to prioritize the review of those PRs during the sprint.


Used for PRs that include changes which are no longer relevant, or when the author hasn’t responded to feedback in a long period of time, or when the reviewer is unresponsive. This label helps core developers quickly identify PRs that are candidates for closure or require a ping to the author or reviewer.

awaiting review

Used for PRs that haven’t been reviewed by anyone yet.

awaiting core review

Used when the PR is authored by a core developer or when a non-core developer has reviewed the PR, even if they requested changes. Note that reviewers could have been added manually by a triager or core developer, or included automatically through use of the CODEOWNERS file.

awaiting changes

A reviewer required changes to proceed with the PR.

awaiting change review

The PR author made requested changes, and they are waiting for review.

awaiting merge

The PR has been approved by a core developer and is ready to merge.


Used on PRs to test the latest commit with the buildbot fleet. Generally for PRs with large code changes requiring more testing before merging. This may take multiple hours to complete. Triagers can also stop a stuck build using the web interface.

GitHub Labels for PRs#

An important component of triaging PRs for the CPython repo involves appropriately categorizing them through the usage of labels. For this purpose we’re using GitHub Labels.

Applying labels for Issues#

The major elements found in an issue report include:

  • Classification (including Title) - Metadata that lets us categorize the issue. Apart from the Title field, we use some type-, component-, and version- specific labels.

  • Process - These fields indicate the state of the issue and its progress toward resolution. The fields are Status (open/closed), Assignees, Comment, as well as priority- and keyword- specific labels.

  • Messages

  • History


A brief description of the issue. Review whether the title is too generic or specifies an incorrect term or library.

(Optional) Add a prefix at the start of the title to indicate the module, e.g. IDLE, doc, or asyncio.


Describes the type of issue. If an issue does not fit within any specific type, please do not set a type.




Unexpected behavior, result, or exception. Most bugs will have this type. This group also includes compile errors, and crashers.


Issues that propose the addition of new functionality, such as new functions, classes, modules, or even new arguments for existing functions. Also used for improvements in the documentation, test suite and other refactorings. A good place to discuss enhancements prior to filing an issue is the Ideas Discourse category.


Situations where too much time is necessary to complete the task. For example, a common task now takes significantly longer to complete. This group also includes resource usage (e.g. too much memory needed) issues.


Issues that might have security implications. Report security vulnerabilities using the procedure found in the Reporting security issues in Python page on the website.


A needed next action to advance the issue. The stage on GitHub issues is determined by presence of a linked PR and whether the issue is still open or closed. It is the PR that holds code review-related labels.


The area or Python library affected by the issue. A single issue can apply multiple component labels.

One or more components may be selected for an issue:




The documentation in Doc (source used to build HTML docs for

Extension Modules

C modules in Modules.

Interpreter Core

The interpreter core. The built-in objects in Objects, the Python, Grammar and Parser dirs.

Library (Lib)

Python modules in Lib.


The unittest framework in Lib/unittest The doctest framework Lib/ The CPython tests in Lib/test. The test runner in Lib/test/ The test support utilities in Lib/test/support.


The known versions of Python that the issue affects and should be fixed for.

Thus if an issue for a new feature is assigned for e.g., Python 3.8 but is not applied before Python 3.8.0 is released, this label should be updated to say python-3.9 as the version and drop python-3.8.


What is the severity and urgency?




The default value for most issues filed.

deferred blocker

The issue will not hold up the next release, n. It will be promoted to a release blocker for the following release, n+1.

release blocker

The issue must be fixed before any release is made, e.g., will block the next release even if it is an alpha release.

As a guideline, whether a bug is a release blocker for the current release schedule is decided by the release manager. Triagers may recommend this priority and should notify the release manager by tagging them in a comment using @username. If needed, consult the release schedule and the release’s associated PEP for the release manager’s name.


Various informational flags about the issue. Multiple values are possible.




Fixing the issue should not take longer than a day for someone new to contributing to Python to solve.

Nosy List#

A list of people who may be interested in an issue.

This used to be a feature of the old issue tracker. On GitHub issues the same effect is achieved by tagging people in a comment using @username.

It is acceptable to tag someone to if you think the issue should be brought to their attention. Use the Experts Index to know who wants to be added to the nosy list for issues targeting specific areas.

If you want to subscribe yourself to an issue, click the 🔔 Subscribe button in the sidebar. Similarly, if you were tagged by somebody else but decided this issue is not for you, you might click the 🔕 Unsubscribe button in the sidebar.


Who is expected to take the next step in resolving the issue.

It is acceptable to assign an issue to someone if the issue cannot move forward without their help, e.g., they need to make a technical decision to allow the issue to move forward. Also consult the Experts Index as certain stdlib modules should always be assigned to a specific person.

Note that in order to assign an issue to someone, that person must be a team member, likely a Triager or a core developer.


The issue requires the listed issue(s) to be resolved first before it can move forward. This is achieved using checkbox lists in the initial issue description comment. Long story short, if you add this:

- [x] #739
- [ ]
- [ ] Add delight to the experience when all tasks are complete :tada:

then those will become sub-tasks on the given issue. Moreover, GitHub will automatically mark a task as complete if the other referenced issue is closed.

More details in the official GitHub documentation.


The issue is a duplicate of the listed issue(s). To make GitHub mark an issue as duplicate, write “Duplicate of #xxxx” in a comment.





Issue is not resolved.


The issue has been resolved (somehow).

Linked pull requests#

A link might be added manually using the cog icon next to this field. Most commonly though, if the PR includes “Fixes #xxx” in its description, the link will be added automatically.