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Issuing a Dafny release

David Cok edited this page Sep 23, 2022 · 3 revisions

Making a new Github release

  1. Check that there are no open issues with the release-blocker label:

  2. In an up-to-date repository, with the master branch checked out and up-to-date (e.g., after git pull upstream), checkout a new branch from master (e.g., git checkout -b branchname master) change to the root directory of the repository (i.e., dafny, which contains Source, Binaries, etc.)

  3. Select a version number (descriptor) $VER (e.g., "3.0.0" or "3.0.0-alpha") and select an internal version number (e.g., ""). The major.minor.patch numbers may already have been incremented since the last release, so they do not necessarily need to be updated, but you may want to increment them further, use judgement. The last section is in "ymmdd" format, where "y" is the number of years since 2018 and "mmdd" the month and day portions of the release date (e.g., a release on January 12th, 2022 would be x.y.z.40112). Edit the internal version number in the following places:

    • Source/version.cs

    • Source/Dafny/Dafny.csproj

    • Source/DafnyPipeline/DafnyPipeline.csproj

    • Source/DafnyLanguageServer/DafnyLanguageServer.csproj

    Put the public version number in place of the "Upcoming" header in, and add a new "Upcoming" header above it.

    Push and cut a PR, get it approved, and squash and merge those changes to the master branch.

  4. Kick off the deep test suite by navigating to, clicking the "Run workflow" dropdown, ensuring master is selected, and clicking the "Run workflow" button. The automation for releasing below will check for a run of this workflow on the exact commit to release.

  5. Create a fresh clone of the repo locally, making sure the latest commit is the squashed commit you just merged and tested, and push the tag for this release.

    git clone dafny-for-tagging
    cd dafny-for-tagging
    git tag v<$VER>
    git push origin v<$VER>
  6. A GitHub action will automatically run in reaction to the tag being pushed, which will build the artifacts and reference manual and then create a draft GitHub release. You can find and watch the progress of this workflow at

  7. Once the action completes, you should find the draft release at Edit the release body to add in the release notes from Also check the box to create a new discussion based on the release, if this is not a pre-release.

  8. Push the "Publish" button. This will trigger yet another workflow that will download the published artifacts and run a smoke test on multiple platforms. Again you can watch for this workflow at

  9. Manually upload packages to NuGet, from the fresh checkout of the repository used for tagging.

    dotnet build Source/Dafny.sln
    dotnet pack --no-build dafny/Source/Dafny.sln
    dotnet nuget push --skip-duplicate "Binaries/Dafny*.nupkg" -k $A_VALID_API_KEY -s
  10. Manually trigger the "Test NuGet Tool Installation" workflow on the master branch (following the same process as for step 3).

  11. If preparing a pre-release, stop here, as the following steps declare the release as the latest version, which is not the intention.

  12. If something goes wrong, delete the tag and release in GitHub, fix the problem and try again.

  13. Update the Homebrew formula for Dafny (see below). Note that it is fine to leave this for the next day, and other members of the community may update the formula in the meantime anyway.

  14. Announce the new release to the world.

Updating Dafny on Homebrew

Homebrew (brew) is a package manager for macOS. The Dafny project maintains a brew "formula" that allows easy installation of Dafny and its dependencies on macOS.

These are the instructions for updating the formula, which must be done each time a new release is issued.

These instructions are meant to be executed on a Mac, in a Terminal shell. All the Homebrew formulas are held in a GitHub repo, so some familiarity with git commands and concepts is helpful.

  1. Install Homebrew if it is not already present on your machine. Running which brew will tell you if it is. See if not.

  2. Create a GitHub personal access token (if you don't have one handy), and put it in an environment variable:

    export HOMEBREW_GITHUB_API_TOKEN=your_token_here
  3. Create a pull request following the instructions here:

    These instructions currently involve the following command:

    brew bump-formula-pr \
     --url <source .tar.gz for the release> \
     --sha256 <sha256 of the source .tar.gz for the release>
  4. Expect comments from the reviewers. If changes are needed, do 4-6 again. Eventually the reviewers will accept and merge the PR.

  5. Test the installation by running

     brew reinstall dafny

    and then execute dafny /version see if it has the correct version number. Even better is to try this step on a different machine than the one on which the dafny.rb file was edited

Updating and releasing a new version of VSCode plugin

  1. Build ide-vscode locally from .

  2. Prepare the repository:

    git checkout master
    git pull origin
    git checkout -b <some new branch name>
  3. Add the new Dafny version number to the dafny.preferredVersion list in the package.json file.

  4. Update the value of the constant LatestVersion in the file src/constants.ts to the new version number.

  5. Before releasing a new version of the VSCode plugin, make sure to add to the release notes in

  6. Follow the release process detailed in the plugin's repository: