Troubleshooting FAQ

Welcome to the troubleshooting FAQ! If you do not find an answer to your question, feel free to open an issue on the issue tracker or reach out via email to anyone in the core team.

There’s no repobee command in my shell

The most common cause of this issue is that the repobee executable is not on the path, but there could be other explaniations as well. First, try starting a new shell. You may even need to log out and log back in, depending on where you appended to the PATH variable.

If starting a new shell or restarting logging out and back in does not resolve the issue, check if you have the ~/.repobee/bin directory on your PATH variable.

$ echo $PATH | grep -o "$HOME/.repobee/bin"

If you get no output, then the directory is not on your PATH. Before adding the bin directory to your path, you can check that the executable is actually present on your system.

Expected content in RepoBee’s bin directory
$ ls -l ~/.repobee/bin
lrwxrwxrwx 1 slarse slarse 37 Sep  2 14:37 repobee -> /home/slarse/.repobee/env/bin/repobee

If your output looks something like this, then you’ve got RepoBee installed. If it does not look like this (e.g. the symlink is dangling or the directory dous not exist), then you should try executing the installer again. Once you see the directory and a valid symlink, try directly executing the executable with a qualified path.

Executing RepoBee with a qualified path
$ ~/.repobee/bin/repobee -h
# help output should pop up here

If that works, all you need to do is to add the bin directory to your PATH. Where you should do that depends on what shell you use. For example, for bash you should typically put environment variables in ~/.profile, for zsh they typically go in ~/.zshenv, and for fish they go in ~/.config/fish/config/fish.

Example PATH configuration
# for bash, add this to your ~/.profile
export PATH="$PATH:$HOME/.repobee/bin"

# for zsh, add this to your ~/.zshenv
export PATH="$PATH:$HOME/.repobee/bin"

# for fish, add this to your ~/.config/fish/
set -x PATH "$PATH:$HOME/.repobee/bin"


With bash, the .profile file can be overridden by the ~/.bash_profile file.

Common error messages

Some error messages in RepoBee are quite common and can be a bit hard to troubleshoot for beginners. This section contains the most common error messages and solutions to them.

[ERROR] FileError: ‘<some filepath>’ is not a file

This happens when a filepath is given to RepoBee, but there’s no file to be found. If you get this but you are certain that the file in question actually exists, it’s often due to incorrectly escaped whitespace.

  • On the command line, whitespace must be escaped with \, or enclosed within quotation marks

    • Example 1: --students-file /path/with\ whitespace/students.txt

    • Example 2: --students-file "/path/with whitespace/students.txt"

  • In the config file, whitespace should not be escaped at all

    • Example: students_file = /path/with whitespace/students.txt

[ERROR] bad interpreter: No such file or directory

This is typically caused by the system wide Python executable being upgraded or otherwise changed after installing RepoBee. To fix this, remove the ~/.repobee directory and then execute the installer again (see Install).

RepoBee crashes

Very often, RepoBee crashing is due to a faulty plugin, or bad configuration of a plugin. When this is the case, use the --no-plugins option for the preparser to disable plugins.


--no-plugins is a preparser option, meaning that it should be passed directly after typing repobee. For example, to run repobee plugin uninstall without plugins, run like so:

Uninstalling plugins with all installed plugins disabled
$ repobee --no-plugins plugin uninstall

All of the troubleshooting steps in this section will use --no-plugins.

An option in the config file is causing problems

If you have misconfigured a plugin, or have an outdated option, you may sometimes need to manually remove the option from the config file. Run the following to find out where the config file is located.

Finding out where the config file is located
$ repobee --no-plugins config show

The location of the config file is printed at the very top of the message. Edit it with any text editor and remove the option that causes issues.

A plugin has broken down

If a plugin isn’t working (even after removing faulty options), try to upgrade both the plugin and RepoBee itself.

Upgrade RepoBee and install the plugin again
$ repobee --no-plugins manage upgrade
$ repobee --no-plugins plugin install

Nothing works, it’s still broken

If none of that works, the simplest thing is to reinstall RepoBee. This does not affect your settings in the config file, it only affects installed plugins, and so is low-risk to do. To do it, just remove the directory at ~/.repobee and install RepoBee again, as described in Install.