Releasing Bazaar

This document describes the processes for making and announcing a Bazaar release, and managing the release process.

See also: Bazaar Developer Document Catalog.


Starting a Release

To start a new release cycle:

  1. Send mail to the list with the key dates, who will be the release manager, and the main themes or targetted bugs. Ask people to nominate objectives, or point out any high-risk things that are best done early, or that interact with other changes.
  2. Add a new "series" in Launchpad at <>. There is one series for every x.y release.

Weekly Status Updates

TODO: Things to cover:

Feature Freeze

TODO: Get material from

Preparing the tree for release

This is the procedure for making a new bzr release:

  1. If the release is the first candidate, make a new branch in PQM. (Contact Robert Collins for this step).

    Register the branch at

  2. Run the automatic test suite and any non-automated tests. (For example, try a download over http; these should eventually be scripted though not automatically run.). Try to have all optional dependencies installed so that there are no tests skipped. Also make sure that you have the c extensions compiled (make or python build_ext -i).

  3. In the release branch, update version_info in ./bzrlib/

  4. Add the date and release number to ./NEWS.

  5. Commit these changes to the release branch, using a command like:

    bzr commit -m "(jam) Release 0.12rc1."

    The diff before you commit will be something like:

    === modified file 'NEWS'
    --- NEWS        2006-10-23 13:11:17 +0000
    +++ NEWS        2006-10-23 22:50:50 +0000
    @@ -1,4 +1,4 @@
    +bzr 0.12rc1  2006-10-23
    === modified file 'bzrlib/'
    --- bzrlib/  2006-10-16 01:47:43 +0000
    +++ bzrlib/  2006-10-23 22:49:46 +0000
    @@ -35,7 +35,7 @@
     # Python version 2.0 is (2, 0, 0, 'final', 0)."  Additionally we use a
     # releaselevel of 'dev' for unreleased under-development code.
    -version_info = (0, 12, 0, 'dev', 0)
    +version_info = (0, 12, 0, 'candidate', 1)
     if version_info[3] == 'final':
         version_string = '%d.%d.%d' % version_info[:3]
  6. Submit those changes to PQM for merge into the appropriate release branch.

  7. When PQM succeeds, pull down the master release branch.

Making the source tarball

  1. Change into the source directory and run

    make dist

  2. Unpack the tarball into a temporary directory and run make check in that directory, to check for packaging problems.

Publishing the release

Now you have the releasable product. The next step is making it available to the world.

  1. In <> click the "Release series" for this series, to take you to e.g. <>. Then click "Register a release", and add information about this release.
  2. Within that release, upload the source tarball and the GPG signature.
  3. Link from to the tarball and signature.
  4. Update to have a directory of documentation for this release. (Controlled by the update-bzr-docs script on escudero, and also update the latest symlink in /srv/
  5. Announce on the Bazaar home page

Announcing the release

Now that the release is publicly available, tell people about it.

  1. Announce to bazaar-announce and bazaar mailing lists. The announce mail will look something like this:

    Subject: bzr 0.11 release candidate 1

    INTRO HERE. Mention the release number and date, and why the release. (i.e. release candidate for testing, final release of a version, backport/bugfix etc).

    and GPG signature:


    DESCRIBE-when the next release will be (if there is another - i.e. this is a release candidate)

    Many thanks to all the contributors to this release! I've included the
    contents of NEWS for VERSION below:

    To generate the data from NEWS, just copy and paste the relevant news section and clean it up as appropriate. The main clean-up task is to confirm that all major changes are indeed covered. This can be done by running bzr log back to the point when the branch was opened and cross checking the changes against the NEWS entries.

    (RC announcements should remind plugin maintainers to update their plugins.)

    • For point releases (i.e. a release candidate, or an incremental fix to a released version) take everything in the relevant NEWS section. For example, for 0.11rc2 take everything in NEWS from the bzr 0.11rc2 line to the bzr 0.11rc1 line further down.
    • For major releases (i.e. 0.11, 0.12 etc), take all the combined NEWS sections from within that version: for 0.11 take all of the 0.11 specific section, plus 0.11rc2, plus 0.11rc1 etc.
  2. Update the IRC channel topic. Use the /topic command to do this, ensuring the new topic text keeps the project name, web site link, etc.

  3. Announce on

    This should be done for both release candidates and final releases. If you do not have a Freshmeat account yet, ask one of the existing admins.

  4. Update -- this should be done for final releases but not Release Candidates.

  5. Package maintainers should update packages when they see the announcement.

  6. Blog about it.

  7. Post to for major releases

  8. Update the python package index: <> - best done by running

    python register

    Remember to check the results afterwards.

Merging the released code back to trunk

Merge the release branch back into the trunk. Check that changes in NEWS were merged into the right sections. If it's not already done, advance the version number in bzr and bzrlib/ Submit this back into pqm for

Updating the PPA for a new release

We build Ubuntu .deb packages for Bazaar as an important part of the release process. These packages are hosted in a Personal Package Archive (PPA) on Launchpad, at <>.

We build packages for every supported Ubuntu release <>. Packages need no longer be updated when the release passes end-of-life because all users should updated by then.

The debian/ directory containing the packaging information is kept in branches on Launchpad, named like <>.

Preconditions for building these packages:

Here is the process; there are some steps which should be automated in future:

  1. You will need a working directory for each supported release, such as ~/bzr/Packaging/dapper

  2. Download the official tarball of the release to e.g. ~/bzr/Releases

  3. Copy the original tarball into your per-disto directory, then untar it and if necessary rename it:

    cp -l ~/bzr/Releases/bzrtools-1.3.0.tar.gz bzrtools_1.3.0.orig.tar.gz
    tar xfvz bzrtools_1.3.0.orig.tar.gz
    mv bzrtools bzrtools-1.3.0
  4. Change into that directory and check out the packaging branch:

    cd bzrtools
    bzr checkout \
      bzr+ssh:// \
  5. For Bazaar plugins, change the debian/control file to express a dependency on the correct version of bzr.

    For bzrtools this is typically:

    Build-Depends-Indep: bzr (>= 1.3~), rsync
    Depends: ${python:Depends}, bzr (>= 1.3~), bzr (<< 1.4~), patch
  6. Make a new debian/changelog entry for the new release, either by using dch or just editing the file:

    dch -v '1.3.0-1~bazaar1~dapper1' -D dapper

    dch will default to the distro you're working in and this isn't checked against the version number (which is just our conversion), so make sure to specify it.

    Caution: Release candidates must insert a tilde to make them sort before the final release, like this: bzr-1.4~rc2-1~bazaar1~dapper1.

    Make sure you have the correct email address for yourself, version number, and distribution. It should look something like this:

    bzrtools (1.3.0-1~bazaar1~dapper1) dapper; urgency=low
     * New upstream release.
    -- John Sample <>  Mon, 31 Mar 2008 12:36:27 +1100

    If you need to upload the package again to fix a problem, normally you should increment the last number in the version number, following the distro name. Make sure not to omit the initial -1, and make sure that the distro name in the version is consistent with the target name outside the parenthesis.

  7. Commit these changes into the packaging branch:

    bzr ci -m '1.3.0-1~bazaar1~dapper1: New upstream release.' debian
  8. Build a source package:

    debuild -S -sa -i

    This will create a .changes file in the per-distro directory, and should invoke gpg to sign it with your key. Check that file is reasonable: it should be uploading to the intended distribution, have a .orig file included, and the right version number.

  9. Upload into the PPA:

    dput bzr-ppa ../bzrtools__1.3.0-1\~bazaar1\~dapper1_source.changes

    Don't forget the bzr-ppa component or dput will try to upload into the main archive by default. You can disable this by adding this section to your

  10. You should soon get an "upload accepted" mail from Launchpad, which means that your package is waiting to be built. You can then track its progress in <> and <>.