Release Please automates CHANGELOG generation, the creation of GitHub releases, and version bumps for your projects.
It does so by parsing your git history, looking for Conventional Commit messages, and creating release PRs.
It does not handle publication to package managers or handle complex branch management.
What's a Release PR?
Rather than continuously releasing what's landed to your default branch, release-please maintains Release PRs:
These Release PRs are kept up-to-date as additional work is merged. When you're ready to tag a release, simply merge the release PR. Both squash-merge and merge commits work with Release PRs.
When the Release PR is merged, release-please takes the following steps:
- Updates your changelog file (for example
CHANGELOG.md), along with other language specific files (for example
- Tags the commit with the version number
- Creates a GitHub Release based on the tag
You can tell where the Release PR is in its lifecycle by the status label on the PR itself:
autorelease: pendingis the initial state of the Release PR before it is merged
autorelease: taggedmeans that the Release PR has been merged and the release has been tagged in GitHub
autorelease: snapshotis a special state for snapshot version bumps
autorelease: publishedmeans that a GitHub release has been published based on the Release PR (release-please does not automatically add this tag, but we recommend it as a convention for publication tooling).
How should I write my commits?
Release Please assumes you are using Conventional Commit messages.
The most important prefixes you should have in mind are:
fix:which represents bug fixes, and correlates to a SemVer patch.
feat:which represents a new feature, and correlates to a SemVer minor.
refactor!:, etc., which represent a breaking change (indicated by the
!) and will result in a SemVer major.
Linear git commit history (use squash-merge)
We highly recommend that you use squash-merges when merging pull requests. A linear git history makes it much easier to:
- Follow history - commits are sorted by merge date and are not mixed between pull requests
- Find and revert bugs -
git bisectis helpful for tracking down which change introduced a bug
- Control the release-please changelog - when you merge a PR, you may have
commit messages that make sense within the scope of the PR, but don't
make sense when merged in the main branch. For example, you may have
feat: introduce feature Aand then
fix: some bugfix introduced in the first commit. The
fixcommit is actually irrelevant to the release notes as there was never a bug experienced in the main branch.
- Keep a clean main branch - if you use something like red/green development (create a failing test in commit A, then fix in commit B) and merge (or rebase-merge), then there will be points in time in your main branch where tests do not pass.
What if my PR contains multiple fixes or features?
Release Please allows you to represent multiple changes in a single commit, using footers:
feat: adds v4 UUID to crypto This adds support for v4 UUIDs to the library. fix(utils): unicode no longer throws exception PiperOrigin-RevId: 345559154 BREAKING-CHANGE: encode method no longer throws. Source-Link: googleapis/googleapis@5e0dcb2 feat(utils): update encode to support unicode PiperOrigin-RevId: 345559182 Source-Link: googleapis/googleapis@e5eef86
The above commit message will contain:
- an entry for the "adds v4 UUID to crypto" feature.
- an entry for the fix "unicode no longer throws exception", along with a note that it's a breaking change.
- an entry for the feature "update encode to support unicode".
How do I change the version number?
When a commit to the main branch has
Release-As: x.x.x (case insensitive) in the commit body, Release Please will open a new pull request for the specified version.
Empty commit example:
git commit --allow-empty -m "chore: release 2.0.0" -m "Release-As: 2.0.0" results in the following commit message:
chore: release 2.0.0 Release-As: 2.0.0
How can I fix release notes?
If you have merged a pull request and would like to amend the commit message used to generate the release notes for that commit, you can edit the body of the merged pull requests and add a section like:
BEGIN_COMMIT_OVERRIDE feat: add ability to override merged commit message fix: another message chore: a third message END_COMMIT_OVERRIDE
The next time Release Please runs, it will use that override section as the commit message instead of the merged commit message.
Release Please bot does not create a release PR. Why?
Step 1: Ensure releasable units are merged
Release Please creates a release pull request after it notices the default branch contains "releasable units" since the last release. A releasable unit is a commit to the branch with one of the following prefixes: "feat", "fix", and "deps". (A "chore" or "build" commit is not a releasable unit.)
Some languages have their specific releasable unit configuration. For example, "docs" is a prefix for releasable units in Java and Python.
Step 2: Ensure no
autorelease: pending or
autorelease: triggered label in an old PR
Check existing pull requests labelled with
autorelease: pending or
autorelease: triggered label.
Due to GitHub API failures, it's possible that the tag was not removed
correctly upon a previous release and Release Please thinks that the previous release is
If you're certain that there's no pending release, remove the
autorelease: pending or
autorelease: triggered label.
For the GitHub application users, Release Please will not create a new pull request
if there's an existing pull request labeled as
To confirm this case, search for a pull request with the label.
(It's very likely it's the latest release pull request.)
If you find a release pull request with the label and it is not going to be released
(or already released), then remove the
autorelease: pending label and re-run Release
Step 3: Rerun Release Please
If you think Release Please missed creating a release PR after a pull request
with a releasable unit has been merged, please re-run
release-please. If you are using
the GitHub application, add
release-please:force-run label to the merged pull request. If
you are using the action, look for the failed invocation and retry the workflow run.
Release Please will process the pull request immediately to find releasable units.
Strategy (Language) types supported
Release Please automates releases for the following flavors of repositories:
||A repository with a pubspec.yaml and a CHANGELOG.md|
||A repository with a mix.exs and a CHANGELOG.md|
||A repository with a CHANGELOG.md|
||A repository with a Chart.yaml and a CHANGELOG.md|
||A strategy that generates SNAPSHOT version after each release|
||A kpt package, with 1 or more KRM files and a CHANGELOG.md|
||Strategy for Maven projects, generates SNAPSHOT version after each release and updates
||A Node.js repository, with a package.json and CHANGELOG.md|
||An Expo based React Native repository, with a package.json, app.json and CHANGELOG.md|
||An OCaml repository, containing 1 or more opam or esy files and a CHANGELOG.md|
||A repository with a composer.json and a CHANGELOG.md|
||A Python repository, with a setup.py, setup.cfg, CHANGELOG.md and optionally a pyproject.toml and a <project>/__init__.py|
||A repository with a version.rb and a CHANGELOG.md|
||A Rust repository, with a Cargo.toml (either as a crate or workspace, although note that workspaces require a manifest driven release and the "cargo-workspace" plugin) and a CHANGELOG.md|
||A repository with a sfdx-project.json and a CHANGELOG.md|
||A repository with a version.txt and a CHANGELOG.md|
||A terraform module, with a version in the README.md, and a CHANGELOG.md|
Setting up Release Please
There are a variety of ways you can deploy release-please:
GitHub Action (recommended)
The easiest way to run Release Please is as a GitHub action. Please see google-github-actions/release-please-action for installation and configuration instructions.
Running as CLI
Please see Running release-please CLI for all the configuration options.
Install the GitHub App
There is a probot application available, which allows you to deploy Release Please as a GitHub App. Please see github.com/googleapis/repo-automation-bots for installation and configuration instructions.
Bootstrapping your Repository
Release Please looks at commits since your last release tag. It may or may not be able to find your previous releases. The easiest way to onboard your repository is to bootstrap a manifest config.
Customizing Release Please
Release Please provides several configuration options to allow customizing your release process. Please see customizing.md for more details.
Supporting Monorepos via Manifest Configuration
Release Please also supports releasing multiple artifacts from the same repository. See more at manifest-releaser.md.
Supported Node.js Versions
Our client libraries follow the Node.js release schedule. Libraries are compatible with all current active and maintenance versions of Node.js.
Client libraries targeting some end-of-life versions of Node.js are available, and
can be installed via npm dist-tags.
The dist-tags follow the naming convention
Legacy Node.js versions are supported as a best effort:
- Legacy versions will not be tested in continuous integration.
- Some security patches may not be able to be backported.
- Dependencies will not be kept up-to-date, and features will not be backported.
Legacy tags available
legacy-8: install client libraries from this dist-tag for versions compatible with Node.js 8.
This library follows Semantic Versioning.
Contributions welcome! See the Contributing Guide.
For more information on the design of the library, see design.
For common issues and help troubleshooting your configuration, see Troubleshooting.
Apache Version 2.0