Making releases

This is a checklist of activities which must be observed when creating BuildStream releases, it is important to keep this section up to date whenever the release process changes.


There are a couple of requirements and accounts required in order to publish a release.

  • Ability to send email to

  • Shell account at

  • Access to the BuildStream project on PyPI

  • An email client which still knows how to send emails in plain text.

Pre-release changes

Before actually rolling the release, here is a list of changes which might need to be done in preparation of the release.

  • Ensure that the man pages are up to date

    The man pages are committed to the repository because we are currently unable to integrate this generation into the setuptools build phase, as outlined in issue #8.

    If any of the user facing CLI has changed, or if any of the related docstrings have changed, then you should regenerate the man pages and add/commit the results before wrapping a release.

  • Ensure the documentation session HTML is up to date

    The session HTML files are committed to the repository for multiple reasons, one of them being that the documentation must be buildable from within a release build environment so that downstream distribution packagers can easily create the docs package.

    This is currently only needed for the first stable release in a stable line of releases, after this point the API is frozen and will not change for the remainder of the stable release lifetime, so nothing interesting will have changed in these session files.

    If regeneration is needed, follow the instructions above.

  • Ensure the NEWS entry is up to date and ready

    For a stable release where features have not been added, we should at least add some entries about the issues which have been fixed since the last stable release.

    For development releases, it is worthwhile going over the existing entries and ensuring all the major feature additions are mentioned and there are no redundancies.

  • Push pre-release changes

    Now that any final pre-release changes to generated files or NEWS have been made, push these directly to the upstream repository.

    Do not sit around waiting for CI or approval, these superficial changes do not affect CI and you are intended to push these changes directly to the upstream repository.

Release process

  • Ensure that the latest commit is passing in CI

    Of course, we do not release software which does not pass it’s own tests.

  • Get the list of contributors

    The list of contributors for a given list is a list of any contributors who have landed any patches since the last release.

    An easy way to get this list is to ask git to summarize the authors of commits since the last release tag. For example, if we are about to create the 1.1.1 release, then we need to observe all of the commits since the 1.1.0 release:

    git shortlog -s 1.1.0...@

    At times, the same contributor might make contributions from different machines which they have setup their author names differently, you can see that some of the authors are actually duplicates, then remove the duplicates.

  • Start composing the release announcement email

    The first thing to do when composing the release email is to ensure your mail client has disabled any HTML formatting and will safely use plain text only.

    Try to make the release announcement consistent with other release announcements as much as possible, an example of the email can be found here.

    The recipient of the email is and the title of the email should be of the form: BuildStream 1.1.1 released, without any exclamation point.

    The format of the email is essentially:

    Hi all,
    This is the personalized message written to you about this
    If this is an unstable release, this should include a warning
    to this effect and an invitation to users to please help us
    test this release.
    This is also a good place to highlight specific bug fixes which
    users may have been waiting for, or highlight a new feature we
    want users to try out.
    What is BuildStream ?
    This is a concise blurb which describes BuildStream in a couple of
    sentences, and is taken from the the README.rst.
    The easiest thing is to just copy this over from the last release email.
    buildstream 1.1.1
    This section is directly copy pasted from the top of the NEWS file
     - This is Where
     - You Put
     - The Contributor
     - Names Which
     - You Extracted
     - Using git shortlog -s
    Where can I get it ?
    For more information on the BuildStream project, visit our home page
  • Publish the release tag

    Now that any pre-release changes are upstream, create and push the signed release tag like so:

    git tag -s 1.1.1
    git push origin 1.1.1

    This will trigger the “Release actions” workflow which also takes care of:

    • uploading Github release artifacts

    • uploading Python source and binary packages to PyPI

  • Upload the release tarball

    First get yourself into a clean repository state, ensure that you don’t have any unfinished work or precious, uncommitted files lying around in your checkout and then run:

    git clean -xdff

    Create the tarball with the following command:

    python3 sdist

    And upload the resulting tarball to the master GNOME server:

    scp dist/BuildStream-1.1.1.tar.gz <user>

    And finally login to your account at and run the install scripts to publish the tarball and update the mirrors:

    ftpadmin install BuildStream-1.1.1.tar.gz
  • Send the release email

    Now that the release tag is up and the tarball is published, you can send the release email.

Post-release activities

Once the release has been published, there are some activities which need to be done to ensure everything is up to date.

  • Check that the release was successfully uploaded to PyPI. If it is an unstable release, make sure the version on PyPI has the correct “dev0” postfix so to avoid being treated as stable.

  • Update the topic line in the #buildstream IRC channel if needed

    The IRC channel usually advertizes the latest stable release in the topic line, now is the right time to update it.

  • Update the website repository

    The website wants to link to release announcements, but this cannot be automated because we cannot guess what the link to the release email will be in the mailing list archive.

    Find the URL to the announcement you just published in the mailing list archives, and use that URL to update the anouncements.json file in the website repository.

    Commit and push this change to the the anouncements.json file to the upstream website repository, and gitlab will take care of automatically updating the website accordingly.

  • Regenerate BuildStream documentation

    In order to update the badges we use in various documentation which reflects what is the latest stable releases and the latest development snapshots, we simply need to ensure a pipeline runs for the master branch in the BuildStream repository.

    You can do this by using the “Run Pipeline” feature on the pipelines page in the gitlab UI.